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Doula Going To The Hospital On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Doula Going To The Hospital On Shabbat


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

May a husband go with a wife in the car to the hospital on Shabbat?

May a doula/labor coach go to the hospital on Shabbat?


Answer:

A woman who is in labor may, and should, be accompanied by her husband, a relative or friend whom she feels comforted by. This person may even ride along with her in the ambulance or taxi. Even if the woman does not ask for someone to come along with her, nevertheless, someone should go with her to help her remain calm and tend to her needs while she is in the hospital.[1] One may also call a labor coach to assist in the birth, even if there is sufficient staff at the hospital and, technically, she is not needed.[2] If there is no room in the car for a person to accompany the woman in labor, one may ask a non-Jew to drive him to the hospital in a separate car. [3]


Adapted From R’ Yonatan Nacsons “Laws Of Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 315-316


Sources:

[1]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 320; Yabia Omer, vol. 9, 108:179; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 217. See also Be’er Moshe, vol. 6, Kuntres Electric 51; Shevet HaLevi 3:36; vol. 6, 38:4; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 36:8; Chut Shani, Shabbat, vol. 4, p. 243 who state that someone may even come along if she does not request for someone to come. See also Igrot Moshe, O.C. vol. 1, siman 132 and in Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 36:23. Minchat Yitzchak 8:30-1 adds that the person going along may also bring with him basic food necessities that will be required on Shabbat.

[2]. This is permitted for several reasons: 1. The labor coach’s assistance during labor will allow the mother to heal from labor or deliver quicker (Biur Halachah 328:4). 2. The labor coach helps ensure that the hospital staff will provide proper care. 3. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah 40:70 adds that it is permitted to have a labor coach if the woman in labor may be frightened to go through the labor without her coach. See also Torat HaYoledet, p. 70; Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah 36:11; Orchot Shabbat, vol. 2, 20:90.

[3]. Nishmat Avraham 330:4; Yad LaYoledet, p. 42 in the name of Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Sheinberg.


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