There is a tradition - or whatever you may call it - not to tell people about your pregnancy early on.

First off, is there a Torah basis to it? Or just common sense? (if things go wrong people will still say Mazal Tov...)

Secondly, when someone asks "are you pregnant?" or "is your wife pregnant?", is OK to lie and say NO??

  • The gemara (Nidda 8b and elsewhere) mentions that a woman's pregnancy is not visible to others until three months have elapsed: וכמה הכרת העובר? סומכוס אומר משום רבי מאיר: שלשה חדשים, ואע"פ שאין ראיה לדבר זכר לדבר, שנאמר ויהי כמשלש חדשים.
    – Fred
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 1:01

3 Answers 3


Here is an excerpt from Kovetz Minhagim, An Anthology of Chabad Lubavitch customs regarding pregnancy, childbirth, circumcision, redemption of the firstborn, and the birth of girl:

It is the custom of chassidim who are careful to conduct their lifestyles according to the practices of old that they conceal their wives' pregnancies until they have entered the fifth month. Undoubtedly, this practice has an inner foundation. Of course, the precaution is about publicizing the pregnancy. It does not apply to divulging it to very close relatives without broadcasting it.

See there for sources in the footnote. Of interest is footnote 3, which quotes a letter of the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe:

"The accepted practice is that until three months of pregnancy it is concealed even from very close relatives..."

  • 1
    see above. This is certainly neither uniquely Chabad nor uniquely Jewish. Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 19:57
  • 4
    @CharlesKoppelman: The question is asking for a jewish source, which I offered
    – Menachem
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 20:39
  • 2
    @Menachem No, it's asking for a Torah basis.
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 0:51
  • @DoubleAA: do you feel my answer doesn't qualify?
    – Menachem
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 1:06
  • 1
    Not really. What is the basis?
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 2:06

As a partial answer, concerning the lying part, it may be adduced that it is permitted to lie from Rema (resp. §2) who permitted a woman to have contact with her husband despite her telling inquirers, early on in her pregnancy, in order to be shielded from the evil eye that she wore clothing designated for her menstruation period because she was unclean and indeed said she was unclean. He does not mention the (non)issue of her lying. This ruling was also brought by Shach (YD 185:5) and likewise did not raise the issue of lying.

R. Shimon Hirari (resp. Lev Simchah, EH §12) justified a woman's white lie, which she told people that she had a ruach (I can't determine if she meant a spirit or bloated), by demonstrating that pregnancy can be referred to as ruach.

However, in both cases it should be noted the woman did not explicitly lie by saying she is not pregnant but rather gave "alternative facts".


This custom is much wider than the Jewish world.

Most women do not widely publicize their pregnancies until the third month because the rate of, G-d-forbid, miscarriage drops significantly at week 12. By month 5, women start to show, so it becomes nearly impossible to keep it a secret.

However, my wife would ream me out my if I ever lied as a response to that question. (She would say that I should have changed the conversation topic.) She'd say that saying "no" is basically telling the ayin hara you don't want it.

  • I didn't realize the ayin hara was an independent entity. Am I wrong, or did you perhaps mean sitra achra or some such?
    – Fred
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 1:56
  • @Fred I'm quoting my wife who likes to speak in Yiddish superstition. She also might say "telling G-d you don't want it". Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 5:42

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