165. The nursing mother may clean her nipples before feeding her baby, preferably by washing them with liquid soap using her hands or a synthetic cloth; she may not use soaked cotton-wool[258].

166. If the baby refuses to suckle, she may express some milk into his mouth so as to encourage him to suckle; she should not express her milk into a vessel[259].

167. A nursing mother who is in pain because of engorged breasts, may express the excess milk into the sink or on to a cloth not to be squeezed on the Sabbath. Alternatively the breast may be dipped into a vessel containing liquid soap and the excess milk expressed into it. If it is difficult for her to express the excess milk manually, a suction pump may be used, even using one that is electrically activated by a Sabbath clock or gramma switch[260]. Care must be taken to empty the milk from the receptacle of the pump at frequent intervals so as to avoid the collection of a large amount of milk in it[261]. Preferably, some liquid soap should be put into the receptacle before use so that the amount of milk collected in it then becomes immaterial[262].

168. If the baby is unable to suckle or is hospitalized and the mother has to bring him her milk which is the baby's main source of nourishment, daily, she may express sufficient milk for the Sabbath into a vessel even on the Sabbath[263] but not for the baby's feed after the termination of the Sabbath. She may not express excess milk into a vessel on the Sabbath in order to bring it to a milk bank after the Sabbath[264], since this act is of no use to the baby on the Sabbath itself[265].

169. A nursing mother may take medication or have injections to treat a breast infection[266].


[258] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 36:17.

[259] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 36:19.

[260] Written communication from R. Y.Y. Neuwirth.

[261] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 36:20.

[262] Written communication from R. Y.Y. Neuwirth.

[263] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 36:21.

[264] Oral communication from R. Y.Y. Neuwirth.

[265] R. Sh. Z. Auerbach in Nishmat Avraham Pt. 1, Orach Chayyim 328:75 (page 211).

[266] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 36:22.