The dilemma over fasting during Ramadan bothers many expectant mothers. Questions on whether or not it is safe to fast during pregnancy worries women often. We bring you some expert advice on the issue so that you and your baby stay safe and healthy through this Ramadan.
To fast or not during pregnancy:
This has to be decided by your doctor who is in full knowledge of issues relating to your pregnancy. If your doctor suggests fasting, you may go ahead with it.
In general, any pregnant woman who suffers from complications during pregnancy, like high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney infections or heart problems must refrain from fasting.
According to Dr Rashi Gupta, Specialist Obstetrics and Gynecology at iCare Clinics, Dubai, there are certain essential tips to follow while fasting for pregnant women:
1. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water at Suhur and Iftar
2. Break your fast with a healthy meal including protein, fruits, dates and fiber
3. Break the fast in case you feel too weak
4. Eat energy rich foods during Suhur
5. Avoid activities which will leave you physically exhausted while fasting
6. Take rest and sleep well
Contact your doctor in case you feel any of the following:
1. Not putting on enough weight, or losing weight.
2. Feeling very thirsty, or urinating lesser than usual or if urine is dark colored. This is a sign of dehydration, and it can make you more prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) or other complications.
3. Headaches, other pains or fever.
4. Nausea or vomiting.
5. If there is a noticeable change in your baby’s movements, such as if your baby is not moving around or kicking as much.
6. You notice contraction-like pains. This could be a sign of premature labour.
7. Feeling dizzy, faint, weak, confused or tired, even after you have had a good rest. Break your fast immediately and drink water containing salt and sugar, or an oral rehydration solution.
In general, it is suggested that women may not fast during their first and the third trimester of pregnancy.
According to Islam, pregnant women are allowed to quit fasting during Ramadan. She can make up for the missed fasts later, when she is healthy.