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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate

Minor fast while nursing a two year old

20 July, 2016


I am a nursing mother to a healthy two year old who eats normally. Can I be exempt from fasting on shiva asar be–tamuz? I am worried that if I fast I will feel weak and it will be difficult to care for my son.


Halachic leniency does apply to nursing women on fast days, but such leniency is generally limited to the first two years of the child's life. If a woman has significant difficulties with fasting, a specific halachic question should be asked.

In a case such as yours, we would encourage you to attempt the fast, perhaps making arrangements in advance to help support you as you care for your son. If you do not feel well, you should contact a halachic authority during the fast to see if you can begin eating. This year, since the fast of Shivah Asar B'Tammuz is delayed from Shabbat to Sunday, there is greater room for leniency in cases in which someone feels ill.

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

Accessibility Toolbar