Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Niddah During Pregnancy from Medical Checkup


Okay, onto the exciting part of the evening.

My wife is expecting our first child next month, which means that she is in her 9th month of our pregnancy.

Tonight her doctor did a test to see whether she ever had strep throat, because if she did, she might pass that to the baby during labor and birth which could be dangerous to the baby.

However, when she was doing the procedure, my wife felt a bit of pressure because the doctor cut my wife inside her vaginal area. Later, my wife was urinating, and after checking the toilet paper, she saw blood. "Houston, we have a problem," she said.
Normally, religious women who are in a Tahara [ritual purity] state don't look at what comes out of them from that area because if it is blood, then she might be in a state of Niddah [ritual impurity]. The presumption is that if blood comes from the vagina, then regardless of whether it came from the vaginal walls or the uterus, she is Niddah. Pregnant women as a general rule do not get their period, therefore they do not enter the state of Niddah. However, after my wife bled from her cut, the situation was different.
We called the local rabbi and my mashpia, and after a few phone calls, my wife and I understood the situation: she is now 9 months pregnant and is in a state of Niddah. So now we have to wait 5 days, and then she does a Hefsek Tahara, where she begins counting 7 clean days using a bedika cloth. After counting 7 clean days, she goes to the mikveh [ritual bath]... or by then the delivery room.

The interesting thing about the timing of this is that the laws of family purity (Taharas HaMishpacha) help a couple bond and become closer through their physical distance from each other. By not being permitted to sleep in the same bed, to cuddle, or even to be intimate, the couple becomes sensitized to each other and as a result, they become closer. By not being able to touch, when they are allowed to touch again, the feelings get heightened and more exciting.

Our situation is that my wife got pregnant immediately after our wedding, so after our first time being separated after the wedding, we never had to count days of cleanliness, and we never had to separate for purposes of Taharas HaMishpacha more than once. Thus, intimacy became the norm and being able to touch each other whenever we wanted lost some of it's forbidden pleasure. Thank G-d now, right before the baby is born when my wife will have entered a Niddah state upon the baby's birth and we will have had to be separate for six weeks, after she goes through this cycle of becoming Tahara, we will IY"H have around a week and a half to be together physically before she gives birth to our first child.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I could not hold back from hearing your situation and the pesakim (rulings) you received from your rabbis.
A women who is pregnant after 3 months enters a status of mesulekes damim (presumption she will not menstruate). The blood that your wife saw was blood from a wound (dam makka) and is not tameih (causing a woman to enter niddah). Given that your wife knows she has a wound and this is not menstrual blood (given that she is in her 9th month of pregnancy!!!) the blood she saw while wiping will not make her a niddah. The rav must have misunderstood your question because there is no way in this case your wife is a niddah. Wounds will almost never bring about niddah status, especially a pregnant woman. See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah Siman 187 and end of 189. See this and all the poskim after him - the pesak is clear - your wife is not a niddah.
Besha'ah tovah, be'ezras Hashem it should be a healthy baby that will grow up leTorah, lechupah u'lma'asim tovim.
-Moshe

Zoe Strickman said...

Moshe,

Your comment caused me to go back to the Rabbi. Upon telling him that she felt pain when she was wounded, he exclaimed, "that changed the whole situation!"

You were right - I never mentioned to him that she felt pain when she was wounded. That, plus the fact that she saw the blood on toilet paper which is not cloth broke the presumption of Niddah that was once there. The response by the Rabbi was that she was not Niddah, and I thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

I had the same situation when I was in my 9th month. My husband went to the local Rosh Yeshivah and told him all of the details, at which time he ruled I was not in niddah. About a year later, my sister-in-law was pregnant, and I mentioned the situation to her. She almost fell over. She told me she had a problem pregnancy and had a lot of exams, and a lot of spotting, and spent half of her pregnancy thinking she was in niddah. It's so important to write down every aspect of your question before approaching a rav. Mazel Tov on your new baby.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, spotting CAN be a sign of nidah, during pregnancy. I am convinced that the laws of nidah saved my child's life. When doctors said we could resume relations, but the rabbi said we needed to wait... a twin pregnancy where one -absorbed and the life of the other was hanging in the balance. All too frequent -- a cause of much bleeding during pregnancy. THE MAIN THING IS NEVER TO PASKEN FOR OURSELVES, AND CERTAINLY NOT BASED ON A BLOG -- for all that it helped in this situation, where the author went to his rav with the complete facts, which were missing the 1st time. ALWAYS ASK A RAV -- EVEN WHEN YOU THINK IT'S "THE SAME SITUATION." THE RAV IS OUTHE SITUATION (NOT NOGEIAH B'DAVAR) AND SEES MORE CLEARLY.