Traditional Prayers (Techinot) for Birthing
Traditional Women’s Prayers (Techinot) for During and After Birth
To be Recited by Others on Your Behalf During Active Labor:
May it be Your will, O great, mighty and awesome G-d, that the merits of this poor woman who is trembling and crying out in her pains of childbirth, be remembered before You. If she has done anything against Your will, forgive and cleanse it through her suffering in the pain of her labor. May the sound of her cry ascend to Your Throne of Glory, and seal the mouth of her accusers; but may those who defend her with good deeds be gathered before You as is Your custom, to bestow goodness on the worthy and non-worthy alike. Spread Your mercy upon her, for You answer in time of distress. O merciful Ruler who is merciful to all, who redeems and saves, hears and answers!
As soon as you can ritually wash your hands after the birth, say:
After the birth of a girl: Baruch ata Adonay Elohanu Melech Haolam, Shehechiyanu, v’Kiyamanu, v’ Higiyanu l’zman hazeh. [Blessed are You G-d, L-rd of the Universe, Who has kept me alive, and sustained me, and made me arrive at this day.]
After the birth of a boy: Baruch ata Adonay Elohanu Melech Haolam, haTov v’haMeiteev. [Blessed are You G-d, L-rd of the Universe, Who is good and brings us good.]
When you are able to get out of bed after the birth, you should wash your hands and say the following:
May it be Your wish, G-d our Lord, and G-d of our ancestors, Ruler of mercy: that the same way You have saved me from this great pain and from the dangers of giving birth, so too may Your mercies pour forth to rescue all the daughters of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the descendants of those who truly loved You, from this danger. As You have saved me now, so do I beg You to show me a sign of favor each time that I give birth, Amen.
If you will nurse the baby, you should also say the following prayer after you regain your strength and are able to get out of bed:
May it be Your will to provide food for Your servant, this child, with plentiful milk sufficient for his/her needs, and make me aware of the appropriate time to nurse him/her, and make me sleep lightly so that if he/she cries out my ears should hear him/her immediately, and protect me from accidentally rolling over on him/her while I am sleeping.
(These three translations appear in the book Sefer Yad L’Yoledet by Rabbi Yisroel Dov Webster, CIS Publishers).
Required Blessing: Birkat Ha’Gomel
Up until now, all prayers mentioned during pregnancy were optional. This one is very important (it’s recited by all people who have been in a life threatening situation).
You should recite the following prayer in the presence of a minyan (ten men- or – very interesting- some halachic, [mainstream Orthodox] authorities permit the recitation of this prayer in the presence of ten women. Ask your local Orthodox rabbi if he approves of this idea…)
I heard of a rebbetzin who got together a post-birth party to recite this blessing and tell her ten closest friends about the story of her birth. What a wonderful idea! I think I’m going to do that too…
Baruch ata Adonay, elohaynu melech haolam, HaGomel l’Chayavim Tovot, Sh’G’malanee kol tov
and they respond:
Amen, mee sh’g’malcha kol tov, hu yeegmalcha kol tov, sela.