Are you pregnant and thinking of fasting this festival season?
Does the thought worry you a little?
Are you unsure of whether fasting during pregnancy is safe for the baby or not?
No matter how strong your faith is, when you are nurturing your baby in your womb, there is always a sense of doubt. There is always one pressing question- Is it safe to fast during pregnancy?
If you have always fasted during Navratri but are unsure how to go ahead now that you are pregnant, read this article to get some clarity on how to proceed.
Also Read: 11 Food Items to avoid during Pregnancy
Pregnancy And Fasting
The first and the third trimester get a little uncomfortable for fasting. The second trimester, however, is considered more favourable. Having said that, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before you choose to fast especially during the initial three months of pregnancy as this is the most crucial time.
When Should You Not Fast?
Fasting is not recommended if:
If fasting makes you feel weak, dehydrated, uncomfortable and you are unable to carry out your routine comfortably, resume your regular day instead.
If you are diabetic or at a risk of Hypertension or any other issue, consult your doctor as fasting may cause nutrient imbalance.
Also Read: Importance of folic acid during pregnancy
Tips For Fasting During Pregnancy
If you are in good health, feel strong and have been given the green signal for fasting by your doctor, here are some tips to cope better with the fasting:
#1. Make sure you drink a lot of water during the fast to stay hydrated.
#2. Avoid going out of the house if it is hot and humid outside as your body may get dehydrated.
#3. Inculcate a diet plan where you eat something after every 2-3 hours so that your body gets essential nutrients.
#4. Avoid beverages containing caffeine as they end up dehydrating you.
#5. Avoid any food that is high in sugar content when breaking your fast. The sudden surge of sugar levels might make you feel dizzy. Break your fast with a salty dish that is not fried.
#6. If your fast allows liquids, try to drink coconut water, milk or fruit juices.
#7. Get enough sleep to remain restful. This will conserve energy and prevent you from feeling weak or dizzy during the day.
#8. Avoid any sort of stress. Lack of food is likely to make you irritable and snappy. Try to stay calm and meditate or deep breathe to keep stress at bay.
#9. Avoid physically exerting activities like shopping, long walks or exercise. As your calorie intake will be low during the fast, it is best to conserve energy to last through the fast.
Warning Signs Of Fasting
If you see the following signs when you are fasting, it is time for you to see your doctor:
- You are losing weight rapidly.
- You are dehydrated.
- You notice symptoms like nausea, lethargy, dizziness or fever.
- You feel constipated or uncomfortable.
- The movements of the baby decrease or you feel pain similar to labour.
Alternatives You Can Try
Every religion allows some alternative for those who are physically unable to fast. Here are some alternatives or alterations you could try out:
- Choose a single food fast such as fruits only or liquids only.
- Fast every alternate day or once a week instead of fasting every day.
- Fast in the beginning and at the end of the fasting period instead of the entire period.
It is best to avoid long fasts during pregnancy. Although there are no proven negative results, it is best to maintain a healthy diet. Make sure that you only fast if you feel fit enough and keep your pregnancy term in mind. Consulting your doctor is a must before you begin any fast.
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