Fasting in the holy month of Ramadan is something that is very sacred and has an emotional value attached to it. Women who are expecting a baby feel the same way about it but they have a valid concern about the safety of their baby. From the Islamic point of view, pregnant and breastfeeding women are exempted from fasting. The simple answer to this question is yes, you can fast during pregnancy but no, it is not advisable. It is okay to fast only if your pregnancy is normal and without any complications. This also depends upon the pregnancy trimester that you are currently in. Let’s discuss this in detail.
How to Decide to Fast During Pregnancy?
To decide to fast during your pregnancy, it is necessary to consult your doctor. The doctor will assess your condition including the trimester you are in, and whether you have a normal pregnancy which means that you are free from problems like high blood pressure, and gestational diabetes. They will check your medical and gynecological history and will advise you to fast only after making sure that everything is normal.
Diet During Ramadan
Pregnant women are generally advised to take a few breaks in between fasts to keep up their energy. The traditional Sehri and Iftari consisting of oily and starchy food avoided as much as possible and instead switching to healthy options is important to keep up the energy and to maintain glucose levels. This includes carbs such as wholewheat pasta, bran, and oats that slowly release energy in the body and protein-rich foods to maintain the energy. Make sure you are hydrated properly at Sheri and after iftar time.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Avoiding fatty food and foods that have a high sugar content is necessary. Avoiding sugary drinks and carbonated beverages is also necessary. Reducing the intake of caffine is advised because it causes dehydration.
Importance of Rest
Resting is important when you are fasting to conserve your energy levels and avoid getting dehydrated and lower your blood sugar levels. Give yourself a break while you are fasting.
Break Between Fasts
Taking a break after a few days of fasting helps to fast for more days. It conserves your energy and keeps your spirits high for the next fast.
Regular Checkups With Your Doctor
Be sure to keep your gynecologist in the loop if you plan on fasting. Keep them updated with regular check-ins and never hesitate to visit them if you feel like something is off about the way you feel. If they no longer advise you to fast, it is better to skip it for the health of your baby.
Unadvisable Effects Of Fasting During Pregnancy
We have discussed the ways to fast during pregnancy safely but it is also important to note the risk that is involved during this even if you have a normal pregnancy. Some of the risks are
- Preterm delivery of the baby
- May affect the birth weight of the baby
- Changes in the insulin and blood sugar levels in the body
- May alter hormone levels in the body
This does not mean you should be discouraged. Instead, discuss your valid concerns with your doctor and decide mutually.
To summarize, fasting during Ramadan is a holy and emotional experience that women want during pregnancy. To be allowed to fast or not depends upon your doctor’s advice who will see if your pregnancy is running normally and without complications. This is a personal decision that should be taken after discussing it with your gynecologist in lahore and all the precautions and care should be taken if you decide to fast during Ramadan.