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How soon after birth can sexual relations be resumed?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Life Cycle » Birth » The Laws | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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The Torah says1 that marital relations are forbidden for one week after giving birth to a boy and after two weeks after a girl. After that period of time the woman may go to the Mikvah and resume intimate relations for another 33 days for a boy and 66 days for a girl -- even if she sees blood (during these days any blood is called "dam tohar" - pure blood).

A woman remains impure after childbirth untill she has seven clean days (which usually takes between 4-10 weeks)
After this period, the flow of blood would once again cause the woman to be ritually impure.

Due to technical reasons (some women are "yoledet b'zov"), the rabbis instituted that even during the 40 (or 80) day period of purity a woman who sees blood should abstain from all sexual relations.

Therefore, practically speaking, a woman remains impure after childbirth until she has seven "clean" days (this usually takes between 4-10 weeks).

Footnotes

  • 1. Leviticus chapter 12.

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Life Cycle » Marriage » Family Purity » The Laws

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Mikvah
A ritual bath where one immerses to become spiritually pure. After her menstrual cycle, a woman must immerse in the Mikvah before resuming marital relations.