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Expecting Women Going To The Hospital On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Expecting Women 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:

When may a woman who is expecting go to the hospital on Shabbat?


Answer:

Once a woman begins to feel constant contractions (a contraction about every five minutes for about an hour), or if her water breaks[1], it is permitted to call an ambulance or taxi and make her way to the hospital on Shabbat. Even if she is unsure if the contractions will indeed progress, as they sometimes take time and are not always a definite sign of active labor, nevertheless, she may still go to the hospital on Shabbat just to be safe.[2]


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


Sources:

[1]. Once a woman’s water breaks it can be an immediate sakanah for the baby, and one should go to hospital without delay.

[2]. Torat HaYoledet, pp. 49-50. If one lives far away from a hospital, one may even begin to go to the hospital when the contractions are ten minutes apart. Furthermore, a woman who is giving birth for the first time usually can take longer to get to the hospital than a woman who has already given birth once before. Similarly, very intense pressure in the ninth month can also be a sign of the beginning of birth and a woman who feels this should try to lie down for ten minutes and see if the pressure subsides. If it does not, then she should go to the hospital. Very intense feelings of weakness or high fever should also be looked at by a doctor and one should also go to the hospital to ensure that everything is okay. (See Torat HaYoledet, pp. 51-53.)


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