Just like in most of the western world, women in South Korea have monthly OBGYN visits. Sonograms are also part of the routine. Along with the routine checkups and sonograms that women undergo are certain foods that Koreans believe to be beneficial for prenatal care. For instance, pregnant women are strongly encouraged to eat only foods that are fresh, some of which are uncooked. In addition to these practices, women are also encouraged to relax and think about nothing negative. Koreans believe that doing all of these things will promote the health of the baby.During the labor and delivery process, the mother-in-law was traditionally the only one present. Now, however, other family members can be present. Women are to endure the delivery process in a manner that is quiet. They are not to shout loud. They are to just endure the pain.
When the woman has gone through with labor and delivery, she is to come home and relax. Only the immediate family is allowed to visit the mother and baby, until the baby is one month old. To continue to maintain health after pregnancy, it is advised to consume seaweed soup twice a day for the first two weeks after giving birth
(Korean National Statistical Office-Women's Lives Through Statistics).
As far as maintaining optimal health and nutrition is concerned, Koreans prefer to utilize natural methods. Some of the natural methods they make use of are getting plenty of fresh air, taking walks, and using traditional Oriental health practices as a means of preventing illness, such as the use of a fomentation bath or sauna to promote blood circulation (Shin et al, 2004).
Other long standing traditions are observed, as well. For instance, traditions to show respect for parents and ancestors are observed routinely. In addition to this, there are traditions that are practiced in regards to the birth of the child, as well as on the child's first birthday to promote long life and happiness (Vogler, 2005).
Korea offers a great variety of hearty and healthy dishes. Kimchi (fermented spicy cabbage) is the most popular, as it is eaten and enjoyed by almost everyone in Korea. Koreans are practically vegetarians; however, several dishes can be found that contain a wide variety of seafood's, as well as different meats. Many noodle and soup dishes are favorite among Koreans, and the variety of courses varies, depending on the class of people. Lower class individuals typically eat a meal that consists of three courses, while royalty will typically eat twelve (Shin et al, 2004).
Since the introduction of western way of life into Korea, such as the eating habits and the westernized fast-food restaurants, obesity is on the rise. The South Korean media uses educational materials to