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The Onset of the Niddah Status in Labor

A woman becomes a niddah when her cervix is dilated during the final stages of labor. She is not halachically required to undergo an internal examination to determine the degree of dilation. From the point that she can no longer walk unaided, we assume that her uterus has opened enough to render her a niddah.

Uterine bleeding during labor also renders a woman a niddah. Rabbinic authorities differ about the halachic significance of the water breaking, and of the release of the mucus plug.

If a woman's cervix is dilated by a few centimeters early in labor (or earlier in her pregnancy), but she has not had any bleeding, she does not yet become a niddah.

A woman enters the additional status of yoledet (a woman who gives birth) with the vaginal birth of baby. The laws that apply to a yoledet are basically identical to those for a niddah. Therefore, since she already became niddah during labor, this has little practical significance. (A yoledet may not immerse until 14 days have passed since the birth of a girl, but postpartum bleeding rarely ends soon enough for this to be possible.)

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Information for your Health Care Provider


Click on the link(s) below for related articles from Jewish Women's Health, Nishmat's website for medical professionals. You may find it helpful to share this information with your physician by printing or emailing relevant articles,
or by accessing the site during your appointment.

  Childbirth in Jewish Law

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Related Questions & Answers

  Onset of yoledet status
  Collecting cord blood on Shabbat
  Cord blood banking
  Halachic considerations and VBAC
  Mucus plug
  Waiting 40 or 80 days
  Home birth
  Husband as labor coach
  First-born status
  Induction eight days before fast day
  C-section & pidyon haben
  Bracha on birth of a girl
  Doula on Shabbat
  Husband cutting cord
  Yoledet status & epidural
  Why longer wait after girl?
  Husband's support in labor
  Niddah when C-section
  Birkat Hagomel after childbirth
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