Some Psalms for Pregnancy and Birth

The Book of Psalms, traditionally accredited to King David, is great reading material for all people, and for pregnant women in particular. I read one psalm every morning during breakfast (my three-year old has amazingly learned to hold all requests until I’m done!) and I find it always gives me a good, strong, G-d focused (as opposed to my own stress-of-the-day-focused) start to my day. If you’re wondering whether this habit of mine is just a strange personal quirk, all you need to do is get on any Jerusalem bus, and you are sure to see that the ancient tradition of reading Psalms is alive and well among modern Jewish women.

King David always writes about such serious problems- from an enemy army waiting to attack, to feelings of total worthlessness (he calls himself “a worm”), to terrible depression (he cries so much that his bed swims in a pool of gathered tears), that I feel better about whatever relatively small trouble I’m obsessing about at the moment. His answer is always simple- turn to G-d, and help will arrive

There are several traditions related to what specific Psalms to read during pregnancy and birth: (locate the recommended Psalms online at )

Psalms for Pregnancy

Rabbi Chaim Kanyevsky recommends reciting the following psalms every day of pregnancy: Psalms number: 1, 4, 5, 8, 20, 35, 57, 93, 108

Psalms for the Birth

There is a popular custom that when the wife is in active labor she or her husband should repeat psalm number 20, twelve times.

Lubavitch Chassidic custom instructs us to read the following psalms during the birth: 1, 2, 3, 4, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 33, 47, 72, 86, 90, 91, 92, 93, 104, 112, and 113 to the end of the book of Psalms.

You can read these Psalms in your own copy of the Hebrew Bible, or at the following great link, which features the whole Bible in English translation as well as the original Hebrew.

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