Yoledet status & epidural
hi. i am just about almost due and i wanted to know what to look out for that will make me nidda. i plan to take an epidural so the "until the contractions are so bad you cant walk" wont really apply cuz i wont be able to know if i could walk or not. thanks for the answer in advance.
Thank you for your question.
Halacha relies on one of three physical signs to determine when a woman is a yoledet, and therefore obligated in all the laws and conduct of niddah:
1. At any point during or even before labor, uterine bleeding will make her niddah.
2. The point at which the contractions are so strong that she can no longer stand.
3. Based on dilation, which is considered petichat hamakor (opening of the uterus). There is a range of opinions on what extent of dilation establishes yoledet status. The opinion of our site's rabbinic supervisor, R Yehuda Henkin is that full dilation establishes yoledet status and there is no requirement to measure dilation.
Since an epidural can be given quite early in the process of labor, and you have no indication of contractions getting stronger, you would rely on parameters one and three. At the point of full dilation, when you are ready to push, you are definitely a yoledet. If you bleed at any time before that, you will be considered a yoledet at that point. Again, this is Rabbi Henkin's postition. Note that other opinions exist in this matter, and you might want to consult with your rabbi about them.
We wish you an easy birth and Besha'ah Tovah!
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