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More than 70 percent of new mothers use postnatal care center, spend W2.2m on average

Over 70 percent of South Korean mothers who had just delivered their babies used a postnatal care center for about two weeks, on average paying 2.21 million won ($1,970), a survey shows.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare conducted a survey of some 2,911 new mothers who delivered a baby in 2017. According to the poll released Thursday in which multiple responses were allowed, 75.1 percent of respondents said they used a postnatal care center. Some 70 percent responded they went home while 19.8 percent said they stayed at their mother’s home. The postnatal care period was defined as six weeks after birth.


Preferred arrangements were at a postnatal care center at 75.9 percent, followed by one’s own house at 17.1 percent and one’s mother’s house at 6 percent.

The average stay at a postnatal care center was 13.2 days, while other home options marked over 20 days on average. The cost for a postnatal care center stay was 2.21 million won on average, more than twice the cost of going home for care, which cost an average of 958,000 won.

Despite the higher cost, new mothers chose to stay at postnatal care centers because they were “able to focus on postnatal care without caring for the infant.”

For better postnatal conditions, mothers specified the need for financial support for the care centers and broader availability of paternity leave for the fathers to be more present.

By Kim Hye-soo (