[KS] Re: gynecologists

Susie Jie Young Kim sjykim at ucla.edu
Tue Aug 29 22:59:00 EDT 2000

REPLY sends your message to the whole list

Ditto on the "wow." I've appreciated Henny's contributions to this list as much
as the next person, but that original posting did shock me too (though, to be
fair, I've had similar reactions to  the tenor of other postings from recent
months as well). 

It seems to me that the problem lies with Western medical practices as an
institution. I am not deriding the medical institution as a whole for it serves
an important role, but it is certainly not without its faults. 

As for Caesarean sections, it's not just a "KOrean" problem. In fact, the high
rate of unnecessary C-sections has  become such a problem in the US that in the
last couple of years it was featured in more than one mainstream news-magazine
show on American TV. I can't recall the figures , but in any case, there's more
than a few bitter  women in the US who were coerced into having C-sections when
they were not in the state of mind to make such a decision, etc.  

To elaborate on Peter Schroepfer's comments, there was a documentary series on
KBS on birth culture, with a focus on introducing alternative methods, etc. The
woman he referred to in his posting (I think she's actually a dancer) was
included, as well as midwife clinics in Japan where women "sing" through their
contractions and give birth in a squatting position (which is apparently less
stressful on the woman and more "natural" than the clinially approved
horizontal position). 

HOlland sounds like an ideal place for pregnant women. In the US, many doctors
still frown upon midwives, giving birth at home, etc. -- anything that doesn't
involve their actual presence and participation and that doesn't fit into what
they deem as "proper" medical practice. 

Henny, hope all goes well for you and your wife. 

Susie J. Kim

-----Original Message-----
From: Jason Parker <parker.294 at osu.edu>
To: korean-studies at iic.edu <korean-studies at iic.edu>
Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2000 11:00 PM
Subject: Re: gynecologists

>REPLY sends your message to the whole list
>At 08:38 PM 8/29/00 +0900, you wrote:
>>REPLY sends your message to the whole list
>>My wife is due in a couple of weeks and we found out a few curious facts 
>>about gynecologists. First of all we have a hard time finding one, who 
>>allows us to stay during the birth. We went to one, who didn't even 
>>allowed me to stay during the internal investigation. Being the stubborn 
>>Dutchman I am, of course I stayed. Pay in mind that in Holland it's still 
>>customary that children are born at home and there are not many mothers 
>>who would like to do that differently. A midwife comes to your house and 
>>with the density of hospitals, in case something appears to be life 
>>endangering, they can go to the hospital very soon.
>>First of all I was surprised that a cloth was hanging down so we couldn't 
>>see what he was doing. Then the internal examination did hurt her a lot. 
>>This is her second child and we never experienced anything like that before.
>>The closer the delivery comes the stranger things we hear. The hands of 
>>the women are bound during the delivery (mandatory), they have to walk, to 
>>the delivery table as the child almost comes out, the vaginal cut is 
>>obligatory and after the delivery she HAS to walk back to another room and
>> just imagine the pain after your vagina has been cut? I am a man, but I 
>> had an operation in a similar region and I know it hurts like hell.
>>It is advised not to take a shower for at least 5 days, others mention a 
>>period of three weeks. Also it is advised NOT to brush your teeth during a 
>>couple of weeks. The hepatitis injection is mandatory and they still slap 
>>the baby on the bottom. The mother and baby are separated immediately.
>>You get medicine to urinate and defecate also mandatory, also the shaving 
>>of the pubic hair is mandatory.
>>I think this is a rude way to enter the world as a new world citizen and I 
>>think it's especially stressful for the mother, but also for the child. 
>>Who said that Koreans are very fond of children and value mothers?
>"WOW!" I think that is the only word that can describe the feeling I am 
>getting as I read these last few line of the most ethnocentric post I have 
>ever read in an academic newsgroup/listserv. Very shocking.
>Jason Parker
>>Henny (Lee Hae Kang)
>>Feel free to visit
>>and feel the thrill of Hamel discovering Korea (1653-1666)
>>In Korean

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