Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Bleeding from placenta

17 June, 2005

Question:

My wife and I would appreciate guidance in the following situation:

My wife is now 22 weeks pregnant. About 3 weeks ago she started having some bleeding. The bleeding was intermittent, i.e. it started and stopped, but was present on and off for about 2 1/2 weeks. The doctor at first thought that it was from a scratch on the cervix, but last week he said that he thought it was coming from the placenta (i.e. within the uterus). Her placenta is slightly covering the cervix.

Three days ago, the bleeding stopped, though my wife hasn't checked with a bidika cloth.

My wife seems to remember having learned that after the first trimester of pregnancy bleeding does not make her a niddah. Is this true? She once got a ruling from a rav that some bleeding during nursing post partum did not make her a niddah because there is a presumption that for pregnant or nursing women bleeding does not make them a niddah, and she feels that the current situation may be similar from a halachic perspective.

Questions:
a) is she a niddah?
b) does she have to go to the mikveh even though she's more than 3 months pregnant?
c) if so, when does she start counting and when does she go to the mikveh?


Answer:

We're sorry to hear of the complications you are facing and wish your wife a smooth pregnancy from now on.

In general, bleeding from the placenta is considered dam koshi, which makes you niddah, and not dam makkah, (bleeding from an injury, which does not).  Your wife is considered a niddah and must immerse in the mikveh.  The process of becoming tehorah does not differ for a pregnant or nursing woman.  Since your wife is well beyond the five days, she should make a hefsek taharah today and begin counting shivah neki'im tonight.  In her case, the bedikot can be done less deeply so they do not touch the cervix. She should gently insert the cloth until the first knuckle, concentrating more on going circumferentially and less on going deeply.

The halachot for pregnant or nursing women only differ with respect to vesatot, anticipated menses.  After three months of pregnancy, for example, the wife ceases to observe onot perishah.  This law may be what your wife remembers.  In this case, no onot perishah would be observed in any case, because the bleeding is due to a distinct medical condition.


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