Breast milk has been shown to have multiple benefits to infant health and development. Therefore, it is important that maternal contraceptive choices consider the effects on lactation. Women who observe traditional Jewish law, halakha, have additional considerations in deciding the order of preference of contraceptive methods due to religious concerns including the use of barrier and spermicidal methods. In addition, uterine bleeding, a common side effect of hormonal methods and IUD, can have a major impact on the quality of intimacy and marital life due to the laws of niddah. This body of Jewish laws prohibits any physical contact from the onset of uterine bleeding until its cessation and for an additional week. Health care professionals should understand the issues of Jewish law involved in modern contraceptive methods in order to work in tandem with the halakha observant woman to choose a contraceptive method that preserves the important breastfeeding relationship with her infant and minimizes a negative impact on intimacy with her husband.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology