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

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Disclosing pregnancy at 13 weeks

11 September, 2007

Question:

Baruch Hashem, after many years of infertility and IVF treatments, I am finally pregnant. I'm entering week 13, and I'm really showing, being that this is my second pregnancy. I've been trying to cover up as much as I can, and so far no one has noticed, but its becoming bothersome and difficult, since I'm fairly skinny and my stomach is really noticeable. My husband said his Rabbi mentioned about not telling anyone about the pregnancy, and even lying about it if asked within the first trimester. With Chagim coming up and being in contact with lots of friends and family, is there any halachic ruling regarding when to tell about a pregnancy? If someone asks, am I allowed to tell them I am?


Answer:

B'sha'ah tovah!

Halacha assumes that pregnancy is noticeable after three months – generally calculated as ninety days from the last mikveh use, roughly two weeks from where you are now – but does not indicate that one cannot disclose it before that. There is a tendency for women not to tell until the danger of miscarriage has lessened, which is at the end of the first trimester (fourteen weeks calculated from the last menstrual period). Perhaps due to fear of miscarriage, there are also customs not to tell so as not to bring on an "ayin hara" (evil eye).

In certain Chassidic communities, there is a custom not to publicize a pregnancy until the beginning of the fifth month. Even according to this custom, one is allowed to privately inform parents and close relatives. 

We suggest your husband get back in touch with his rabbi to clarify his position.  Your husband could explain that you are showing and could present your feelings as a couple about sharing the news.  In the meanwhile, rest assured that you would not be violating halacha by sharing this information.

Shanah tovah!


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