I became pregnant a few weeks ago. I already have several small children, and I cannot take care of another baby . . . Can I pray to G‑d to terminate the pregnancy?


I understand your predicament very well. Thank G‑d, I am a mother of five children, and I know what it takes to raise children. It is not easy. Still, to bring a Jewish child into the world is a great merit, which, to our sorrow, not everyone gets a chance to have!

It is clear from your question that you find yourself in a nonstop whirlpool of taking care of your children day and night. And, of course, the pregnancy also takes its toll, and weakens you both physically and emotionally.

I want to suggest that you take a break for a moment, breathe deeply, forget about all the chaos, and imagine yourself and your family in twenty years. Picture yourself a little older, surrounded by a warm and loving family, sons and daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandsons and granddaughters. Try to feel those emotions.

You did it? You experienced it? You felt the excitement? Now, try and remove some of the family members standing next to you from the picture.

Can you do that? I think that you can’t—it is nearly impossible. It is not possible in your dreams, and it’s also not possible in reality!

So, despite your present difficulties, I advise you to think long-term, and not to give up on this soul that you are bringing into this world. Here are some suggestions that may help you:

  1. Try to get as much help as possible: maybe you can hire a babysitter or a maid, or maybe you can enlist help from your sister or mother. It will greatly improve the situation.
  2. Devote at least half an hour a day just to pampering yourself. During this half hour, do something that you enjoy: read a good book, take a walk in the fresh air, meet up with a friend for coffee, enjoy some ice cream, or anything else that will recharge your vital energy.
  3. You don’t mention your husband . . . Don’t forget to maintain your intimate relationship. It is very important for both of you, as well as for your children. It will improve your state of mind and daily functioning, as well as your husband’s.
  4. In addition, I am sure you know that the beginning of pregnancy is the most difficult emotionally. As more time passes, everything that you are experiencing now will diminish, and you will see the situation completely differently. Don’t allow yourself to do anything irreversible, which you might regret later.

I’ve met many women in their later years who deeply regret that they had only one or two children. They tell me that if they could turn back the clock, they would bring more children into this world; they understand now that there is nothing more important than this—not a career, not money. But, sadly, this understanding came to them too late.

I bless you with all my heart that the Creator give you a lot of strength to handle your children, your pregnancy and everything else, and that you will give birth to a healthy child.

Mindi Schmerling

Editor’s note: See also I Have Enough Blessings. Should I Abort?