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Induction eight days before fast day

28 February, 2009

Question:

I am one week past my due date (41 weeks) and my doctor wants to induce me this Monday (that is if the baby has not come already).

This Monday is 6 Adar – which means that if the baby is a boy, the brit milah will be on Taanit Esther.

We don't know the gender of the child so it may not matter, but once we're planning to induce the baby should we ask the doctor if it can wait another day to avoid the potential problem of having to arrange a seudat mitzvah on Taanit Esther?

On another note – part of inducing labour may require the doctor to break my waters if it does not happen naturally. I've read that this might bring on niddah, or that it depends on the instrument used. Please could you clarify this for me?


Answer:

BeSha'ah tovah!

The time to induce the childbirth is really a medical decision and thus not affected by the potential of having a brit milah on Ta'anit Esther.  In such a case, the father, sandak, and mohel eat the seudat mitzvah after the brit.  (The mother is permitted to eat because she gave birth!)  The seudah for the rest of the guests is pushed off to the evening.

Whether the waters' breaking brings on niddah status is a matter of dispute.  Our rabbinic supervisor, Rav Yehuda Henkin, holds that it does not make a woman a niddah on its own unless there is attendant bleeding. 

For all procedures that enter the uterus, the size of the instrument that enters is also important. Instruments larger than a certain size render a woman niddah even if there is no bleeding. Opinions as to this size vary.  R Henkin rules that an instrument with a diameter of 19mm or more would make a woman niddah


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