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

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Tisha B’Av postpartum

6 May, 2014

Question:

If a woman gives birth more than 30 days before tisha b'av (let's say 32–35 days), does she still have to fast? What if she will feel lightheaded, or if the baby is nursing and she feels her milk supply would go down?


Answer:

Once a postpartum mother is more than 30 days after birth she is required to fast on Tisha B'Av. If there are any specific concerns about the mother's or baby's condition and the effect fasting will have, she should consult with her doctor and discuss the doctor's concerns with a rabbinic authority.

She should prepare before the fast by drinking significant amounts of water (beyond the normal amount needed for a breastfeeding mother) for a number of days leading up to the fast. She should rest during the fast as much as possible, staying indoors in a cool or air conditioned room. She should arrange help with her newborn as well as any other children.

If she feels ill beyond the usual headache and lethargy associated with fasting, she may begin drinking (any liquid, not just water). If drinking does not help her recover somewhat, she may eat as necessary. 

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.

B'Hatzlacha!


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