The Pregnancy Episode

Ep. 282: Jewish superstitions, genetic testing, baby names, and more

July 22, 2021

This week on Unorthodox, we’re talking all things Jewish pregnancy, from traditions and superstitions to genetic testing and fertility treatment.

We hear from Estie Rose, a genetic counselor and outreach coordinator for JScreen, a genetic testing nonprofit based at Emory University, about the importance pre-pregnancy screening for Tay-Sachs, the BRCA gene, and other genetic conditions more common among Jewish populations.

Dr. Bat-Sheva Maslow, a reproductive endocrinologist at Extend Fertility, explains Halachic infertility, how common it really is, and what experts do to manage observance-based fertility challenges.

We dive into the many Jewish superstitions surrounding pregnancy with the help of Rabbi Mychal Springer of Jewish Theological Seminary and New York Presbyterian Hospital, Dara Horn, whose forthcoming book is People Love Dead Jews, and Esther Levy-Chehebar, a Tablet contributor who has written about her family’s Syrian Jewish pregnancy traditions.

Rabbi Miriam-Simma Walfish of the Hadar Institute tells us about some of the biblical mothers whose stories still resonate today, and we speak to Anita Diamant, the bestselling author of The Red Tent, about her pregnancy guide The New Jewish Baby Book and how Jews choose baby names.

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