Can Pregnant or Breastfeeding Mothers Fast During Ramadan?

In these days when we enter the month of Ramadan, one of the most important questions on the minds of pregnant women is whether pregnant women can fast. In this process, where the immune system must be kept very strong, the answer to this question becomes much more important. We also asked this question, which is very curious, for you, Gynecology, Obstetrics and IVF Specialist Op. Dr. We asked Seval Taşdemir.

Is fasting harmful to the baby?

Especially during this period of the COVID-19 epidemic and at other times, the immune system of expectant mothers and nursing mothers should be kept very strong. Normally, people can endure hunger for a long time, but during pregnancy this period is reduced by one third. Pregnant women need more calories, protein, vitamins and minerals for both themselves and their babies. Fasting during pregnancy is not recommended for the health of both the mother and the baby, as the food taken while fasting will not be enough to meet the needs of both her and her baby.

At the same time, fasting can create serious problems if the expectant mother has concomitant conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, extreme anemia and preterm birth risk. In this case, the doctor will not allow the expectant mother to fast. In addition to all this, the immune system may need to be kept even stronger due to COVID-19 in recent days.

Due to nausea and vomiting in the first 3 months of pregnancy, the expectant mother cannot eat enough. In addition, with fasting during this period, especially fluid deficiency, hypoglycemia and related fainting or weakness become much more evident. Between the 3rd and 5th months is the period when the baby’s organs develop, so expectant mothers should not fast during this period.

The last months are the periods when the baby grows rapidly and gains weight. Long-term hunger during these months may cause the baby to gain less weight, drop in sugar, and cause distress in the baby due to excessive fluid loss.

Should breastfeeding mothers fast?

It is important for mothers who are breastfeeding their babies to pay attention to their nutrition and to take plenty of fluids, especially in the first months. Fasting causes a decrease in milk due to a decrease in fluid intake. Therefore, fasting is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation. Expectant mothers or mothers should make a decision knowing the risks and consult their doctors and dietitians. At the same time, a definite decision about fasting should not be made without going through a check-up on your general health status in addition to the obstetrics examination. It is very important for pregnant and lactating women to have a healthy and regular diet in this process.

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