New mom hired $50-a-day postpartum nanny for second baby: "Takes a village" (2024)

As they say, it "takes a village to raise a child" and one new mom in South Korea has been embracing that view by drawing on the help of a postpartum nanny.

Aisha, a 32-year-old mom from Italy who moved five years ago to South Korea, where her Korean husband has always lived, shared a glimpse of her daily life with a Korean postpartum nanny in a viral video on her Instagram account, @_aisha_ba_. The clip has received 11 million views since it was posted on December 11 last year.

A message overlaid on the clip says: "I hired a Korean postpartum nanny for only $50 a day."

Aisha, who did not share her last name, told Newsweek that her nanny arrived a week after her baby was born and stayed for four weeks. She had previously hired a nanny for two weeks after giving birth to her daughter, who is 17 months older than her newborn son.

The second time around, Aisha said, she "decided to have her longer so that I was also able to take some time with my firstborn, as I was afraid that she might feel overwhelmed by the coming of a new baby."

A caption shared with the post reads: "In Korea, families have the possibility to hire a postpartum nanny at a very affordable price. They are subsidized by the government, so the price depends on where you live, income and how many kids you have. But everyone is able to get one."

Aisha told Newsweek: "As far as I know, almost every family uses this service. Around two months before giving birth, you need to go to the public health center, fill out documents about your family's income and how many children you already have, and then they will calculate the cost."

You cannot choose which nanny you'd like to have, as the women are hired by the government through a postpartum hiring agency, she said.

The nanny "basically did everything so I could rest and just cuddle with my baby," says a note across the clip. The footage shows various shots of the nanny doing chores around the house, from cooking to cleaning and bathing the baby.

New mom hired $50-a-day postpartum nanny for second baby: "Takes a village" (1)

The post comes amid a birth rate crisis in South Korea, which has the world's lowest fertility rate. Concerns about career advancement and the financial cost of raising children have caused more women to either delay or forgo having kids.

The country's birth rate hit a record low of 0.72 in 2023, dropping from 0.78 in 2022. It is projected to decline further, to 0.68 in 2024 and 0.65 in 2025, according to a December 2023 report by Statistics Korea.

In January this year, the South Korean government rolled out updated incentives for parents to help combat the birth rate crisis.

The Presidential Committee on Aging Society and Population Policy said that for babies born in 2024, a single child can receive 29.6 million won ($22,100) in cash support over eight years from the moment of birth.

Last year, several regional governments announced different initiatives to tackle low birth rates, such as providing subsidies for reverse vasectomies, reverse tubal ligation and college tuition.

Postnatal Care in South Korea

While Aisha may have chosen to have a nanny come into her home, nearly all mothers in South Korea typically go to a postpartum center known as a sanhujoriwon in Korean.

She explained: "Almost [every mother] goes to one of these facilities for around two weeks right after giving birth. But I chose not to go with my firstborn because I had the same mindset as many new moms: that you need to take care of your baby by yourself. But now I know that it's very important to accept help and that it takes a village to raise a child.

"The second time I didn't go because I wanted to be close to my firstborn since they are not allowed to visit. Also, the cost is very high, and it's not supported by the government," she said.

The postpartum period, which is the first six weeks after a mother gives birth, is "regarded as a crucial time in which all the physical changes that the mother has experienced during pregnancy and labor come back to her prenatal status including the uterus," says South Korea's CHA University Bundang Medical Center. It is home to the only postpartum care center in the country connected to an internationally recognized Joint Commission International–certified hospital.

"Therefore, it requires extra care for every aspect of the mother's daily life including food, physical exercise and shower," the center said.

Aisha said postpartum nannies provided by the government have regular office hours and don't work on weekends or official holidays. Her nanny typically would arrive at 9 a.m. and stay until around 4 or 5 p.m.

"They only take care of the mother and baby so they usually make sure the mother eats healthy food," she said. Her nanny cooked several healthy side dishes (known as banchan in Korean) that are eaten with rice, which are shown in the clip.

"In Korea, people also believe that a woman right after giving birth should not carry heavy things and always keep warm and don't eat or drink anything cold, so they make sure of that as well," Aisha said.

The nannies can also help you take a bath, provide tips on how to clean and sterilize the bottles (or do it themselves for those who breastfeed), and "teach new parents the basics on how take care of a newborn," a message across the clip reads.

The biggest benefit of having a postpartum nanny was "that I was able to recover from the birth and bond with my baby," Aisha told Newsweek, which "was very important for me."

Do you have any postnatal care tips or stories to share? Let us know via life@newsweek.com and your story could be featured in Newsweek.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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New mom hired $50-a-day postpartum nanny for second baby: "Takes a village" (2024)

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