Fasting during pregnancy: Ramadan

Every year Muslims have the Islamic fasting period, or Ramadan. In principle, fasting is an obligation for all Muslims. Some people, however, are an exception to this obligation, including pregnant women. They receive a temporary exemption. Yet many Muslim women choose to do it anyway fasting during pregnancyBut is that really wise? Can fasting be harmful or not and if you do fasting, how can you best deal with it? Read it in this blog!

Pregnant and fast

Every 9th month of the Islamic monthly calendar is fastened. The fasting period lasts from 29 to 30 days. Ramadan does not fall every year at the same time, but is pushed forward every year by eleven days. This means that Ramadan can fall into other seasons during the years. This year, for example, Ramadan fell in the spring. In the spring, the days are longer, so fasting can be heavier than in winter.

Pregnant women are allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to fast during pregnancy. They are therefore not required. If the pregnant woman decides not to fast, she should catch up later or they should make a charitable contribution. If you want to catch up later, there is a chance that you are breastfeeding at the moment of catching up.

Being pregnant or breastfeeding and fasting is not ideal, but in principle it is possible. There are many pregnant women who decide to fast during pregnancy because they can join the rest of the family. Later only fetching fast is not motivating. In addition, some pregnant women feel guilty about their surroundings if they do not fast during pregnancy. Most Muslims also think that the total is not harmful.

Is fasting harmful during pregnancy?

How is that actually? Is fasting during pregnancy harmful? Opinions are slightly divided on this. The strange thing is that no good research has been done yet. Some studies show that fasting can have consequences for baby growth and placental production. But these studies are not complete, so no clear conclusion can be drawn.

Other studies can not clearly indicate whether fasting has adverse effects. In most cases your body always ensures that your baby is not short of anything. This means that your baby gets enough nutrients, but you yourself a little less.

So science does not have a sound answer. The general advice of doctors is that fasting in itself is possible, but that it is very important that women listen carefully to their own body. In the context of good, better, best, the best is of course not fasting.
During fasting, your body will run out of fluid and nutrients during the day, whereas you, as a pregnant woman, really need it. For that reason, fasting for pregnant women is often a lot heavier than for others.

Visit the doctor before you fast during pregnancy

Before you start fasting, it is always wise to ask your doctor if this is a good idea for you. Pregnant women with high or low blood pressure or diabetes, for example, should better not fast. If you have permission from your doctor, fasting will still be severe. You can, among other things, suffer from the following complaints:

  • Nausea and headache. This is usually the result of a moisture shortage. If it gets too bad, it is wise to drink something. This often improves after a few days.
  • Dizziness or fainting. Because nothing is eaten for a long time, blood sugar levels and your blood pressure drop. You can get dizzy here. Always take it easy when you notice this.
  • Extreme fatigue: every pregnant woman has to contend with fatigue, because fasting can aggravate this. So take your rest regularly.

Just pregnant and fast

The first 12 weeks of your pregnancy are crucial. In fact, during these weeks all organs of your baby will be laid. In addition, the chance of a miscarriage in this period is greatest. After 12 weeks the baby has to grow and mature a lot. Your baby will ask a lot of your body especially during this period.

This can manifest in various pregnancy ailments such as morning sickness, extreme fatigue and constipation. Take this into account if you want to fast in this period. Your baby requires a lot of energy, so you get less as a mother. Listen to your body extra well. Take extra rest and make sure that you get all the important nutrients and moisture at the moments that you are allowed to eat!

Nutritional tips during Ramadan

In principle it is possible to fast during pregnancy, but then it is very important that you follow the tips below. If you take this into account, the chance of complications is smaller and you can reduce as many complaints as possible.

  • Make sure the meal for fasting (Suhur) consists of many nutrients and fibers. So do not opt ​​for a high-sugar meal, but for vegetables, wholemeal, spelled, oats, buckwheat, protein (such as fish, meat, eggs) and unsaturated fats such as avocados and vegetable oils.
  • Leave the sweet snacks and desserts as much as possible and choose vegetables, fruit and meat
  • Make sure you get enough moisture in the form of water or tea. Avoid coffee and soft drinks.
  • Eat a nutritious and balanced Iftar meal consisting of many vegetables, meat / fish / egg and slow carbohydrates.
  • In between, you can eat the best dairy products, nuts or fruit and drink enough.
  • Limit spicy food, soft drinks with carbon dioxide and try to avoid or limit the high-fat, sugar-rich and traditional dishes. These can cause stomach complaints.
  • Always eat slowly and chew well.

Tips for breastfeeding during Ramadan

Are you breastfeeding and do you still want to fast? Then check out the tips below:

  • Drink and eat nutritious and healthy meals when you are allowed to eat. During breastfeeding your body consumes extra energy, this has to be supplemented.
  • Let your child drink as much as possible with you at night, perhaps you will have to put the baby on less often during the day.
  • Flask some extra milk at night (if at all possible) so that you have a small stock for the daytime.

Get advice from the midwife

Despite whether you are a midwife or not, always discuss your intention to fast during pregnancy. It is important that your midwife knows that you are going to fast. She can then give you appropriate advice and keep an eye on you. Your midwife can also check whether it is wise for you to fast during pregnancy.

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