I have family members with 2 or 3 young children below the age of 4 each. They have been told that they must get a heter from a Rav to use birth control to pace the frequency of births. Also that they must get a heter if they at some point want to have no more than 3 or 4 children.
Each has some considerations about the stress on the mother who also works (needing to support them) while raising this large number of children. With incomes what they are in Israel, at least one of the families is unable to manage without both parents working. What is the proper approach to these questions from a halachic viewpoint?
1. The requirement for P’ru U’R’vu is one boy and one girl. If a couple has a boy and a girl, they may certainly use birth control in the situation that you describe.
2. Even if a couple does not yet have one boy and one girl but do have children and are finding things difficult at the moment, they may use birth control for a time, based on their circumstances, in consultation with a competent Rav.
8th of Tevet 5773 Friday, 21 December 2012