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Pidyon haben following miscarriages?

15 January, 2024

Question:

I got pregnant in July with my first pregnancy, a couple months after getting married… that ended with a miscarriage around 4 weeks or so after mikveh. (Counting from last period 6 weeks, I think a few days under 40 days…but hard to say exactly…)

Fast forward to September, I got pregnant again! Just yesterday I went to the doctor for my first check up at 8 weeks…(according to last period, 10 weeks but as we follow taharat mishpacha, I know realistically it was around 8 weeks ago that I conceived! BH).

So I went for the scan and to my surprise, unfortunately, the sac was empty, a yolk sac had slightly developed but not really anything…no embryo. Was diagnosed with Blighted Ovum.

The words echo in my head…”there’s no pregnancy here…”

I then went to the ER…The Dr at the ER told me that because it measures around 14mm or so, it has to measure 20mm to be considered what they call a “blighted ovum” and they told me to go home and come back in a week! 14mm is about 5 weeks pregnant, the sac seemed to have stopped there…

When I got home; I started to bleed pretty heavy, so I felt from my previous experience… this is probably the miscarriage happening. BH HaShem is king and He knows everything, even though it’s tough or painful, I understand as much as I can at this point.

Now after this long story, I wanted to ask something, If my pregnancy went over 40 days, but there is no fetus, would that be Halachically considered a pregnancy and would I have to refrain from doing a pidyon haben if my first child is a boy?
…Bezrat HaShem, or even if there was no fetus, it still is considered a pregnancy?


Answer:

We are so sorry to hear about your recent miscarriages.

The first pregnancy you experienced was under 40 days. We count the 40 days from the night you returned from the mikveh, which was about 4 weeks in your situation. The medical convention is to count weeks of pregnancy from the most recent menstrual period. But halachically, pregnancy is dated from conception, which is usually presumed to be mikveh night.

In the case of your second pregnancy, as there was no embryo it would not preclude you from having a pidyon haben in the future.

You may find that our page on Pregnancy Loss has other helpful resources for you at this time.

May you have a refuat hanefesh and refuat haguf.


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