Home / news / After advice for pregnant women, Seoul’s authorities are in the crosshairs of criticism

After advice for pregnant women, Seoul’s authorities are in the crosshairs of criticism

The authorities in the South Korean capital, Seoul, are facing criticism after they advised pregnant women to prepare food for their husbands in advance and make sure that they have enough clean underwear before heading to the hospital.

And the local government in Seoul, through a website dedicated to pregnant women, considered that these measures allow avoiding cases of “inconvenience” for families.

These tips, which were published on the site in 2019, were withdrawn last week, after users alerted them and sparked a wave of condemnation online.

As of Monday afternoon, more than 20,000 people had signed an electronic petition on the presidential website calling for those responsible for this content to be punished.

The aforementioned advice included a call for pregnant women to keep small-sized clothes during the early stages of pregnancy to wear after childbirth in order to “motivate” them not to overindulge in food and to engage in physical exercise.

The recommendations that were posted on the Media Center website on pregnancy and childbearing in Seoul called for “not to postpone household chores, including cleaning or washing dishes, because they help maintain weight without increasing exercise.”

The Seoul government also advised pregnant women, when the date of childbearing approached, to prepare some foods in advance for husbands, as they are “not very used to kitchen work,” and to make sure that they have enough underwear, socks, shirts and clean tissues until they return home.

The Seoul government also recommended that pregnant women “make sure that there are enough toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and cleaning fluids” at home before moving to the hospital to have children, “to avoid any disturbances in the family.”

South Korea is facing a demographic crisis in light of the decline in the fertility rate, as women are forced to reconcile work responsibilities with raising children.

In a statement obtained by the French Press Agency on Monday, the local government in Seoul admitted that it did not “carefully review” the content of the recommendations before publishing them on the website, pledging to show greater attention in the future to avoid such incidents.

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