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

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Must one fast after baby is weaned?

27 September, 2005

Question:

I have 4 kids B"H, aged 1,3,4,6. I am no longer breast feeding, I have just stopped recently. I am a terrible faster. I got whatever help I could to manage through Tisha B'Av and Yom Kippur, but now I am dreading fasting on zom gdalya etc. I am home with my two youngest and am full care taker for all of them, my husband works and travels alot.

I just feel like I can't manage to fast and take care of my kids! I have no family where I live. Is there anything I could rely on not to fast? I know fasting is an important aspect of Judaism, but so is having kids, how could I be expected to fast and neglect them, too ill to care for them?

Thanks for your answer. I find your site delightful.


Answer:

There is a difference of opinion as to whether a nursing woman who feels well should try to fast on Tzom Gedaliah even though she is not required to. The Rema seems to indicate that the custom is to fast if it is not too difficult for her. However, the Mishneh Brurah states that a nursing woman who feels any weakness should not fast. 

A woman such as yourself, who is within two years of childbirth, falls under the halachic definition of a nursing woman whether or not she is still actively nursing. Therefore, you should not fast on minor fast days.


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