Having a child is certainly up there among life’s miraculous and awe-inspiring experiences. Some women have wondered why it doesn’t have a Jewish ritual associated with it. And so in response, some women have been creating new rituals that use traditional images and texts to reflect their experiences of childbirth.

Rituals for giving birth
 

Conception

Deciding to have children can be a difficult and exciting time. Here are some meditations and prayers for couples trying to conceive, whether they've just decided to start trying, or are preparing for artificial insemination.

Rituals for conception
 

Infertility

In the Bible, Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel all suffered from infertility. It is a challenge that Jewish women have faced throughout history. A number of rituals and prayers have been created to help women and couples deal with the pain of infertility and loss.

Accepting the loss of the dream of a biological child
For those having difficulty conceiving
For a woman dealing with infertility
More prayers, rituals, and articles
 

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time for a family. There are Jewish rituals and blessings that celebrate the mother and the impending birth, from the time the parents choose to have a child, right up until the ninth month, and the moment that labor begins.

Celebrating the choice to become parents
Blessings for a mother-to-be

Making first swaddling clothes

Prayer for the ninth month
More pregnancy prayers and rituals
 

Birth

Birth is truly a miracle, and for some women it seems a natural time to recite a prayer or a blessing. If you’re among them, try these options.

Prayer for the birth of a child
More prayers, rituals, and articles about childbirth

 

Bris

While there is an accepted liturgy for the bris ceremony itself, there are many possible additions. Look at these prayers and resources to create your own ceremony, or add blessings to one you have already found.

Techine (prayer) for a bris
Sample bris ceremony

More prayers, rituals, and articles about bris

 

Simchat Bat

Until recently, there was no baby naming ceremony for girls. Now, it is very common to find families welcoming their daughters with a simchat bat. Without a defined liturgy, there are endless options for this ritual, but we have compiled some suggested resources, prayers and readings.

Foot washing ritual
Prayer: Build me a daughter

Reading: From our foremothers

Sample ceremonies

More articles, rituals, and prayers

 

Adoption

When a child joins a family through adoption, the family may choose to welcome their new addition with a ritual or a prayer.

Prayer for adopted child
More on adoption

 

Pregnancy Loss

Miscarriage can be a traumatic experience for both partners. Here we have collected some resources and prayers for dealing with the loss of a pregnancy.

A ritual for miscarriage
Prayer to be said when preparing for the end of the pregnancy

Grieving ritual after miscarriage or stillbirth

More prayers, rituals, and articles
 

Abortion

Terminating a pregnancy can be a heart-wrenching experience. These ceremonies, rituals, and prayers were created to help women ending pregnancies.

A ritual for pregnancy termination
Rituals for the days and months after a termination
More rituals and prayers for abortion

 

Pidyon Haben

Pidyon haben refers to the ceremony of the redemption of the first-born son. The child is redeemed by paying the modern equivalent of five shekels--via coins or, in some traditions, objects of value--to a kohen, a descendant of Aaron the priest. Some families perform this ritual if their first-born is a daughter. Here are some resources to get you started in planning this ritual.

Sample ceremony
 

Day-to-day Parenting

The daily life of a parent is full of opportunities to mark moments with small rituals and prayers. From breastfeeding, to weaning, to the first day of school, to going to bed, we offer ideas for marking these milestones.

Weaning ceremony
More on weaning
Prayers for breastfeeding

Marking milestones like the first day of school or the first tooth lost

Bedtime rituals

More on day-to-day parenting