This month we explore Korea's postpartum traditions. Through the adoption of different cultural postpartum traditions, together as a community, we can provide support to mamas during their postpartum journey.
Some examples of practices and rituals found as part of Korean culture:
New mothers are encouraged to consume a large bowl of seaweed soup or 'miyeok guk' three times a day. Seaweed is nutrient dense as it promotes hydration, cleanses the blood. detoxifies the body and increases the mother's milk. Seaweed contains calcium, fibre and iron; all in which is much needed during to restore a mother post birth.
Another popular postpartum dish is Pumpkin Porridge or 'Hobakjuk'. The dish is served all year round and the high Vitamin A content is believed to speed up recovery and be great for skin and immunity.
Like many postpartum foods in traditional cultures, seaweed soup and pumpkin porridge are warm, nourishing and easily digestible.
Similar to Traditional Chinese Postpartum customs, Korean women are urged to refrain from taking baths for a week or two after giving birth. Mothers are also discouraged to wash their hands with cold water. If mothers do wish to have a shower, they are strongly advised to use warm water and then dry their hair completely to expel the cool winds from their body.
In the Korean culture, mothers are discouraged in going out during the first three weeks of baby being born. This protects both the mother and the baby from catching any infections. Mothers can graciously decline unexpected visitors as they are spending quality time with their newborn, as they heal and rest.
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