September 21st, 2012 by

7 Jewish Pregnancy Traditions



When I was pregnant with Baby Bear, I went to a lecture at the Sephardi Shul in Chicago about different Jewish pregnancy traditions.  I started digging around to find my list so that I can share and start again for #2.

Most of these are Segulot or Segula.  According to wikipedia, the definition is: סגולה‎, pl. סגולות, segulot, “remedy” or “protection”.  It is a procedure that is not based on medical or scientific logic yet is efficacious in improving a situation or protecting a person from harm. Segulot are commonly traced to Kabbalistic, Talmudic, and rabbinical sources, and are accepted in the religious Jewish world.

Here are some of the Segulot
{1}
Give more Charity
‘While all good deeds and mitzvot are beneficial to the unborn child, our sages specifically stress the value of giving extra charity. Being kind to others causes G‑d to treat us in corresponding fashion. In addition to the regular charity one distributes, charity should be given every day—having a charity box at home facilitates this practice. The most auspicious time to give charity is before the Shabbat or Jewish holiday candle-lighting. At that time additional charity should be given, considering that on the following day one will be unable to give charity, due to the restriction against handling money on these holy days.’ (from Chabad.org)

{2}
Husband opens the ark before the Torah reading during the last month of pregnancy.

‘The Zohar says, “When the congregation takes out the Torah Scroll, the Heavenly Gates of Mercy are opened, and G‑d’s love is aroused.” The husband opening the Gates of Heaven hopefully elicits G‑d’s merciful blessing that the birth be easy and without complications.’ (from Chabad.org)





{3}
Wear your Jewels
Rubies represent protection in the Ashkenazi tradition and  blue stones like Sapphires, Lapis Lazuzli, and Turquoise for the Sephardic Tradition.  You can wear them as a talisman around the neck or wear an evil eye, red string, or hamsah.

{4}

Expose yourself to holy-ness
A pregnant woman should endeavor to be exposed to spiritual and holy sights and sounds.




{5}

Keep Your Baby in the Correct Positioning for Birth
In the 9th month, make sure all of your holy books are right side up, so baby stays head down

{6}
An etrog a day
Bite the top of the etrog off for easy labor

{7}
Bake a Challah
Bake a Challah in the 9th month of pregnancy

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