Is fasting during pregnancy harmful for unborn baby? Here are some guidelines for those who are in two minds whether to fast in pregnancy or not.
Sakinah is on cloud nine as she is expecting a baby. It is her first pregnancy and she is in her third trimester. She has been in a great dilemma during the holy month of fasting. Her husband is insisting her not to fast, as he thinks that can be harmful for their baby. Till now Sakinah observed fasts every year during Ramadan without fail. She just wanted to know, is it okay to fast during pregnancy?
Religious beliefs make us adhere to certain values such as fasting. Hindus observe fasts on certain days of the week showing their devotion towards certain deities. Fasting during Ganesh Chaturthi and Navaratri is common in Hinduism. While, in Islam fasting during Ramadan is considered obligatory and highly religious. Great LentChristianity. Can pregnant women be exempted from fasting? Does it cause any harm to an unborn baby if a pregnant woman observes fasts?
Fasting and baby's health
Islam excuses women from fasting, if they are in an advance stage of pregnancy, where fasting could be harmful for a mother and a baby. Islam also excludes those women from fasting who are breastfeeding and those who are menstruating. When a baby is growing inside the womb, she is totally dependant on its mother for necessary proteins, nutrition and vitamins. It is suggested that women should not fast during their first and third trimester. They could fast during their second trimester if their obstetricians grant permission.
Doctor's opinion does matter
Talk to your doctor and get an overview of your health condition, if you are feeling obliged to fast. Let your health care provider give you a clean chit. Your obstetrician or gynecologist is the person who knows your medical history and health conditions very well. There is no harm to observe fasts during Ramadan or for that matter any other religious event, if your health care provider allows you. Most of the health care providers do not agree on fasting for a longer period if you are pregnant. Though short term fasting can be practiced.
Effects of fasting during pregnancy
There can be several short term or long term effects of fasting during pregnancy. Many women choose to fast even if they are pregnant. Fasting during pregnancy could increase a woman's risk for premature birth. Mothers who experience extreme nausea and vomiting during first trimester should not consider fasting. Practicing waterless fast can have adverse effects on your baby. Your baby
Pregnant women or nursing mothers need constant supply of essential nutrition, vitamins, proteins, folic acid, and minerals. They need to keep track of their nutrition intake for the wellbeing of themselves and their babies. Fasting may effect the development of the foetus. Fasting in pregnancy carries certain risks for the unborn baby such as abnormal breathing movements, low birth weight, and reduced gestational period. may suffer from dehydration.
Pregnancy and fasting tips
A life growing inside the mother's womb is dependent on her. If a mother starves, then the baby will starve too. If a mother consumes healthy food, a baby will be healthy too. If you are fasting during your pregnancy, keep following tips in mind to prevent any health hazards.
Your baby is your responsibility. One wrong decision can be the cause of harm to your baby. Your baby is developing day by day inside your womb. Though you cannot see it, you can feel it. Sometimes it is better to listen to experts than following your faith. You are the one who needs to take the decision. You surely will. Good luck!
- Drink plenty of water before starting and finishing your fast, if it is a waterless fast.
- Break your fast with a healthy meal which includes food items from every food group.
- Instead of leaving food entirely you can eat food what is allowed to eat during fasts such as fruits, milk, peanuts, etc.
- If you are feeling extremely weak during your fast, then do not hesitate to break it.
- Try to eat healthy foods before starting your fast.
- Avoid activities which will leave you physically exhausted while fasting