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

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Relations in first trimester

18 March, 2009

Question:

Shalom uVracha,
I found out a few days ago via a blood test that i am pregnant (first time).
Is it permissible to have relations at all during the first trimester? I heard that the Talmud doesn't view it positively–that it is not good for mother and baby. Is the Talmud referring to a spiritual or physical negative effect? If physical, has medical research proved differently?
Also, if the woman desires to have relations during her first trimester, how can this be "bad" for her?
Looking forward to your repsonse.
Many thanks


Answer:

B'sha'ah tovah!

Relations are fully permitted throughout pregnancy.  Mitzvat onah – the husband's obligation to his wife to have relations at regular intervals (e.g., a minimum of once a week on leil Shabbat) – is not waived during pregnancy unless she agrees. 

There is a Talmudic statement to the effect that relations in the first trimester are difficult for mother and baby.  It is not clear what is meant by the statement, except that the statement does not have halachic force.  If there is no medical contraindication (and generally, there is not) and if the woman desires relations, they are fully permissible during the first trimester.


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