Question: Is it right for my husband to pressure me to have another child before I am ready? My birth with my first was a very traumatic emergency C-section. It has been a year, and he wants more. I do not feel ready physically or emotionally. He is older than me and wants to have more before a certain age. I feel it is better to wait and have a healthy mom and a healthy baby. Can I delay having the baby until I am ready or is that wrong Islamically?
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your feeling of being stuck between your health and your husband’s happiness. You need a delicate balance to make both parties happy.
Your health, according to Islam, is a number one priority. This is important for a family’s stability, security, the upbringing of the children, and a happy marriage. I suggest that you take all your supplements, exercise, and finish nursing first. A child has a right to two years of his mother’s milk, and your husband cannot force you to shorten that.
Ask a Doctor
Even if you are not nursing, I recommend that you consult a doctor about your health and proceed according to his/her opinion. If your vitamin levels are low or if you are anemic, dehydrated, whatever it is, identify the cause of your bad health and follow his instructions to remedy it. This is a medical situation, and you should not act according to feelings, but facts. Make certain that you start doing, or stop doing, whatever is contributing to your bad health. You might also consider sleep-training your baby, as sleep deprivation takes a horrible toll on health.
After following the doctor’s instructions and timeline, pray istikhara about when to have your next child, ask your husband to pray it, too. Turn to Allah for all major decisions and be the best Muslim that you can be in the meanwhile. Ask Allah to make you healthier through giving charity, a known cause to increase blessings.
Make Him Feel Important
Make your husband feel that you will put his desires first. Communicate to him that you want to make him happy and the best way to do that is to be the best mother to both children, and not exhausted, cranky, sick, and unproductive. May Allah give your family the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.