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Husbands presence in the birthing room during birth?
- Birthing room-When she is not fully clothed:
It is forbidden for the husband to be present in the birth room while she is pushing, or any time that she is not fully clothed once she has reached a Nida state. Some Poskim write that the husband is not to be present in the delivery room at all even if he turns his face around, and so is the implied position of the Rebbe. However, other Poskim rule that it is permitted to be present in the delivery room so long as one does not actually look at his wife while she’s uncovered. [Practically, notwithstanding the above debate, being stringent in this matter to not be at all present in the birthing room adds to the merits of the woman at the time of birth. The Rebbe stated that it is contrary to the laws of modesty for the husband to be present in the birthing room, and doing so causes the wife to appear before her husband in a very un-elegant posture which can cause him to distance himself from her.]
Time of Sakana-Wife is petrified of birthing alone: In a time of great need if the wife is very scared and adamantly requests for her husband present for the birth for the sake of her calmness, and otherwise it can lead to danger, then he may remain in the birthing room with her, making sure not to look at any uncovered areas of her body. [However, he should do everything in his power to try to calm her fears so he does not have to be present once she is no longer properly covered, and explain to her the halachic issue with him being present and that on the contrary in the merit of them keeping this law of modesty, she will have an easy birth.]
Unexpected Home birth-Husband assisting: In the event of an emergency homebirth, the husband is to do whatever is necessary to assist his wife in the birth even though she’s a Nida, including catching the baby as he comes out.
- Contraction room-During contractions while fully clothed:
If she is still in the midst of contractions and has not yet begun pushing, then from the letter of the law, if she is fully clothed, there is no need for the husband to leave the room, even if she has already become a Nida. However, some write that the husband should not even be in the contraction room at all even if she’s fully dressed [as she is often checked by the nurses which ends up revealing her skin]. Others conclude that if the woman has already changed into her birthing gown, then the husband should no longer be present, however, while she is still dressed in her normal clothing, he may be present. Practically, so long as she is fully dressed without the close probability of her revealing her skin at any moment, then there is no issue with being in the contraction room nor the birthing room.
May the husband be behind a curtain in the birthing room, during the birth?
Yes, so long as he cannot see anything through it, and will not be tempted to open it to look.
 See Michaber Y.D. 195:7 “One may not look even at her heel and [certainly] not in her normally covered areas”; Rebbe in Teshuvos Ubiurim p. 445, brought in Shulchan Menachem 6:8 [p. 34] and Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 4:39, “It is obvious that the rabbi gave the correct ruling that the husband should not be present in the birthing room, and it is a wonderment that there is even a question on this matter”; Heichal Menachem 2:52 “It is contrary to the rules of modesty. If one always needs merits for birth then all the more so during the actual time of birth, and certainly should not add in the opposite and regarding this later point we must make much publication. Do you not already know that there is a ruling that has been printed from Rabbi Feinstein on this”; Hisvadyus 19th Kisleiv 5747 “One should not permit the strange custom of allowing the husband or any other man, except the doctor, to be present in the birthing room during birth. This is contrary to Shulchan Aruch and something that is contrary to the Shulchan Aruch cannot be good.”; Hiskashrus 440 and 475 p. 16-17; Taharah Kehalacha 11:5 footnote 10; 14 footnote 45; Minchas Yitzchak 5:27; 8:30-2“Regarding if it is permitted for the husband to be present in the room during the birth if he does not look at her private area. When I was asked this question by representatives of the Shaareiy Tzedek hospital, I responded to them that it is forbidden unless there is worry of danger if the husband is not present as I know that if we were to permit this then this would lead to a stumbling block”; Igros Moshe 2:75 “If the husband is able to be there in order to supervise the birth and strengthen her, if there’s a need to be there I see no prohibition and even without a need to be there I see no prohibition, although it is forbidden to look when the baby comes out as it is forbidden to look at the normally covered parts of A Nidda. However, if he is careful not to look then there is no prohibition”; Beir Moshe 4:125; Shiureiy Sheivet Halevi 195:7-3; Beshaa Tova 150; Nishmas Avraham 195:3; Darkei Taharha 111; Suga Beshoshanim p. 425; Taharas Habayis 166 [Rav Ovadia]; Taharah Kehalacha 11 footnote 10; 14 footnote 45; Shevach Habris 2:5; Toras Hayoledes chapter 32; Encyclopedia Hilchatit Refuit Leida p. 265; Toras Hayoledes 32
 See Michaber ibid
 Minchas Yitzchak ibid; Beir Moshe ibid; Rav SZ”A in Nishmas Avraham Y.D. 195:3; Darkei Taharah p. 111; Shevach Habris ibid; Rav Moshe Halbershatm in Asia and Suga Beshoshanim ibid
 See previous footnotes for the quoted statements of the Rebbe on the subject, which all imply that he should not be present at all, even if he doesn’t look. To note, however, that this is contrary to the wording of the Igros Moshe ibid to whom the Rebbe references the asker to, who permits being present so long as he does not look. Vetzaruch Iyun!
 See Igros Moshe ibid “ If the husband is able to be there in order to supervise the birth and strengthen her, if there’s a need to be there I see no prohibition and even without a need to be there I see no prohibition, although it is forbidden to look when the baby comes out as it is forbidden to look at the normally covered parts of A Nidda. However, if he is careful not to look then there is no prohibition”; Taharas Habayis 166 [Rav Ovadia]; See also Sefer Hatoldos Rebbe Maharash p. 5 which states that the Tzemach Tzedek specifically walked into the birthing room of his wife and faced the wall throughout the entire birth; Beshah Tova Madrich Refui Hilchati Lihirayon Vileida p. 150
 Rebbe ibid in Heichal Menachem 2:52
 See Rebbe ibid in Heichal Menachem 2:52 who points to Nida 17a “Perhaps he will see a disgusting matter by her and she will become repulsive to him”; Rav SZ”A in Nishmas Avraham Y.D. 195:3; See Nida 17a; Michaber 240:11
 Minchas Yitzchak ibid; Rav SZ”A ibid; Toras Hayoledes ibid; Hiskashrus ibid in footnote; Koveitz Asia 5738 19 [article by Rav Henkin]
 See article by Rav Moshe Halbershtam who negates the more liberal ruling of Rav Henkin ibid which considers any level of fear and request by the wife for the husband to remain as a danger and rules that the husband is actually obligated to remain if his wife asks, and states that in truth wives usually only say this because it’s now accepted, however, if they were to know that this was never done in the past, and that it has a serious problem in Jewish law, then they would not make the request. He argues that you cannot equate a request and desire with actual danger, and only if the danger is actually evident they would be lenient.
 Toras Hayoledes 6:4
 Igros Moshe ibid; Toras Hayoledes chapter 32; See Hiskashrus ibid
 See the answer of the Rebbe in Heichal Menachem ibid and Hiskashrus 440 and footnote 1 which was to Nishei Ubenos Chabad who publicized a prohibition against the husband being present in the birthing room and even in the contraction room. From the answer, it could possibly be understood that the Rebbe agreed with this prohibition, although it is not clear as to the reason why; Shevach Habris 2:5; Rabbi Leibal Groner responded to us that according to the Rebbe, the husband should not be in the delivery room at all even if she’s fully dressed: “Regarding not being in the delivery room, the Rebbe stated under no condition should the husband be there.”
 Chosen Yeshuos p. 90; Shevach Habris 2:5 footnote 12
 See Toras Hayoledes chapter 32 footnote 1