Pregnant women should always be mindful of whatever they eat. This kind of approach highlights the importance of eating for what your body needs and sometimes, what your body wants. Because whether we like it or not, nourishing the body is one of the important tasks every pregnant woman must do. But there are some occasions when pregnant women may not be able to practice this approach. And one rare reason for this is fasting, as prescribed by religion.
There are some religions that encourage fasting to their followers as part of the ritual for some major holidays. For example, those people of the Jewish faith, fasting happens when it is Yom Kippur. Another is Muslims, who traditionally fast during Ramadan. And for some Christians, they fast during Lenten season. These are just some of the reasons why their followers of different religions practice fasting, mainly because of faith and respect for their religion.
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But what happens when a pregnant woman and also mothers who do breastfeeding, are they exempted from fasting? Is it safe to practice fasting when a woman is pregnant? These are common questions that have been battling with faith in religion. This article denotes medical guidelines on what could be the outcome of fasting to pregnant women. Because for some reason, we are merely talking about life and safety. Take time to read and be aware of the possible things that may happen if a pregnant woman will practice fasting.
Is it advisable to fast when you are pregnant?
Abstinence from eating during pregnancy is somewhat a delicate balance. Researchers have shown that fasting could actually cause a negative impact to the ketone bodies and molecules produced by the liver during the time when your food intake is low. For some reason, it could possibly have a negative impact on the fetus, which every pregnant woman doesn’t want to happen.
The most important thing to do is to talk to your doctor before deciding whether or not it’s safe for you and your soon-to-be-baby to practice fasting. It always varies on different factors and situations. Like for example, your pregnancy is kind of a risky one and you are undergoing medical treatment, then this could probably need a series of eating and regaining of nourishment that your body needs and most importantly, your baby’s needs.
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Whatever the decision of your doctor and yourself, one important thing to do is to stay hydrated. Liquid always plays a vital role in the development of the baby inside your tummy. Water therapy is always the key. So if your permits you to practice fasting, it only needs to be for a short period of time. At least make sure to drink 8 glasses of water a day and avoid getting tired as much as possible. Once you are exhausted, it may cause a loss of fluids which may put your life and your baby’s life at risk.
Tips for pregnant women who practice fasting
For some reason, there are also pregnant women who consider fasting. It is always important for pregnant women to nurture their bodies so they have what they need to make the baby healthy. These are some helpful tips for those who are considering fasting.
- Talk to your doctor
In whatever you do, always seek for an expert’s advice, most especially when you are pregnant. They know more than you do. Everything you take and everything you will not take should always be monitored. The same is true when you decide to fast.
- Keep hydrated
Dehydration is very risky for everyone. How much more to pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers? Drink extra liquids before you practice fasting. Always see to it that you are always hydrated when you fast.
- Long periods of fasting should be avoided
It is not advisable for pregnant women to fast for a long period of time as it can make a big impact on the baby. The baby is developing every minute and every second in the mother’s tummy, so these are the delicate periods of baby’s development and is not good for fasting for a long time.
Potential risks of fasting
Some studies show no effect on the mother and the baby when they opt to fast. While there are others who claim to have health problems later in life. They claim to have an effect on the child, and these are:
- It affects the intelligence or the academic ability of a child
- Fasting may cause a baby to have a lower birth weight, especially if the fasting took place during the first trimester
- Babies would most likely grow up smaller and thinner if fasting was practiced by their mothers during pregnancy
- Changes of the chemical blood happen when you the pregnant woman fast, but these changes don’t seem to be harmful to the mother and the baby
- May be linked to premature labor or some babies are born earlier than the due date
Who should avoid fasting?
Not at all times, pregnant women are permitted to practice fasting. Here are the reasons why they are not allowed.
- They have anemia or any related conditions
- Their blood pressure is not normal
- Easily gets tired or exhausted
- Has a history of preterm delivery
- History of eating disorders
- Frequent Vomiting
If you have these, it is always better to just let go of the thought of fasting. What important is the development and growth of the baby?
It is not questionable if you wanted to follow your religion’s order about fasting. Nobody will ever question your faith and practices you have because respect is always there. However, always look at some of the factors that may have a big impact on yourself and your baby. Do not be one-sided on everything. You’ve got to weigh things out.
Ask your doctor and have a general health check before you start. Your religion will surely suggest that you must have your medical advice first to help you with your decision. After all, it’s always the health of the child that matters. Just think and decide on what is best.