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Inducing Labor On Erev Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Inducing Labor On Erev 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 one induce a labor on erev Shabbat?


Answer:

Especially on erev Shabbat, one may not induce labor unless a doctor explicitly orders it for the safety of either the mother or child.[See Footnote 1] Similarly, if one is advised to undergo a caesarean section, one should wait until after Shabbat to do the procedure if there is no danger in waiting.[2]

Unless it is an emergency, a planned delivery [when permitted, such as a woman who can only deliver through a caesarean section] should not be scheduled for Thursday or Friday, as no elective surgery may be scheduled on those days.[3]


Adapted From R' Yonatan Nacsons "Laws Of Shabbat".

Sources:

[1]. Mishneh Halachot 8:54 & 9:184; Taharat HaBayit, vol. 2, p. 54; Shevet HaLevi 6:128; Orchot Rabbenu, vol. 1, p. 161; Emet LeYaakov 331:3; Mishneh Halachot 8:54; Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 2, 1:17; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah, 32:33; Torat HaYoledet, p. 21. See also Orchot Shabbat, vol. 2, 20:69 and Tzitz Eliezer 12:43.

It is always advised to consult a rabbi in such situations, as there may be many factors to consider that one is not aware of. In general, there are several issues with inducing labor. They include: According to Kabballah inducing at an early time may be a bad mazal for the child. It is also possible to miscalculate the time of conception and erroneously assume that the pregnancy is full term when it is, in fact, in its eighth month. Inducing birth would thus cause the baby to be born prematurely (Emet LeYaakov, O.C. 331:5). Furthermore, the Igrot Moshe, Y.D. 2:74 and O.C. 4:105-6 states that even though giving birth on schedule is considered a “life threatening” situation, nevertheless it is the natural way of giving birth. However, when a woman gives birth before her time, she may be placing herself in a dangerous situation.

The Torat HaYoledet, pp. 24-26 lists several reasons when inducing labor would be permitted:

1. When there is a danger to either the mother or baby. 2. If the pregnancy has complications and a specific doctor is needed and is only available at a certain time. 3. After 42 weeks, if the doctor says that there is a need to induce labor.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 322.

[3]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 322; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 32:33, and in footnote 97; Shulchan Shelomo 248:3. If, however, the doctor’s surgery day is only on one of those days, it is permitted. See also Halachah Berurah, vol. 13, p. 372 and Orchot Maran, vol. 3, p. 42.


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