Pregnancy and fasting

The holy month of Ramadan will soon begin, which means a month of fasting awaits. Despite the hunger and thirst Muslim people endure during the day, fasting is believed to be spiritually beneficial. However, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to do this. So, what about pregnant women? You’re not just fasting for one, you’re fasting for two. Is it safe? Let’s take a look.

Studies suggest that fasting will not deprive the baby of food and nutrients, although there is uncertainty on whether it will impact the baby later in life. As long as mom’s consumption is healthy food, the baby should get enough nutrients and minerals essential for its growth.

However, if there are any complications in your pregnancy, or your doctor advised you otherwise, it would be best not to fast.

What are the tips to fast when you are pregnant?

  • Get plenty of rest and be wise in choosing activities, suitable with pregnancy.
  • Watch your liquid intake. Make sure that you drink plenty of water during suhoor and iftar to prevent dehydration. You can also drink milk to avoid anaemia which is a threat to pregnant women.
  • Have your suhoor meal around 45 minutes before fajr (the end of suhoor).
  • Do not forget to eat fruits to soothe your bowels and prevent haemorrhoids.
  • Try to avoid spicy foods.
  • Watch your weight. If, during the fasting month, you lose some weight, that means you need to improve your iftar and suhoor menus.

If you experience below symptoms, immediately stop your fast and see a doctor:

  • Severe headache, cold sweats and dizziness. This could be a sign of low sugar levels, and your baby is not receiving enough nutrients.
  • Nosebleed. This happens when the thin blood vessels in your nose burst, indicating that your body condition is imbalanced.
  • Vomiting more than three times a day, or experiencing diarrhoea followed by stomach-ache.
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The way to make sure that your baby stays healthy is if you are healthy. If your body is not coping well during the fast, it can have an impact on your baby, but if you are generally well, and eat healthy meals in between fasts, your baby should be fine.

Have a blessed Ramadan!