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Seoul's Advice for Moms-to-Be: Lay Out Skivvies for Your Husband

City government slammed for sexist guidelines on expectant moms' looks, weight, spousal care
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2021 9:10 AM CST

(Newser) – Everyone knows pregnant women don't especially love being told to keep their weight in check and always look their best, especially right after giving birth. Except, apparently, the city government in Seoul, which is seeing backlash for posting advice for expectant mothers that's being called antiquated and sexist. Per the Guardian, the guidelines put online in 2019 by the South Korean capital's pregnancy and childbirth information center told women to do plenty of housework to stay slim and hang pre-pregnancy clothes around the house as motivation. Another nugget: "Buy a hairband so that you don't look disheveled after having the baby." The guidelines also advised women that, before they head to the hospital to give birth, they should make sure to "avoid causing inconvenience" for their families by stocking their homes with food and supplies needed in their absence.

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Women should also ensure their husbands are taken care of—specifically, in the days before her baby arrives, a mom-to-be should prep meals for her spouse, who may be "unfamiliar with cooking," and lay out clean underwear and other clothes to tide him over till she gets back, reports AFP, which notes the posting was taken down last week after all the pushback. And that pushback featured plenty of incredulity. "It's hard to even breathe towards the end of a pregnancy, and they're expecting us to prepare underwear and food for our husbands?!" one user exclaimed on social media, the Yonhap news agency reports. Per the Korea Herald, the city government says it picked up the guidelines from the nation's Ministry of Health and Welfare. In a statement to AFP, the city now says it neglected to "thoroughly review" it all and will make sure something like this doesn't happen again. (Read more South Korea stories.)

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