The Boram Postnatal Retreat is the first ever dedicated postnatal center in the US that launched in New York in time for Mother’s Day 2022. Nestled on the 9th floor of the 5* The Langham Hotel New York, Boram Postnatal Retreat features 16 luxe rooms for families, along with a baby room, a community-building mother’s lounge and a postnatal F&B space featuring broth, traditional Korean seaweed soup and a wide variety of healing tea. Inspired by Co-Founder Boram Nam’s arduous two-year postnatal recovery journey following a c-section, Boram Postnatal Retreat offers the first-of-its-kind retreat-style experience focused on caring for mother and baby, bridging the gap between hospital and home.
Boram’s philosophy is succinct: Healthy babies come from healthy mothers. But in a country where maternal care is woefully under-prioritized – the U.S. has the highest mortality rate among developed countries and is the only developed country without a federally mandated maternity leave – new mothers are often left to figure things out themselves.
Boram Postnatal Retreat’s model of care – including nourishing foods, spa therapy and recovery support – is built on evidence-based practices and modern research. Boram Postnatal Retreat provides 24/7 baby care supervised by certified IBCLC nurses with staffing from nursing assistants and postpartum doulas. The staff assists with baby monitoring/recording vitals, feeding, diapering, bathing and sleeping, rounded out by offering a plan for moms, with postnatal massages, lactation assistance, sitz baths and foot baths. Boram Postnatal Retreat offers stays between 3, 5 and 7 nights.
Boram Nam, co-founder of The Boram Postnatal Retreat tells Mama Glow, “one thing is clear. There is not enough maternal support.” But Nam, after whom the retreat was aptly named (Bo-ram means fruitful in Korean) and her husband and business partner, Suk Park, are looking to agitate change with their wellness start-up. The retreat is the first of its kind in the U.S.
As one of the main drivers of the maternal and postpartum care disparity in the U.S., Nam highlights the lack of universal care. She adds that women have been fumbling their way through postpartum work reentry since they first joined the workforce en masse decades ago without any infrastructural support. Last June, the White House laid out its Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis. Nam also notes the differences in approach to maternal and postpartum care in the U.S. and her native South Korea where retreats like Boram are not uncommon. She says there is a different appreciation for holistic and communal living. She adds that there is also a heavy prioritization of preventive care.
Even so, Nam says it is Boram’s mission to help make postpartum care essential in the United States. And she believes that starts with reframing and reshaping the idea of postpartum care in the public consciousness from being baby-centric to more holistic. And by centering new moms who often get put on the back burner once a baby arrives. “We want to put the focus back on moms,” Nam says.
As a mom of 2, Nam says the idea for The Boram Postnatal Retreat came from a very personal experience. She knew all too well how distressing and overwhelming the postpartum experience can be, even for someone with access to resources and a strong support system. Though she struggled with postpartum depression (PPD) after her first pregnancy, she returned to work only a day after giving birth, and was only able to identify her condition after the fact. And recovery after a C-section with her second child was “incredibly hard” as she also grappled with PPD. She recalls how she was unable to receive care when she felt unwell because she showed no “notable signs” of illness. Through her own experiences and after much research, it became clear that there was a crucial gap between the wealth of information available and getting it to the moms who need it. A gap that Boram Retreat is determined to fill with “structured and dedicated postpartum recovery support.”
Occupying the entire 9th floor of the prestigious Langham, New York, the Boram Postnatal Retreat will be a “cocoon of rest and recovery” and will provide, what Nam says, is the most precious resource to new moms: time. During a 3, 5, or 7-night stay in one of 16 luxurious rooms or suites, a care team made up of postpartum doulas, certified nursing assistants specializing in labor and maternity, pelvic floor physical therapists, mental health practitioners, and IBCLC consultants will be available to not only provide informational support but also to validate the feelings that moms might be having. A validation that Nam says was missing from her own postpartum experiences.
The retreat will also provide 24/7 baby care, allowing the new mom to sleep or simply take time for herself. Three nutritious meals will be served, high in fiber and low in sodium, specifically prepared to nourish a postpartum body. Every detail of the retreat has been designed to help new moms not only recover but feel taken care of.
And recognizing the importance of continued support throughout the postpartum period, each mom is allowed to have one supporting partner in her room or suite. The retreat also provides training for supporting partners so they are better equipped to support the new mom after check-out. In addition, every stay includes a pre-stay workshop on topics such as lactation or infant safety, as well as a follow-up within a week of check-out to ensure the new mom and parents are adjusting well to their new lives.
Nam says prioritizing mothers will always be at the core of Boram’s philosophy. “Some moms cry at check-in because of the immense relief of feeling supported”. She adds, that the Boram Postnatal Retreat is an experience that every mom should be able to have because it sets them up for a strong start to the messy, beautiful journey that is motherhood.