Ramadan and pregnancy: what precautions?

Ramadan and pregnancy: what precautions?

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The month of Ramadan began May 6, 2019 and will last thirty days. Feast month, this period of fasting can be difficult for future moms. Are there risks to Ramadan? How to facilitate fasting? Explanations.

Ramadan and future mothers, what does the Qur'an say?

  • During Ramadan, every Muslim must abstain from eating, drinking and having sex between sunrise and sunset. It is a sacred month and dedicated to the various deprivations and rules to respect to mark the purification, the penance and the mourning. Pregnancy is not a reason for not respecting fasting during Ramadan. However, religious leaders attest that fasting is not compulsory for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and the sick. These people may postpone their fasting period and a pregnant or nursing woman who observes Ramadan may interrupt the fasting period at any time if she does not feel healthy.
  • According to nutritionists, fasting during pregnancy does not pose a significant threat to a healthy pregnant woman unless this fasting period is long and in this case could affect the hydration status of the pregnant woman. mother and fetus, and could also cause metabolic disorders.
  • The practice of fasting in pregnant women depends above all on the state of health of the mother and the baby; you are the only one able to judge and decide on the practice of this ritual according to your state of health. Talk with the family, your spouse, your doctor or gynecologist to help you make the best decision.

How to practice Ramadan fasting during pregnancy?

1. Take stock of the medical plan

  • Before you begin this fasting period, take stock with your doctor or gynecologist to better assess your health, talk about the risks to you and your baby, and discuss possible complications that could result from fasting. gestational diabetes or anemia, for example.
  • Be followed by a nutritionist or dietician who can determine your nutrient requirements and advise you on your diet.

2. Eat properly

  • If you are allowed by your doctor to fast during the month of Ramadan, however, there are some recommendations to follow so that you can eat properly and reasonably.
  • The fasting of Ramadan obeys rules that require practitioners not to drink or eat during the day, but to break the fast during the night. It is recommended to eat at least three main meals at night, before being able to face the next day.
  • In the evening, the first meal is to overcome hunger and thirst. Nutritionists recommend that pregnant women get enough energy and rehydrate during this first meal. For example, eat glucose-rich foods, drink tea and hot drinks. Choose foods that are sources of energy.
  • The second meal should be light but rich in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, proteins) to promote the growth and development of the fetus: vegetables, starchy foods, soups, meat, fish, eggs ...
  • The third meal is breakfast and it is strongly recommended not to neglect. It is during this meal that the body will make energy reserves to be able to function normally during the day of fasting. Dairy products (cheese, yoghurt, milk), starchy foods, meat, fruit, whole grains, ...
  • Drink plenty of water because dehydration is the main risk that could affect the progress of pregnancy.

3. Pay attention to certain points

  • To facilitate the practice of fasting and this period has no impact on your health and that of your baby, still respect some rules of hygiene:
  • Organize yourself during the day to rest and take a nap. Do not hesitate to talk to your employer to arrange your work time.
  • The fasting period being tiring for a pregnant woman, it is recommended to "save money" during the day and not to spend a surplus of energy with household chores, work, and any other activities that can cause fatigue. (long walk, running, carrying heavy objects ...)
  • Avoid hot places and cool down to prevent dehydration.

What are the risks of fasting during pregnancy?

  • Several scientific studies have focused on the consequences of Ramadan fasting on pregnancy. The answers and conclusions are not entirely conclusive and the results of the research are not always similar. While some researchers have confirmed that the occasional fasting of the mother during Ramadan, which is a contradictory alternation of day and night, does not affect the health of the fetus, others have shown instead that could give birth to babies who were premature or inferior in birth weight, especially in women who had a poor diet and insufficient caloric intake.
  • Other studies have also observed a slight increase in blood glucose, total cholesterol and triglycerides in expectant mothers observing Ramadan, but without impact on the health status of the fetus.
  • However, the researchers are unanimous on one conclusion: if you eat properly, have a healthy lifestyle, your body is able to store enough energy, and the nutrients needed for the fetus are correct, your baby and you will be able to bear the fasting period.
  • The risks of fasting on pregnancy also depend on other factors such as age of pregnancy, maternal health status, nutritional status, environmental factors (fasting will be more difficult in summer the days are longer, or when it is warmer because of the risk of dehydration).

When to break the fast?

You must pay attention to certain signs and call your doctor immediately in case of:

  • Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, pain, fever
  • Fainting, loss of consciousness
  • Nausea, vomiting, weight loss
  • Anomalies in baby's movements (he moves less, gives less kicks)
  • Intense thirst with dark urine that signs dehydration
  • contractions