Monday, March 22, 2010

Maedeup Monday!

This is Su-Mi, my Korean maedeup teacher. She taught me everything I know in maedeup and we became very good friends.

She married last April and on February 22, 2010, she had a baby boy.

His name is Go Yeon-U. Go is his last name. I was hoping to see her during our visit to South Korea but they have strict rules about newborns. The baby is not allowed visitors for the first 100 days except for very close family. This is a tradition that is very old and is based on a high mortality rate of babies from olden times. I was so honored to get an email from her inviting us over for dinner.

In Korea, when a woman has a baby she cannot bath or shower for the first 30 days. She eats seaweed soup every day, usually three times a day, to help gain her strength and there is always someone there to help take care of the baby and you. If you don't have a mother that can do it or mother-in-law, the government will send someone.

The new mother can't eat anything cold and needs to be bundled up even if it is summer. If you don't, you could have achy, arthritic joints when you are older. They can't really do much of anything for the first three months to recover from childbirth.

Some things I've heard Korean grandmothers doing to the baby:
1. Pinching or rubbing the nose to create more of a bridge.
2. Massaging the joints, usually twice a day.
3. Massaging the tummy, keeps the stools regular.
4. Rubbing their eyes to create the eyelid.

Babies can't be carried on the hip like we do here in the West. My Korean girlfriends told me that Koreans bones are too loose after birthing and they can't carry a baby that way. Everyone carries their babies strapped onto their backs.


  1. What a beautiful baby!

    I've wondered how many of those things actually have any physiological basis.

  2. Korean beliefs about babies and childbirth are, unfortunately, very stone age. Some things change very slowly I guess. I kept it a secret when I took Grace out when she was very young. And whenever MIL came to visit, I put extra clothes and blankets on her so as not to cause any fuss. The day after I had Grace, I hopped in the shower first thing in the morning. While I was in there, MIL called to tell me not to shower. Ridiculous things, really. It's really too bad, because when I meet Korean ladies who are pregnant, they are filled more with fear than with excitement. :(

    Anyway, your friend has a beautiful baby. Hope you get to meet him!


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