This Postnatal Retreat Offers the Kind of Postpartum Pampering Every New Parent Needs – Kveller
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This Postnatal Retreat Offers the Kind of Postpartum Pampering Every New Parent Needs


Photo credit Mickey Kong Law

Walk into Boram Postnatal Retreat, a posh postpartum center located inside a five-star hotel on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, and the first thing you’ll notice is the quiet. 

It feels tranquil and soothing, thanks to the plush, vanilla-colored carpeting and guest rooms appointed in shades of fawn and cream. In each room, a custom, pale-wood bassinet lies at the foot of a king-sized bed, with a newborn-size outfit that appears to be knit of undyed cotton, with a tiny “b,” for Boram, embroidered on the kimono top. 

The main attraction, however, is the attention given to moms and newborns, including constant support from Boram’s care associates. All are either doulas, certified nursing assistants or registered nurses with extensive postpartum hospital experience. The center has a nursery, 24/7 access to lactation consultants, and workshops on everything from successful breastfeeding to baby safety. 

Welcome to the world of postnatal pampering, where new mothers worn out from giving birth have a chance to recover, rest and relax a bit while bonding with their newborns before returning to the hustle-bustle of life at home.

Though unusual in the United States, postnatal retreats are the norm in many cultures around the world. In South Korea, women regularly go for average stays of two weeks, getting cared for while their bodies heal and they get used to taking care of their new child. 

In the American Jewish community, postpartum retreats are most common in the haredi Orthodox world, where recovering mothers in places like New York’s Rockland County, Brooklyn and Lakewood, New Jersey, go for a few days of respite before returning to homes often filled with other young children. 

Postpartum hotels are increasingly popular in Israel, too, and luxury postpartum retreats are burgeoning in England, France, Portugal and elsewhere.

Boram Postnatal Retreat is named for its founder, Boram Nam, who created it with husband Suk Park after having their two children. Overwhelmed and exhausted, she envied her friends in South Korea who got to stay at postpartum hotels.

The New York facility opened on Mother’s Day weekend this past May. While there are some other postpartum facilities in the area, including in the Chinese and Korean communities in Queens, none come close to Boram’s level of pampering, according to Melissa Kotlen, who worked as a labor and delivery nurse in a large New York hospital before moving to Boram. In addition to being a registered nurse, Kotlen is a certified lactation consultant. 

While touring Boram Postnatal Retreat, which occupies the ninth floor of the Langham Hotel, I met Meredith Wing, a visual artist and social media influencer from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, who was there after the birth of her second daughter, week-old Eliza Blume, or Izzy. 

The night before, after nursing Izzy at 4:30 A.M., an exhausted Meredith summoned a Boram care associate to take Izzy to the nursery. That allowed Meredith to get seven uninterrupted hours of much-needed sleep.

The next day, little Izzy seemed to be content being swaddled by her dad, Mike Lazar, who wrapped her like a pro, leaving her plump-cheeked face and head of dark hair peeking out. A couple of days later, the couple left baby Izzy in the nursery and took their 3-year-old daughter Parker out for some big-sister attention in a nearby park.

Women and their newborns who come to Boram stay for a minimum of three nights, and up to a month. First-time moms generally arrive straight from the hospital, where women who have had a healthy birth sometimes leave after just one night. Anyone with a baby up to 6 weeks old is welcome.

Rates range from five nights for $3,750 to seven nights for $5,000, and Boram has five suites and 11 superior rooms. The company is in talks with major corporations and law firms about offering a Boram Postnatal Retreat stay as an employee benefit, according to Sarah Mallin, Boram’s director of operations. 

While Boram’s price might seem high, hiring a private night nurse to come to one’s home can cost as much as $600 per night, and lactation consultants may charge over $1,000 for a few visits. At Boram, those things are included in the stay.

Guests get three nutritious, restaurant-style meals prepared in a dedicated kitchen designed to accommodate their specific dietary needs and preferences, and a lounge offers unlimited snacks and beverages. The Boram floor of the Langham Hotel is accessible only by those with a swipe pass, and the crib-filled nursery is locked and staffed at all times. A camera above each baby’s head allows parents to look in on their new additions anytime via a mobile app.

While I am distant from my own postpartum days (my three children are in their 20s), God knows that I would have loved to have stayed in a place like Boram. I had no local family support, major nursing challenges and a c-section for my first birth. I oscillated between joy and struggling with postpartum depression, and it would have been wonderful to start out rested and supported rather than stressed and worn out. It definitely would have made a better beginning for their little lives, and for mine as their mother.

Kotlen said she hopes places like Boram become the norm in America. The facility is already considering opening up another location on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

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