Ramadan is here and it’s important for pregnant women to note some tips to have an easy and healthy fast. It should also be noted that the majority of pregnant women have fasted successfully throughout the years so while one should take precautions, a healthy, pregnant woman should not be worried about fasting.
Have a chat with your doctor
Consult your doctor and make sure that you are healthy enough to fast and that there isn’t
a pre-existing threat of miscarriage or preterm labor
Ease off the caffeine train.
The truth is pregnant women shouldn’t be consuming massive amounts of caffeine anyway. But, if you are a committed coffee-drinker, then consider weaning yourself from coffee and on to green tea a few days before the fast. You should find a significant decrease in headache and fatigue. Know that caffeine has astringent properties and can interfere with hydration, so in addition to staving off headaches, you’ll be aiding your system by allowing for more water retention.
Drink, drink, drink and then drink some more. Ideally, you should still be urinating a few hours before the fast ends; that is a good sign that your body is still well hydrated. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area. Keeping your body temperature normal is essential to keeping yourself hydrated and hence your baby safe on a fast day. Keep in mind that excessive A/C can also be dehydrating – so please, make sure that the room is cool and comfortable enough.
Make positivity your default browser.
Do not underestimate the power of a positive attitude. If you go into the fast with a negative attitude about how difficult it’s going to be, it probably will be pretty difficult. Keep monitoring your baby’s movement and make sure it’s within normal range to see if he/she is handling the fast well.
Prepare easy food.
Try preparing your meal ahead of the fast to avoid standing for too long. If you haven’t already prepared a meal and will do so while fasting, choose a simple one that will be ready in a short time.
If you have a choice between sitting and standing: Sit. If you have a choice between sitting and lying down: Lay down. The less active you are, the less active your uterus will likely be. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Once you feel exhausted stop and ask for help.
Look out for Danger Signs
Danger signs that may warrant breaking the fast include:
- Bleeding (even light)
- Contractions (4 or more in 1 hour)
- A clear decrease in fetal movement
- Blurred vision and/or intense headache
- Extreme fatigue
- Extreme weakness
*A pregnant woman experiencing any of the above symptoms must seek immediate medical counsel from her healthcare provider.
It may be tempting to wolf down a whole bowl of whatever you’ve been craving the moment the fast ends, but be careful. Due to the growing baby inside, your stomach is already smaller then it normally is. Plus, you haven’t eaten all day, so your stomach is even smaller than it was! The only way to feel decent after breaking the fast is to introduce food and drink SLOWLY.
Women are encouraged to break their fast on a warm beverage ( herbal tea with milk). Sip it slowly. Wait a few minutes after you’ve finished it and if you would like, have another one. Once that has settled, try eating something small. Let that settle for at least 5-10 minutes before you consider eating more.
These tips will take your through the Holy month of Ramadan safely and at ease.
Have a safe fast!