High-Risk Pregnancy

When Tisha B’Av comes, I will be in my eighth month of pregnancy. My pregnancy has been a bit risky, and my doctor is concerned that fasting will induce early labor for me. Should I still try to fast?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

In general, pregnant and nursing women should fast on Tisha B'Av (unlike the minor fast days where the common custom is that they do not fast). However, if fasting poses a danger for either the mother or the fetus, she may eat.

Note that since the issue is one of sickness, you may eat as regular – and not in small portions as is preferred for those who must eat on Yom Kippur. (At times when one must eat as a precaution, this will be recommended on 9 Av as well.) You should, however, eat only simple foods and only enough to keep up your health. (Source: Shulchan Aruch O.C. 554:5.)

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