Nursing and Fasting on Yom Kippur - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 09-14-2002, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! My son is almost 11 months KA"H and i'm still nursing fully...I fasted on Tisha B'Av and had to break the fast just three hours before the end...my lactation consultant told me that women would be in the desert for 3 days and still were able to nurse their babies...implying that it's all in the head...Still I could use some chizuk (encouragement) on the issue, anyone been there done that that can give me some?

Easy fast to all and gmar chatima tovah,
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#2 of 24 Old 09-14-2002, 08:08 PM
 
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Sorry I don't have any experience, the only thing I know about the issue is that in Islam, nursing mother's are exempt from fasting during Ramadan.
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#3 of 24 Old 09-14-2002, 11:28 PM
 
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I too was told that nursing and pregnant moms were exempt.
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#4 of 24 Old 09-15-2002, 12:40 AM
 
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Couple of issues. First is that if going out to shul on Yom Kippur makes you tired or really hungry/thirsty, then it's better to stay home.

Second, it's a case-by-case thing. As a general rule, there's no automatic heter (exemption) for nursing, but I've heard of people who have gotten one.

For pregnancy it's also not an automatic heter. If you ask your doctor/midwife and s/he tells you not to fast, then there you go, you're not to fast. My doctor has always forbidden me to fast when pregnant, and our rav has said the same, since I've got a history of multiple miscarriages. But it's very common for pregnant women not to fast.

I've heard that Sephardi women don't fast when nursing. Any Sephardi mamas here to confirm/deny that?

Really, it depends on your rav (if you've got one) and not the lactation consultant. Though that's very nice & inspiring what she said, the dor ha'midbar (generation in the desert) also ate mana that fell from the sky. We're just not on the level, you know?

Anyway, on a side note, just to maybe inspire a little ... my Rebbe z'l used to say that we don't eat on Tisha B'Av because we're so broken and in mourning that we can't bear to eat. But on Yom Kippur we're like the angels (and angels presumably don't eat), so who needs to eat??

Blessing y'all with a heavenly and light-filled Yom Kippur ...



- Amy
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#5 of 24 Old 09-15-2002, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Amy! While pregnant I fasted Tisha B'Av and Yom Kippur without a problem, halachically only a really sick person or a woman who gave birth within 3 days of YK are excempt from fasting...my Rav says I have to fast...Hey my mother nursed three kids while fasting on YK so G-d willing I should be able to make it too...

Easy fast to all!

Chani
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#6 of 24 Old 09-15-2002, 04:44 AM
 
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Just seconding what Amy said and wishing all the fasting mamas an easy fast.

Remember that fasting and the other things we refrain from are most important on YK. Along with davening and keeping your kids safe. Shul, for a mother of small children is not the priority.

-BelovedBird

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#7 of 24 Old 09-16-2002, 10:54 AM
 
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This thought is starting to wiggle its way into my brain--Ramadan is coming soon again. I have a few days to make up before it begins.

Many pg and nursing women actually fast through Ramadan, too. It's up to the woman's discretion whether she can or not--and we are to make up missed days before the next Ramadan. I'm still nursing, but I will fast this Ramadan, inshallah.

I am wondering how my Jewish sisters fast? We abstain from food, drink, etc. (including sex and arguing) from dawn to sunset.

Blessings for your holy times!
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#8 of 24 Old 09-16-2002, 01:16 PM
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I'm not Jewish or Muslim, but I'd think that Yahwah/Allah/theGreatWhatAm would want you to do the best thing for your baby. Eat and drink what you need to prevent lightheadedness, dizziness, etc. I'll do the time for you if He's got issues with it.

With respect......
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#9 of 24 Old 09-16-2002, 03:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Moon
I'm not Jewish or Muslim, but I'd think that Yahwah/Allah/theGreatWhatAm would want you to do the best thing for your baby. Eat and drink what you need to prevent lightheadedness, dizziness, etc. I'll do the time for you if He's got issues with it.

With respect......
With respect, hashem tells us in the torah that we must fast on Yom kippur. Anybody with personal health issues should take it up with their doctor and Rabbi.

UmmNuh-
On most [minor] fast days we only refrain from eating and drinking and nursing or pregnant women are exempt. Tisha B'Av is a bit more strict than that. On Yom Kippur we refrain from 5 things, they are food & drink, washing, annointing, sex, and wearing [leather] shoes.

If, Inshalla you do fast on Ramadan, I hope it is an easy one. (Do you wish that in Islam?

All the best

-BelovedBird

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#10 of 24 Old 09-16-2002, 06:54 PM
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Beloved Bird,

I just can't believe that any diety would want an unborn baby or a mother whose body is working hard to do without.

I was trying to keep it light, and it wasn't my intention to offend you.

Live and let live, eh?
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#11 of 24 Old 09-16-2002, 08:24 PM
 
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Thanks, BB--I am sure there is no harm in wishing ease in fasting! And well wishes certainly do add ease! I am looking forward again to the fast. I need it. I should learn Jewish fasting days in advance...I wonder whether we might perhaps benefit from fasting together...for me, it increases empathy for fellow creatures...

Moon, no offense taken--I understand your concern. A pg/bfing mama, when fasting, will take precautions to stay nourished, rested and hydrated as possible. Usually, with fasting comes quiet and contemplation as opposed to hard and vigorous work. Also something pg/bfing mamas need from time to time.

Much love.
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#12 of 24 Old 09-16-2002, 09:16 PM
 
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Moon, honey, you go ahead and believe whatever you want. Fasting is not dangerous to a normal, healthy pregnant or nursing mother or baby. Where there is any danger, as I said above an authority should be consulted, in that case, one is not *permitted* to fast. My DH has only one kidney, etc. and is not allowed to fast. I fasted for 25 hours just now with no ill affects on my baby and no decrease in my milk supply.... I have fasted while pregnant and while nursing as well as occasionally not fasted because I was nursing or pregnant, because of different circumstances.

All the best.

-BelovedBird

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#13 of 24 Old 09-17-2002, 12:50 AM
 
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UmmNuh, the minor fasts are approximately dawn to sunset, there are 4 of those (plus an extra for 1st-born sons the day before Passover, and some who fast on Mondays or Thursdays ... but not really relevant to women). The 2 "biggies" of Tisha B'Av (usually end of July or beginning of August) and Yom Kippur are from approximately sunset to sunset, 25 hours.

Also, the fast is abstaining from eating and drinking. Nothing. Nada. Complete fast.

I haven't done the minor fasts since I started having babies, and the major ones I do when I'm not pregnant.

The major fasts have two different "energies," like I mentioned in my 1st post here. Tisha B'Av is all mourning, and is really a difficult fast, very heavy. But Yom Kippur I rarely have trouble with, b'H (thank G-d) and actually enjoy it. It feels very cleansing ...

Moon, no offense taken. I've just fasted 25 hours, like BB, and I'm tandem nursing a 2.5yo and a 6mo, and had plenty of milk all the way through. Very tiring, though, and did not go to shul (synagogue). Spent a lot of the day on the floor, on the couch ... however I could manage being prone ...

And we agree that The One Above and Everywhere would not want us to harm our children. That's why Jewish law mandates that if you have any questions, you ask a rav (rabbi). Their job is not to make life difficult for you, but to help you achieve whatever spiritual level you're aiming for ...

- Amy
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#14 of 24 Old 09-17-2002, 05:20 PM
 
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In my case, I did not fast. I already have serious milk supply issues which I take drugs for and notice a serious drop in my supply with only a slight decrease in eating and drinking, so there is no way I was risking it this year (or last) Perhaps next year will be different. (Of course I also have thyroid problems which makes fasting not recommended, so I have 2 strikes against me on that count)
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#15 of 24 Old 09-17-2002, 05:23 PM
 
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Thank you all for letting me eavesdrop on this conversation. I learned a lot.
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#16 of 24 Old 09-17-2002, 08:42 PM
 
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*sign* I tried to fast, alas I got a terrible migraine early afternoon and had some water/bread. I think it was maybe the lack of coffee, but I don't know.

Though I feel great today, 'reborn' in a way and ready to go get some cornhusks for the sukkah.

shalom
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#17 of 24 Old 09-17-2002, 09:02 PM
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UmmNuh, thank you for your gracious response, I appreciate it.

Beloved Bird, I didn't say I believed short fasts to be harmful, please don't put words in my mouth. I just don't think they are *optimal* for pregnant women and their babies.
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#18 of 24 Old 09-18-2002, 01:21 AM
 
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On just a practical note, a tip that someone once told me is to have a glass of fluid every hour for the day before the fast. I find that when I do this I have a much easier fast. In Israel they sell herbal tinctures that help you to retain fluid that help as well, but I don't know what is in them off hand (marshmallow root is the only thing that comes to mind).
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#19 of 24 Old 09-18-2002, 02:09 AM
 
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Mom2Five(Six) ... a practical solution, yes. I always did that even before motherhood.

Which is why I almost always missed Kol Nidre by having to run to the bathroom every ten minutes ...



- Amy
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#20 of 24 Old 09-18-2002, 06:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by amyrpk
Mom2Five(Six) ... a practical solution, yes. I always did that even before motherhood.

Which is why I almost always missed Kol Nidre by having to run to the bathroom every ten minutes ...



- Amy
I know what you mean about the bathroom thing! I missed Kol Nidre, though because the children were not cooperative

But that is not my job, right, being in shul, as a Mama?

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#21 of 24 Old 09-23-2002, 03:37 PM
 
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Wow, it feels like forever since I've been to this wonderful little dot.commune! Just wanted to add my $.02 to this conversation. I have not fasted for a long time - due to pregnancy and nursing (last year I was tandem nursing, to boot!). I've always had a very hard time fasting too - headaches, etc.

This year I fasted. It was actually wonderful - I drank a TON the 2 days before the fast and stopped my coffee/caffeine intake a week before the fast (gradually stopped the caffeine for a week before that week, too). I had no problem with the fast at all - I nursed throughout the night and day, as well. I even managed to go to Kol Nidre, shul during the day, and even Neila! Another help was the nice big shluff in the middle, too.

Chag Sukkot Sameach to all!
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#22 of 24 Old 09-23-2002, 05:49 PM
 
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me&3, thanks for the practical advice/experience. I will file it in my head for next year!
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#23 of 24 Old 09-24-2002, 10:12 AM
 
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My pleasure!
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#24 of 24 Old 09-25-2002, 01:01 PM
 
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I fasted for the first time in three years (pg, nursing, pg in that order) this year I am nursing a 30 month old and a 15 month old but they are a little old to be my excuse LOL

The fast was actually very easy

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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