Pregnancy & Birth
They can be bought in most pharmacies. Additionally, they can be bought confidentially in the following apartments in the electric box for 5 shekel a piece:
- Mishmar Hagvul 1/8
- Sderot Eshkol 12/5
- Ramat Hagolan 9/12
- Maalot Dafna 139/10
- Sanhedria Murchevet 132/3 and 109/7.
You could also get them from Lev Nosson Tzvi Pregnancy Test Gemach. Below is a short list of apartments that have them. To get a full list you could e-mail them confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Yamsuf 1 – 1 and ½ flights up
- Yamsuf 13A – 3 flights up
- Maavar Hamitla 3A – 2 flights up
- Mishmar Hagvul 10B – 1 ½ flights up
- Sderot Eshkol 16 – 4th floor.
- 104B – top floor
- 124 – 3rd floor
- 101 – 1 ½ flights up
- 136A – 4th floor.
(Please note that although pregnancy tests are pretty accurate, they should not be relied on entirely especially early on in the pregnancy.)
It is advisable to make an appointment as soon as you know you are pregnant because there is often a wait to get an appointment. However, generally, you do not need to go before the 12th week. When using a Meuchedet doctor, be informed that you can only use a maximum of 2 different OB’s per cycle (every three months.) For private appointments, find out if your American insurance would cover a visit here. Additionally, if you are on Meuchedet Adif or C, you get reimbursed for four private appointments per year (ask the doctor for a receipt.) We do not take responsibility for any of the doctors or labor coaches, it is merely a list of the OB/GYN’s commonly used and recommended by the English-speaking community.
- Dr. Baruch (Male) 02-566-8888 (Private only, has appointments in Yerushalayim, delivers in Laniado Hospital, Netanya)
- Dr. Plotkin (Male) 050-868-5467 (Private, Sharay Tzedek)
- Dr. Yannai (Female) 02-567-0703 (Private, Hadassah Ein Kerem)
- Dr. Schreiber – (Female) 02-653 6854. (Private, Bikur Cholim)
- Dr. Pineles (Male) 02-624-8828/ 050-566-0031 (Accepts Meuchedet, Bikur Cholim)
- Dr. Malkiel (Female) Make an appointment through Meuchedet. Hard to get an appt. and sets up all appointments for the full nine months.
- Dr. Sella– (Male) 050-691-8455 (Private, Sharay Tzedek)
Joani Abelman: 050 584 8887 or 02 678 7102.
Ita Schwartz: 052-716-7881
Gitty Marilis: 058-328-5144
Masha Fabian: 02-538-6725
Sara Grossman: 02 540 1497
Lisa Selig: 052 860-0368 (Childbirth Educator, Doula, Lactation Consultant)
Rina Grant is a midwife in Bikur Cholim hospital. She gives birthing classes but is not a doula. 058-325-7394/02-582-0368
You will need to register in the hospital before you give birth. Some hospitals require you to go in person while others allow you to register by fax. You could also take a tour of the hospital if you choose. Below are the numbers to reserve a spot in the tour. It is recommended to ask your doctor, doula, and Rav before choosing where to deliver.
- Bikur Cholim -02-646-4250
- Hadassa Ein Kerem– 02-677-8844
- Hadassa Har Tzofim– 02-584-4304
- Shaarei Tzedek– 02-666-6255
Birthing Guide By Dena Peiser, Birthing Coach
Finding the Best Hospital for YOU + Super Helpful Packing Lists
Choosing a hospital can get tricky. Every hospital has its pros and cons. Not only that but what may be perfect for you, maybe a con for your friend. The following are things to consider before choosing a hospital. In addition, you may want to speak to friends who have made the decision and ask them why they chose their hospital. As you read the list, *star* the ones that speak to you as being important. Then, when researching the hospital of your choice, you’ll have a clear direction on how to choose what hospital will best suit your specific needs.
- Location is definitely something to take into consideration. When you’re on the way to the hospital, you want to know that the hospital of your choice is nearby and easily accessible.
- Some hospitals are more crowded than others. This can make a difference in the kind of attention you’ll be receiving. If you’re in a crowded hospital, you may have to speak up more to have your needs met.
- If you will be requesting a private doctor, then knowing what doctor you want will determine the hospital of choice.
- Find out the kind of people you’ll be encountering upon your stay. Based on location, it can range from American to chassidish, Yerushalmi, or Arab. You may be more comfortable in an environment where the people you’ll be with are more your crowd.
- Research visiting policies to see if there’s an option for your husband or baby to be with you the whole time. Some hospitals have full room-in and some have a separate nursery for the baby that may even be on a separate floor.
- With regard to a Cesarean birth- does the hospital allow husbands or a doula in? Is there a special way they do the Cesarean birth?
- Researching what benefits the hospital of your choice has to offer may strongly influence your decision as to the hospital of your choice. Hospitals offer varying special benefits such as:
- Free parking
- Free birth classes
- Free night in Beit Hachlama
- Food is a very important part of your stay. Much of your energy will be depleted and having the right food options and hechsheirim should not be taken lightly.
- Labor induction policies differ from hospital to hospital- some induce from 39/40 weeks and some are more relaxed.
- Having a hospital that is familiar and knowledgeable in the techniques you’ll be using (e.g.spinning babies, reflexology, aromatherapy, hypnobirthing, etc) can be very comforting and will ensure a more understanding midwife.
- What kind of pain relief is available? Some hospitals offer pain relief in the Cheder Kabala (the welcoming room upon arrival) while others offer only in the Cheder Layda (birthing room).
- What kind of birth do you want to have? If you’ll be birthing naturally, find out if the hospital allows for all positions and if they have a birthing stool. Some hospitals have separate natural birthing rooms with a private midwife– find out how much extra they cost. Some hospitals offer and assist in water births.
- What birthing equipment is available during labor?
- Wireless Monitor (you can walk around or go in the water and not be stuck in bed)
- Birthing Ball (you may want to bring your own if they don’t provide it)
- Did you know that in Israel, it is now legal to have a home birth? If home birth may have been your dream option, find out more! Now’s your chance! These home births are monitored and conducted by legalized midwives under specific guidelines and requirements.
Now that you know which hospital is best for you, you can get started on packing! The following are packing lists as a general reference list for before and after birth. Think: No need to be searching for the toothpaste in between painful contractions. This will keep you calm and prepared for whenever your baby decides it’s time to greet the world. Remember that your husband or companion will also need a change of clothes, toiletries, phone, snacks, and money. Have your suitcase or bags (and companion’s) ready 2 weeks before your due date…and make sure you and your husband know where you’ve stored it.
- Your husband/mom 🙂
- Toiletry: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, soft towel, your own shampoo or soap that you like, some soft toilet paper, glasses, lenses, solution, vaseline (lips get very dry and cracked during and after birth)
- Both parents’ ID cards, birthing notes, a printout of your medical history from your Doctor
- Reading material – novels, magazines, birthing books, etc.
- Fresh underwear-enough for the whole stay
- Comfortable slippers and slippers for the shower
- Comfy soft bath towel and face towel
- Tehillim, Siddur, and any other tefillos
- Phone, camera (make sure it’s charged), and their chargers
- Snacks for you and your partner (think dried fruit, nuts, energy bars)
- Music+earbuds to keep you relaxed with steady breathing
- Water bottle or two or three…lots of fluid
- A sweet drink (grape juice) and a chocolate bar (sugar to bring up the heartbeat when they monitor you)
- Fan or water spray or sponge to cool you down
- Any medication you’re taking
- A TENS machine (if using)
- Aromatherapy oil (if using)
- Hot water bottle, tennis ball in a sock, or anything else you may want for alleviating pain
- Bring along your own comfy pillow (Hospital pillows can be stiff) and a fuzzy blanket for comfort
- Earplugs or an eye mask to block out any noise or light when you’re exhausted.
- Birthing Ball (check if the hospital has one, or you may want to bring your own)
- Cash for any small purchases (think hungry Mom or husband)
- Set of comfortable clothes and a bag for dirty laundry
- Extra snood
- Nursing Gown/nightgown
- Comfy maternity-size set of clothing for when you leave
- Nursing pads, thick underwear pads
- Nursing clothes and undergarments
- set of clothes for the newborn to go home in, including a blanket. This is the most exciting thing to pack 😀
- List or order of people you want called to let them know the good news!
- LOTS of snacks and liquids (the depletion of energy will leave you starving! Although the hospital provides meals, you may not like it, and it may not be enough)
- Makeup – with all the pictures, you may want to freshen up and feel good.
Did you bring your Doula???
Q: Why are Doulas so important and helpful?
- A) Doulas living nearby can assist while you’re laboring in the house to help the birth’s progression before you get to the hospital. If the birth stops progressing once you’re in the hospital, more intervention is usually used.
- B) A doula can be with you when traveling and can help relax the fear and instruct positions to ease the pain.
- C) Different doulas specialize in different kinds of births and pain relief and have lots of experience in the birthing process, to help and guide if different circumstances come up. They know the hospital’s policies and regulations and can advocate for you as needed.
Dena Peiser has been living in Israel for 18 years and privileged to give birth here in Israel to 6 out of her 8 children. She has been working in Reflexology and medical massage and specializes in prenatal care helping women with their pregnancy – regular discomforts, preparation for labor, and general boosting of energy and health. She accompanies women as a doula to help them work through the birth process with a variety of tools -aromatherapy, massage specific to labor, reflexology, labor positions, specific Shiatsu points -all which help labor to progress and helps the mommy feel relaxed and able to continue with energy and positivity. She can be reached at 054-535-4940 or email@example.com
By Rabbi Shlomo Golish, Author of The Bris Guide (www.thebrisguide.com)
(Based on the Psakim of Rabbi Shmuel Weiner Shlita)
When does a Yoledes become Assur?
Usually, this happens in two stages: One where we are only makpid about skin-to-skin touching, and everything else is mutar, and one where we consider the Yoledes to have all the dinim of a Nida.
During the first stage, the only thing which is assur is skin-to-skin touching. Therefore, passing things back and forth, etc. is mutar. It would also be mutar to touch through a glove or to help the Yoledes walk to the taxi if making sure to only touch through clothing. This includes clothing that the Yoledes is wearing.
Water Breaking – If the water breaks and a large amount of fluid comes out, all usual harchakos are mutar, except for skin-to-skin touching.
Contractions – If the contractions become painful, are lasting 30 seconds each, and 2-3 minutes apart, all usual harchakos are mutar, except for skin-to-skin touching.
Mucus Plug –The Mucus Plug is a mixture of blood and mucus located by the cervix. The Mucus Plug can come out up to even 2 weeks before labor. If it comes out, it has a din like a kesem (stain). Therefore, if it comes out on colored underwear, on/in the toilet, or on toilet paper, she is still mutar. If it was on something that is white and mekabel tumah, like white underwear, and it is the size of a Gris, a Rav should be consulted. This is a rare occurrence, and 99% of the time there is no problem at all.
The second stage is where the Yoledes is considered a Nida, and she will have all the dinei harchakos of a Nida. However, she is also considered a Choleh at this time. This makes the dinei harchakos more lenient. Therefore, the only thing which is always assur is touching. Anything which doesn’t involve touching, such as passing or pouring a drink for her would be mutar if she is too weak to do it herself. If the Yoledes needs help with physical contact such as sitting up, getting on or off the bed, moving around, etc., if there is someone else who can help her, they should, but if there is nobody else who can help her, the husband may help through clothing, with no skin-to-skin contact.
The Yoledes has the din of a Choleh as long as she feels too weak to do things herself.
The second stage happens in one of the following three scenarios:
Bleeding – If there is real bleeding. This usually does not happen until the Yoledes reaches the hospital.
Inability to Walk – If the contractions are so painful that the Yoledes cannot walk between contractions. To be clear, this is not if it is uncomfortable for her to walk, rather this is only if she cannot walk, and needs a wheelchair or she needs to be carried. Again, this should not happen until she reaches the hospital or at least on the way to the hospital.
Birthing Stool – If the Yoledes is on the birthing stool and the nurse says that she will be giving birth imminently.
This all applies even if she is on an Epidural and cannot feel any pain.
If the Doctor strips the Yoledes, this usually does not make her assur.
When can a Yoledes go to the Mikvah?
After birth, the Yoledes is a Nida, and this usually goes on for 4 – 8 weeks. The suggested time to do a Hefsek (assuming the bleeding has stopped) is after 5 weeks. Often, when people try to do a Hefsek before this, there is bleeding or staining afterward, and it complicates things.
When the time comes to do a Hefsek, one must bear in mind that the area is very dry for 2-3 months, therefore, the Hefsek is done without a Moch. Additionally, she should only do 3 Bedikos after the Hefsek, one on Day 1, one on Day 4, and one on Day 7. Especially if she had stitches or is sore, one should try to lessen the amount of Bedikos. One can wet the cloth with water and squeeze it out before the Bedika. Also, one can rub a small amount of olive oil on the cloth to make the Bedika easier.
Before Shabbos, one should pack a bag with whatever they would need for the hospital. Muktza items should be placed along with non-Muktza items, as this makes it more lenient. Anything which is reasonable that she would need can be brought. (It is a good idea to pack such a bag by the 9th month anyway, as it makes things simpler)
One should always prepare as much as possible before Shabbos so they can minimize Melacha on Shabbos (i.e. have the taxi’s number on recent numbers etc.).
When the Yoledes is in real labor on Shabbos, any Melacha can be done to make her more comfortable so that she should give birth easier. It is preferable to do the Melacha with a Shinui if it will not cause a delay.
If you need hot water, you can use the hot water from a dud shemesh. Turning on a boiler is a problem because usually at the point when it is mutar to do Melacha for the Yoledes, she needs to go to the hospital.
There is usually enough time to get to the hospital, so it is preferable to use a non-jew to drive you. For a list of non-Jewish drivers, see the end of the article. However, if you can’t find a non-jew, or you are uncomfortable with a non-jew, you can use a Jew to drive you. If you drive yourself to the hospital, make sure that a non-jew parks and turns off the car.
If one arrived at the Hospital and it was a false call, they can go back home with a non-Jewish taxi. You can ask someone at the desk to order a non-Jewish taxi. It is preferable if they order through the Gett app on your phone because then you don’t have to deal with money on Shabbos. If there is a very short amount of time until Shabbos is over, it is preferable to wait.
If the husband will be sent out of the hospital due to the current health situation, they should consult with their Rav in advance to know if they can return home on Shabbos with a non-Jewish taxi.
Inducing and Epidural
Inducing – R’ Moshe Feinstein said that one should not induce unless the Doctor says there is a medical need such as high or low blood pressure, stress, strep, or if it is very long and very painful labor. In such a scenario one should follow the Doctor’s medical advice. But one should not induce if it is just for convenience. One should ask the Doctor if it is safe to wait, and if it is, one should wait.
Epidural – Getting an Epidural is mutar, as there is no real sakana.
Delivery Room – The husband can be in the room at the time of birth, but he must be careful not to see places that are normally covered. Practically, if the husband stands near his wife’s waist or shoulder, facing the head of the bed, he will usually avoid this problem.
Bracha after Birth – Some have the Minhag to make a Bracha after birth. For a boy, the Bracha is HaTov VeHaMeitiv, and for a girl the Bracha is Shehecheyanu. If this is your Minhag, you do not have to make the Bracha right after birth, rather you can wait until the Yoledes is cleaned up. You can each make the Bracha, or the husband can make it for his wife and she can answer Amen. If it is not your Minhag to make the Bracha, you should not make the Bracha.
If the baby is a boy, make sure to visit www.thebrisguide.com for the Parent’s Comprehensive Guide to Bris Milah. With topics such as What is a Bris?, What Do I Need To Know?, Choosing a Mohel, Choosing a Name, Halls, Caterers, and Gemachim and much more, The Bris Guide covers all aspects of Bris Milah, and is sure to give you the confidence you need to approach the big day completely prepared.
B’Shaa Tova and Mazal Tov!!!
Should the need arise, below is a list of organizations that can be helpful:
- Bonei Olam 1-800-300-307
- A Time 052-718-7188
- Tahareinu 072-224-2424
It is advisable to speak to a Rav before calling.