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As a pregnant woman, how will I fast for Yom Kippur?

by Mrs. Dinka Kumer

  

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Question: My husband and I recently found out we will soon be blessed with another child. What do you suggest can help me through the fast this year? Shanah tovah, Dinah


Answer: As long as your pregnancy presents no risks (thank G-d) you will almost surely be required to fast1 . If you are in doubt, please consult a qualified Orthodox Rabbi and include your doctor's medical advice along with your question to the Rabbi.2


 



The most important suggestion I have is to drink up well in two days before the fast. From my own Yom Kippur while pregnant fasts, I personally stress not doing anything that will weaken you and cause you to have to break your fast (which, again, can only be done with permission by a Rabbi). Depending where you live and the weather, keep your home temperature comfortable so you don't spend any energy on cooling off or staying warm, too. Use scented oils to prevent any nausea. Completing the fast is more important than attending synagogue services. If you need to spend the day home and pray while sitting on your easy chair, or in bed, then that is what G-d wants you to do at this time in your life, and it's something you can be proud of!

May you and yours be sealed for a good and sweet new year and a healthy new baby!



P.S. A year from now, G-d willing, you may be a nursing mom, so let me also suggest all the above once again (drinking before the fast and resting during the fast), as well as having a pre-expressed bottle (or few) for your baby to drink, so you can retain your own fluids during the fast. You may see that post Yom Kippur it takes your system a day or two to regain its nursing equilibrium which is normal and expected, so just keep up the drinking after the fast ends! 


Footnotes

  • 1. For three days after giving birth, a woman is considered 'in danger' according to halachah. If this is your situation, please contact your local Orthodox Rabbi to find out whether you may fast at all, even on Yom Kippur or Tishah B'Av.
  • 2. This same rule applies in regards to Tishah B'Av.

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Holidays » Yom Kippur
Women & Judaism
Holidays » Yom Kippur » About
Women & Judaism » Women's Mitzvot » Obligations/ Exemptions

Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement. This late-autumn high-holiday is the holiest day of the year. We devote this day to repentance and all healthy adults are required to fast.
Dinah
Daughter of Leah and Jacob. She was abducted by Shechem, but was rescued through the heroism of her brothers Shimon and Levi
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.