Pregnancy & fasting on Yom Kippur
12 September, 2007
I'm 6 months pregnant and I am generally healthy. Baruch Hashem I have had no problems until now in my pregnancy.
I understand that im obliged to fast on Yom Kippur and I surely will Be'ezrat Hashem. But if I feel dizzy or if my blood pressure goes down during the service, am I allowed to drink or if necessary eat a small portion?
Waiting eagerly for your reply.
Chag sameach & Shana Tova.
A woman who is pregnant should take care to drink a lot of fluids for a few days prior to the fast to prevent dehydration. Spending the day in bed, and maintaining the fast, is preferable to attending shul and winding up breaking it. However, situations are individual. Depending on the circumstances, it may be either required, permitted, or prohibited for you to fast. If you feel more ill than anticipated during the fast, you should consult with a rabbi about whether you should eat normally, eat or drink in shiurim (small, measured quantities), or fast.
There is some range of opinion about exactly when shiurim should be eaten. It would be best to speak ahead of time with a local rabbi who will be available for consultation during the fast. That way, you can have his general parameters ahead of time, but can also double check with him if need be. If there is a specific medical reason for you not to fast, that should be brought to his attention beforehand.
If you do not have a local rabbi and would like a more detailed ruling from our site's rabbinical supervisor, Rav Yehuda Henkin, please write back, being sure to include any other relevant details.
This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.
For further questions or comments:
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.
Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.