Tips for Pregnant Women Who Fast During Ramadan

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Dr. Manu Lakshmi

26 Jul 2021

Tips for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women who decide to fast during Ramadan can find it quite demanding to meet the body’s requirements in terms of nutrients and fluids it needs. The main focus on nutrition during pregnancy has to be unhindered to ensure the safe and healthy development of the baby which may mean a lot for the child’s health in later life. The best gynecologist in Chennai has complete knowledge of issues relating to pregnancy and can suggest if the woman may go ahead with fasting during Ramadan.

Consult with the gynecologist about fasting during pregnancy

A pregnant woman in good health condition may fast without fear for herself or her baby’s growth, but it is always advisable to keep the gynecologist informed about the decision. Worrying over health during pregnancy is a valid reason to seek the advice of the gynecologist and seek measures to stay safe from circumstances that may threaten her health or the status of the foetus. Pregnant women suffering from complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney infections, or heart problems are generally advised to refrain from fasting. On deciding to go on fasting despite unfavorable health conditions during pregnancy, it is necessary to inform the gynecologist on the decision to fast so that they can offer the right advice and perform any essential health checks from time to time. If a woman has recently got pregnant after undergoing assisted reproductive techniques or after taking irregular periods of treatment in Chennai, the specialist would advise skipping fasting for that Ramadan season.

Tips on planning and preparing for fasting during pregnancy

There is nothing wrong with fasting during pregnancy if it is possible without ill effects. To know the pros and cons of fasting during pregnancy, would be an advantage in making an informed decision. Certain essential tips are to be followed while fasting for pregnant women. To maintain healthy body weight through the pregnancy and to prevent symptoms that fasting pregnant women are prone to are the major goals to plan and prepare for. Planning and preparing for fasting will depend on factors such as :

– General health before getting pregnant: If fit too fast, follow a routine and plan to take regular rests and avoid stressful situations.
– The stage of pregnancy: it is suggested not to fast during the first and third trimester of pregnancy.
– Fasting duration in a day that may vary between 11 and 18 hours depending on the time of year: Fasting days in summer months would be longer and hotter making it likely to be harder than in the winter. To consider fasting on some but not all days such as on alternate days or at weekends of the month can make fasting a bit more manageable during pregnancy.

Maintain a diary, to know what may be required for eating and drinking. Get a weighing scale to keep a check on the body weight. Early preparation by shopping and running errands before fasting begins can be helpful. The woman can take help from family and friends to procure things needed.

Tips on keeping hydrated while fasting during pregnancy

Pregnant women need to drink more water than usual because water is necessary for forming the placenta that gives all the nutrients that the growing baby requires. If the body does not get enough water, it can cause dehydration, leading to low amniotic fluid, low breast milk production, and even premature birth. Drinking plenty of water from dusk to dawn would be ideal. Foods with high water content like fresh fruits and vegetables can also be a good option to keep hydrated. Eating salty foods can demand more water, so avoid them. Avoid tea coffee or other caffeinated drinks that make the body lose more water. Soups, stews, lemonade, juices, smoothies, and milkshakes are healthier options for sufficient fluid consumption. Dry mouth, headaches, and dark yellow urine are some signs that indicate the need for more fluid intake. Feeling dizzy, faint, weak, confused, or tired are symptoms of dehydration that have to be checked for immediately at the center with the best gynecologist in Chennai.

Tips on eating while fasting during pregnancy

There is no ideal meal plan to follow strictly. Having healthy foods at dusk and not missing the pre-dawn meal or Sehri are important considerations to fulfill nutritional needs. One of the most important meals during Ramzan is Sehri because it provides energy for the mother and the baby to be active for the whole day.

– Balanced diet – Meals at Sehri and Iftar must contain a balance of nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and fiber. Complex carbohydrates release energy more slowly, so including high fiber foods like brown rice and wholewheat bread can help to feel less hungry. Cooked lean meat protein, pulses, vegetables, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds are good sources of nutrients needed to stay healthy during Ramadan. Choose healthier options in place of high-fat, refined foods. Replace high-sugar, high-fat desserts with fresh fruits, dates, figs, or raisins.

– Meal portions – Choose quality over quantity. Overeating huge portions of food high in sugar and salt during iftar may stress the body, lead to indigestion and weight gain. Eating small portions of nutritious foods will prevent feeling uncomfortable after eating or gaining weight. Several smaller, balanced, nutritious meals from the time of breaking the fast rather than just feasting and eating heavy meals only two times are recommended to prevent symptoms such as constipation, headaches, indigestion, or lethargy that are commonly seen in fasting pregnant women.

Tips on activity while fasting during pregnancy

  • Sleep well
  • Take enough rest
  • Avoid activities that are physically exhausting
  • Stay cool in the shade, avoid exposure to too much sun
  • Do not over-exert or take stress
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects
  • Take help for daily house chores
  • Do some simple exercises before Sehri
    If in any doubt of continuing the fast or physical discomfort, always approach the best gynaecologist in Chennai to stay safe and have a healthy outcome of the pregnancy.
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