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

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Nail clippings and miscarriage

25 April, 2017

Question:

I lost several pregnancies. Although I am aware there is no single cause, I did read of a source that a pregnant woman should beware of stepping over clippings of fingernails and toenails. Even though I am careful with discarding nails in the toilet, I am wondering if this applies to nowadays, and if it can actually cause a woman to miscarry.


Answer:

We are so sorry to hear of your pregnancy loss.

In general, when a woman has lost more than one pregnancy, it is important to investigate medically what is going on, as by seeing a high-risk pregnancy specialist.  Unfortunately, as a woman ages, miscarriages are medically increasingly likely.

On a religious level, the traditional response would be for the couple to focus on tefillah and acts of chessed. These can be a source of both comfort and hope.

The Talmud does mention that it is dangerous for pregnant women to step over nail clippings. However, that does not mean that a woman will necessarily miscarry from doing so. It is possible that this is something that has changed over time.

Please write back with any further questions.


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