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Finished neki’im before six week check-up

10 June, 2008

Question:

Three weeks after I gave birth to a son I stopped bleeding completely. I did a hefsek taharah that came out completely clean and I have not bled since. I finished 7 nikiyim a few days ago and have not bled since, although I have stopped doing bedikot for fear of irritation. I did not go the the mikveh because my doctor told me that it's dangerous to take a bath so soon after vaginal delivery. She said it takes 6 weeks for the cervix to completely close and guard the uterus from infection. Until my 6 week check up, she said no baths, no mikveh, no sex.

Do the 7 nikiyim I just finished still count?
Do I only need to do a bedikah before tevilah?
Or, do I have to start over with the hefsek taharah and 7 nikiyim so that they end right before I go the the mikveh?

Thank you for your help.


Answer:

Mazal tov on the birth of your son!

Once a married woman has finished shivah neki'im there is no need for her to do any further bedikot even if she needs to delay going to the mikveh.  This is true until the time of the month that she would expect her next period.  In your case, since a woman after childbirth is assumed halachically not to be expecting a period for a long time, you can rely on your shivah neki'im without needing any more bedikot even though you are not going to the mikveh for a while.

However, while it is true that most physicians feel that relations should be medically avoided for six weeks (and until after a post-partum checkup) many doctors allow bathing and going to the mikveh well before that. Furthermore, you can do your preparation with a shower rather than a bath as long as you are careful to wash your entire body, prepare at home to prevent infection from other women and ask to be the first woman to immerse after the mikveh water is changed. This will markedly minimize the chance of infection. It is sufficient to immerse twice, once before and once after the bracha, even if your minhag is usually to immerse more than that.

Explain to your physician that for mikveh immersion you will not be sitting in the bath but dunking twice in clean water for less than a minute. If you can get permission from your doctor, you can consider going to the mikveh to allow physical contact between you and your husband even if relations would still be off limits.


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