Concealing the Pregnancy Until the Fifth Month
1)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.
Not to Mention the Pregnancy in a Pan Before the End of the First Trimester
2)There is a tradition among Anash handed down by the elder chassidim of the Alter Rebbe who in turn heard it directly from his holy mouth, in the name of our masters the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid of Mezritch regarding various practices in the chassidic lifestyle. One of these is that before the end of the third month and the beginning of the fourth, no mention of the pregnancy should be made in a pan or in any note to the Rebbe.
Kapporos for a Pregnant Woman
3)A pregnant woman should take three birds for kapporos one [female] for herself, and an additional male and female because of the undetermined sex of the fetus [according to the custom of the AriZal].
A Pregnant Woman as Kvatterin or Accompanying a Bride
4)The Jewish custom is not to take a pregnant woman as a kvatterin. The same applies to her accompanying a bride (“unterfiererin”).
Immersion During the Ninth Month
5)I have not heard of a custom among Chassidei Chabad that a woman who has entered her ninth month of pregnancy should immerse herself in the mikveh.
6)It is proper that each weekday morning she should donate a few pennies to charity. Of course, this is in addition to the regular donations she undoubtedly gives. The same applies to Erev Shabbos and Erev Yom Tov before lighting the candles, she should donate to the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess charity box without undertaking a vow [to continue doing so always].
Inspecting the Mezuzos
7)One should inspect the mezuzos in his home, to ensure that they are kosher.
Reciting Psalm 20 Before HaMapil
8)When one’s wife is pregnant, he should recite Psalm 20
(למנצח...יענך). Upon finishing the psalm he should repeat the second verse (יענך); while reciting it or just before he should have in mind that G-d should
willingly accept his recital as though he had meditated on all the inner meanings that pertain thereto.
Extra Hiddur in Torah Study and Mitzvos
9) A woman’s conduct during pregnancy affects the child. Consequently, the custom of righteous women is that during the time of their pregnancy each one increases the care with which she attends to matters of Torah and mitzvos, for the benefit of the child. This applies even before she becomes pregnant. (As is known, during pregnancy they are especially cautious not to stare at unclean things, but rather to look only at things that are clean and holy. Similar precautions should be taken when she emerges from the place of immersion.