Jay and Sue Kim, ages 29 and 26 years and married for 2 years, immigrated from South Korea and settled in Los Angeles. They have lived in a small one-bedroom apartment since their arrival. Both graduated from the same Korean university with baccalaureate degrees in English literature. They have one child, Joseph, age 1 year. When they arrived in the United States, Jay was unable to find a job because of his poor proficiency in English, despite his major in English literature. He eventually obtained a job with a moving company through a church friend. Sue is not working because of their son. Although the Kim’s did not attend a church before immigration, they are now regularly attending a Korean Protestant church in their neighborhood.
Sue is pregnant again, determined by a home pregnancy kit, with their second child and concerned about the medical costs. They did not use any contraceptives because she was breastfeeding. Because of financial limitations, Sue did not initially have prenatal care with her first pregnancy. However, she did keep up with the Korean traditional prenatal practice, tae-kyo. Eventually, she received help from her church and delivered a healthy son. She is not sure whether she can get financial help from her church again but is confident that her second child will be healthy if she follows the Korean traditional prenatal practices.
Jay is concerned about job security because he recently heard from colleagues that the moving company might soon go bankrupt. Although Jay has not been satisfied with his current job (he thinks that he is overqualified), this news is still a cause for concern. Moreover, Sue’s recent pregnancy has made Jay more stressed, and he has started drinking alcohol. Joseph cannot stand up by himself and still wants to be breastfed. Although Sue has tried to give foods such as oranges, apples, steamed rice, and milk (because she is now pregnant), Joseph refuses to eat them and cries for breastfeeding. Joseph’s weight is low-normal for same-age babies.
- Describe the Korean cultural practice tae-kyo. Is this practice congruent with allopathic recommendations for prenatal care?
- How do food choices among Koreans differ with pregnancy and postpartum?
- Describe cultural attitudes toward drinking among Koreans.
- Identify two or three culturally congruent strategies a healthcare provider might use to address Jay’s drinking.
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