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There is a common custom that a woman who has given birth does not travel anywhere until she has gone to shul. What is the source of this custom, and what are its details? (I.e., it is necessary to hear Kaddish, or Krias HaTorah etc.)

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I would imagine it comes from the widespread minhag for women (or their husbands) to recite birchas hagomel after childbirth. The way you're describing it, though, it may be something else. –  jake Mar 1 '11 at 20:20
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Orach Chaim 282 - see Magen Avraham towards end, also Pishchei Olam and Matamei HaShulchan in Orach Chaim 282 - it is in place of the Korban a lady used to bring after giving birth.

http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9007&st=&pgnum=563

http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=40431&st=&pgnum=394

See Sefer Panim Meiros Volume 2 Question 124 (published appx 300 years ago in Amsterdam) that when a woman finally has enough strength to leave her house after giving birth, she first visits a Shul.

Shaalos U'Tshuvos Bzail HaChocmo Chelek 6 Siman 78 "It is a Minhag from the Kadmonim that a lady does not go anywhere after giving birth, prior to going to the Shul as a Zecher for the Korban that was brought after a lady gave birth".

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That's talking about the husband getting an aliyah the first time she goes to shul on Shabbos. I was asking about the minhag to go to shul even during the week before travelling elsewhere. –  Dave Mar 4 '11 at 15:59
    
In what part of the universe was there ever a time in history when use of an 'Eruv was more widespread than it is today - or when it was easier/more common for women to go to Shul on Shabbos than today? I'm sorry if my tone is a bit harsh, but those assertions are pretty ludicrous. In previous generations, perhaps, it was easier if you lived in a tiny shtetl. But in a town or in farm country, ie, most Jewish communities throughout history, it was nearly impossible to build communal 'Eruvin. Why do you think they are so controversial? The very idea goes against long established norms. –  Seth J Mar 4 '11 at 21:48
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