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

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Minor fast while nursing a two year old

20 July, 2016

Question:

I am a nursing mother to a healthy two year old who eats normally. Can I be exempt from fasting on shiva asar be–tamuz? I am worried that if I fast I will feel weak and it will be difficult to care for my son.


Answer:

Halachic leniency does apply to nursing women on fast days, but such leniency is generally limited to the first two years of the child's life. If a woman has significant difficulties with fasting, a specific halachic question should be asked.

In a case such as yours, we would encourage you to attempt the fast, perhaps making arrangements in advance to help support you as you care for your son. If you do not feel well, you should contact a halachic authority during the fast to see if you can begin eating. This year, since the fast of Shivah Asar B'Tammuz is delayed from Shabbat to Sunday, there is greater room for leniency in cases in which someone feels ill.


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