Sisterhood Blog

Fasting While Pregnant?

By Gabrielle Birkner

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Of the four fasts commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples, Tisha B’Av is the only one in which traditional rabbinic authorities don’t widely exempt pregnant and nursing women.

In the following video, posted Tuesday on Web Yeshiva, Rabbi Chaim Brovender — who is not a medical doctor — states that “there is really no reason today that a pregnant woman should not fast, if she’s healthy and if the pregnancy is as it should be.” However, he outlines special precautions for pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers who are fasting:

But an observant-Jewish physician friend of mine — speaking to The Sisterhood as a medical professional, not as a halachic authority — explained, “Twenty-five hours in the height of summer without fluids is not a good thing for a pregnant woman, especially if the woman is experiencing morning sickness and losing water. And for the first week or two of nursing, she needs to be drinking.”


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