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

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Changing white underwear

27 February, 2004

Question:

When I got married, 17 years ago, we just learned how to do bedikos and chafifah.

I occasionally take review/refresher courses, which includes some hashkofo, which I am happy to hear about since I didn't get any years back….. anyway, the kallah teacher said that a lady during Zayin Nekiim should wear white underwear, which I understand….and that she should change them frequently, to avoid staining (which I did not know).

I though that frequent changing was "cheating", but she explained it had to do with stain buildup, so I'm okay with that now………..

Anyway, she said that you should change in the morning, again for the night, and after a shower or exercise. And, if you have staining, you should change again, to avoid a build up. In effect, you should get married with at least two dozen white underpants.

Is that true? Does everyone hold that way? I mean, do you always have to wear the white? During exercise and sleeping and everything? I mean, I sleep in a white nightgown and wear white underwear when I'm dressed & out of the house (I work full time) – isn't that enough?

Thank you VERY much for your help.


Answer:

Wearing white underpants makes staining evident and reflects a woman's awareness that she is in the midst of her shivah neki'im.  Therefore, while she is counting the seven blood-free days, a woman must wear clean white underpants when dressed, including during exercise.  A woman is not required to wear any underpants at night during the shivah neki'im.  However, if she does not wear underpants to sleep, she must sleep on white sheets.  It is customary, but not strictly required, to use white sheets even if she does wear white underpants to sleep.  

If a woman has a chronic problem with staining during her clean days, she may be advised to change her white underwear frequently to avoid a stain that would render her a niddah.  Some women change frequently to avoid any discharge build up that may lead to a question.  (See our article "ketamim" for further details on which stains make a woman a niddah.)  But most women do not change their underwear during the shivah neki'im any more often than they change their underwear at other times of month.


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