Ramadan the month of fasting for Muslims is coming up soon, and every year pregnant women have many questions about it. Is fasting during pregnancy possible? How does fasting affect the mother’s and the baby’s health? When is it not possible for a pregnant woman to fast? What are the best tips to make fasting during pregnancy easier? Read on to know the answers.
It is very important to emphasize that in Islam a pregnant woman is not required to fast during Ramadan, especially if fasting might in any way harm her health or the health of the unborn fetus. Therefore, it is crucial that a pregnant woman who wants to fast, consult her physician to make sure her fasting will not harm her or her baby before deciding to fast during Ramadan.
A doctor's decision to clear a woman for fasting will differ from one case to another. It all depends on the overall health of the pregnant woman and that of her baby, it also differs from one trimester to another. In the first trimester the uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms of nausea and vomiting, and exhaustion play a big role in deciding whether it is safe to fast or not. Fetal development is another key element that doctors take into consideration when the fasting during pregnancy question comes up.
A study published in 2019 in The Journal of Nutrition showed that after surveying several pregnant women who fasted during their second trimester, many of them had preterm labor. This might have happened because of the decreased nutrients and fluids passed to the fetus because of the mother’s fasting. So, it is paramount to check with the doctor and have all the necessary tests done to confirm that fasting won’t affect the pregnancy negatively before deciding to fast.
If after your doctor did all the necessary tests and assessments of your health and the health of the baby, he clears you to fast in Ramadan here are some tips to make this experience easier:
Drink plenty of water when you break your fast, during iftar and suhoor meals. Avoid sugary drinks that will only fill you up without giving you the needed hydration.
Make sure you are getting all the necessary nutrients during your meals. Avoid processed foods, and foods rich in sugar and unhealthy fats as much as you can.
It is paramount to keep taking your pregnancy supplements prescribed by your doctor. So make sure you take them either with Iftar or Suhoor.
Preserve your energy, don’t go outdoors in the heat, and avoid any excessive physical activity to avoid dehydration.
At this point, you might have been used to visiting the doctor’s office every month for your prenatal checkups. Try to increase the frequency while fasting to make sure that it is not affecting you or the baby in a negative way.
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