by moonchild, April 13, 2021

Warning: I did my best in avoiding spoilers to give you the best possible experience if you decide to watch Birthcare Center, but please be aware that since I talk about this drama and its characters, it’s unavoidable to mention a few things that could be considered mild spoilers. So please read with your own discretion. 

This article can be read in dark mode, too. 

The Scriptwriting and Story

Birthcare Center is a rather short K-Drama with 8 episodes. More precisely, it is a miniseries. That is no disadvantage, though, because the story is neat and perfectly told in the 8 hours and 40 minutes of total playtime. There were no loose plot lines in the end, no fillers, and on the contrary, it also didn’t feel rushed. The story was constantly good and kept me interested, ready to see what happens next.

At the same time, the script gave enough focus and screen time to the characters, allowing lots of character growth and telling us about their backgrounds. Worth mentioning: The melodrama in this is integrated in a good way, not overdone to the point of suffocating the viewer, but intense enough to make an impact while watching. It would give away too much of the story to say more, so watch for yourself.

The Characters

Oh Hyun Jin (played by Uhm Ji Won) is a super successful business woman. She soon needs to learn that being a pro in managing your career doesn’t mean you can easily handle a newborn baby and be a perfect mom for the very first time is hard for someone who has absolutely no clue about motherhood. That alone makes her super likeable because it’s easy to relate to her feelings of losing control and inexperience in this whole new world.  

Jo Eun Jung (Park Ha Sun) could be described as a super mom in comparison to Hyun Jin. Having her third child, she is experienced and the role model for every mom in the Center, being the first one everyone goes to for advice. She seems to be perfect. Her shining appearance makes people admire her but also fear her, because no one wants to get on the wrong side of the “Queen Bee”.

Choi Hye Sook (Jang Hye Jin) is the Center manager. Charismatic and ready to guide the moms who arrive at the center, she is the walking encyclopedia in anything related to childcare. She never gets tired of giving advice and telling the mothers what they should do. Her patience is tested when a young mom arrives at the center, though.

Lee Roo Da (Choi Ri) is the most unconventional mom in the center. She does not believe in the unwritten rules of motherhood or childcare and probably always does the opposite of what people advise. With that different mindset, she is facing the manager and others, not afraid to speak out her opinion.

Park Yoon Ji (Im Hwa Young) is quite inconspicuous at first and welcomes Hyun Jin, explaining a couple things to her when she is in need of help and guidance. She knows a lot about childcare and even the inner structure of the Center but is less vocal about it than Eun Jung. 

Kim Do Yoon (Yoon Park) is Hyun Jin’s husband and lost when he discovers that being a mom comes with different obstacles for the father he has to deal with, and love alone can’t solve them all. If I may say so, we all probably want someone like him to be the father of our children. If you watch the drama you’ll know why. Keyword for those who already watched the drama: (baby) stroller

The Cast

I fell head over heels for the female lead, Uhm Ji Won. It was my first drama with her and surely not the last. Her acting is superb and she had me cheering for her during the entire drama. 

Her newest work is the second season of her 2020 drama The Cursed. Another worthy mention in her filmography would be the movie Hope, which is based on a true, heartbreaking story.
Park Ha Sun does a great job in showing her character’s higher class attitude yet also what lies beneath the outer image. 

Fun fact: In 2020, Park Ha Sun also played the lead role in the movie The First Child, a story about a mother with a 14-month old baby who wants to do well in her work and at home, similar to Uhm Ji Won’s role here in Birthcare Center. Her newest project is The Veil (2021).
Jang Hye Jin rocks as the center manager. She is more widely known after starring in the Oscar-winning movie Parasite, and having a Support Role in the acclaimed drama Crash Landing on You. Recently you could see her in True Beauty playing the female lead’s mother.
Choi Ri was a new actress for me but just like Uhm Ji Won, this won’t be the last drama I watch with her. Her refreshing character grew on me and I’m looking forward to more of her works. 

Choi Ri had a support role in Goblin and her first main role in the drama My First First Love. Upcoming works are two movies. 
Im Hwa Young was one who stood out with her acting. She delivered a remarkable performance and I can only say I hope to see her getting more main roles in dramas in the future. In the drama Trap (2019) she had her first main role. Currently it’s quiet around her. 

Yoon Park was in Age of Youth so I knew and liked him already, and he surely did not disappoint me. As previously mentioned, his character in Birthcare Center is also one of those you will like. In 2021, you can see him in You Are My Spring

The Message

Birthcare Center might not look like it but it tells a lot of different things about mother- and parenthood. Starting from how becoming a mother does not automatically mean happiness or how differently one can approach motherhood and find a way that feels right for them. It does not stick to a standard but shows variety and questions what is “normal” in childcare and motherhood, for example if a working mother is a bad mother or having a child means the mother must marry. 

Maybe the drama’s messages seem lecturing at first but lots of them are actually encouraging because the drama does not point fingers but shows realistic angst and worries in diverse situations.

A couple quotes that impressed me:

“My first reaction to the baby was far from my expectations.”

“You may be happy but she’s miserable.”

“Because although I was a mom, I was still a woman, and I wanted to be loved.”

“Everyone is telling me the same thing. That I have to get married because I have a baby.”

“A good mom is not a perfect mom.”

“I personally think we all have different standards when it comes to being happy. If I want to be happy, I should do what’s right for me.”

The Humor

Black Comedy is the used tag and there is indeed black humor in this drama, but just as well you’ll find light-hearted comedy in situations where the female lead refers to herself as a cow because she finds herself being reduced to a milk-producing-being solely living to feed her baby, or the father struggling with his wife’s hormone changes or other seemingly trivial things. Note down Yang Joon Suk (Lee Joon Hyuk) who enriches the story with his hilarious performance. Yes, it’s exaggerating but in a really amusing way.

The Length

With a length of roughly 1 hour per episode and only 8 episodes in total, Birthcare Center is a really good drama to binge watch. If you have the time, you can watch the whole drama in one day or you give it a couple days. Both are possible. I did the second and took a few days to complete it. The story is probably sinking in deeper this way and the watching experience more intense.

The Vibes

My love for sismance started with the drama Age of Youth. Birthcare Center has a more mature cast/character line and topics but both gave me the same vibe of females comforting and supporting each other, which also contains a sense of healing. Birthcare Center includes strong and confident women so if you’re tired of damsels in distress, this is the drama for you.

You reached the end of my third article. I hope you enjoyed reading. 

I am happy if I could pick your interest and convinced you to watch the drama. 

If you have already seen Birthcare Center, I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Please remember to mark as spoiler, though.