SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — A 37-year-old worker referred to only as Kim was asked to leave right after he brought his wife and new-born twins to rest at a postnatal care center.
After the resurgence of COVID-19 in South Korea in recent days, the nation’s postnatal care centers shifted their policy towards banning the interaction of any guardians with those staying in their facilities.
Kim, who originally planned to commute between his workplace and the postnatal care center, had to go back home alone.
Thereafter, he has been restricted from stepping into the postnatal care center except for few instances in which he left some items for his wife and the newborn twins in front of the door of the room where they are resting.
Amid a rapid growth in the number of COVID-19 patients in recent days, most of the nation’s postnatal care centers are toughening restrictions on the visits of outsiders.
The postnatal care centers’ visitor restriction policies are so stringent that even new dads are not allowed to visit and see their newborn babies.
A 36-year-old man who resides in Seongbuk District in northern Seoul, has a wife who expects a baby in early September.
He booked a postnatal care center for his wife but recently canceled the reservation after the postnatal care center informed him about the restriction on visits.
“I canceled the reservation since I was worried that if my wife stays alone after giving birth, she could suffer from postpartum depression,” he said.
In reality, among the new moms resting at the postnatal care centers, the number of those struggling with depression is not insignificant.
This is because the centers have not only restricted the visits of family members but also halted most of the programs they typically run for new moms, including the ones offered by outside lecturers.
A new mom who checked into a postnatal care center in Busan last Wednesday said, “I became more depressed since the center restricted the visits of my husband and stopped the operation of various programs it ran for new moms.”
Postnatal care centers are also suffering from the stringent measures they have chosen to impose to protect their clients.
“We are educating staff to restrict outside activities and thoroughly carrying out disinfection measures. Nonetheless, the reservation rate fell by 20 to 30 percent compared to a year ago.” said a representative of a postnatal care center in Nowon District, Seoul.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)