March 14, 2023
MANILA – The number of postpartum care centers where new mothers treated right after childbirth dropped sharply amid falling birth rates, but the cost of getting such care surged across the country, particularly in Seoul, data showed on Monday.
According to data compiled by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korea had a total of 475 postpartum centers as of the first half of last year, a 20.5 percent decrease from 2017. However, the average cost rose 27.4 percent to 3.07 million won ($2,300) from 2.41 million won in 2017.
By region, postpartum centers in Seoul were the most expensive. The priciest center in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul, charged 38 million won for 14 days. This was in stark contrast to centers in non-Seoul areas, with the cheapest centers in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, and Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, which charged 1.2 million won for the same period.
The average two-week cost for a VIP room was 4.3 million won, about 1.2 million won higher than a standard room, nationwide. VIP rooms are usually larger than standard rooms and are equipped with additional home appliances such as water purifiers. Also, desserts and special meals are additionally provided to those staying in VIP rooms, according to the ministry.
Postpartum care centers have been a popular choice for new mothers who wish to receive proper care after giving birth. Postpartum care has traditionally been provided by the mother’s family members, but with changes in family structure, such personal and hands-on care has been shifting to private sector.