Actress Kim Se-ah
gave birth to a baby girl at her home in January at the age of 37 and has now published a book about the experience. "Giving birth at home is the very first present to the baby. I would like to tell other pregnant women that any healthy woman can give birth at home", said Kim.
In an interview on Thursday, Kim said, "I chose to deliver at home because I wanted to let my child have the very first contact with the world in the most natural and comfortable way".
and her husband Kim Kyu-sik with their baby Kim Se-ah
and her husband Kim Kyu-sik with their baby
Kim married cellist Kim Kyu-sik last year. "In the early stage of pregnancy, I used to go to a normal women's clinic. But I grew disenchanted with a hospital that treated the body of pregnant women as a piece of machinery. I wasn't sure if this is the place where my child should be born", she said. In her sixth month of pregnancy, Kim decided to give birth in her own house. In a yoga lesson, she got to watch the documentary "The Business of Being Born", which criticizes the U.S. healthcare system's reliance on drugs and costly intervention.
Her mother was initially against Kim's idea, fearing that that it would be too dangerous, but her husband persuaded her mother. "While I was studying in Europe, I saw such cases quite frequently, so I knew it wasn't something peculiar or dangerous", he said.
About 30 percent of families in Europe, and 8 percent in the U.S. are said to give birth at home, in stark contrast to less than 1 percent in Korea. Thanks to support and encouragement from her husband, Kim set out in search for a doctor who would support her cause and a midwife. On the day of delivery, both the midwife and the doctor were beside her throughout the whole experience. They made the atmosphere as normal as possible, playing music and lighting aromatic candles. For 11 hours, her husband was by her side, massaging and comforting her to assuage the pain of delivery.