The thought of fasting while pregnant is very daunting. However, it is very possible to fast the entire month without much difficulty. Alhamdulillah, I managed to fast the entire month of Ramadan while I was 7 months pregnant. It was the first time in a very long time that I was able to fast throughout the whole month (no fasts to make up for the year, hooray!).
If you are pregnant this Ramadan and would like to give fasting a go, here are some tips that worked for me:
1. Get the green light from your gynaecologist
- Try to squeeze in a check-up prior to the fasting month or during the first few days of fasting, to ensure that everything is going well with your baby’s progress. You should only attempt to fast when you’ve received the okay from your doctor, and this might depend on the stage of your pregnancy.
- Even if you do get the green light, ask your doctor for signs that you should look out for that may warrant breaking your fast such as bleeding, contractions, a clear decrease in your baby’s movement, severe headaches or dizziness, extreme fatigue or weakness.
- It’s normal to feel a little tired and slow, especially in the first few days before your body adjusts, but I found it not to be much different from fasting when I wasn’t pregnant.
2. Have a basic meal plan and stock up your pantry
- Doing grocery runs when you’re pregnant is no fun, and it’s even less fun when you’re fasting. Planning meals ahead and stocking your pantry with necessary staples saves you time and energy in the long run.
- Oats, yoghurt, fruit, dates, eggs, milk and honey were some of my go-to’s. You can also cook a few batches of food before Ramadan and freeze it. That way all you need to do is warm it up before iftar for a hassle free and much more nutritious home-cooked meal rather than buying meals from the bazaar, as tempting as that may be.
3. Make sure to eat well during iftar and sahur
- Eat meals that will be able to sustain your energy throughout the day. Meals like overnight oats, omelettes and sandwiches are good and simple meals to prepare for sahur. Having some honey and dates also made a difference in my energy; in fact l felt more lethargic when I didn’t have them in the morning.
- Avoid eating oily and greasy food if possible. Eating often and in small amounts will also help you sustain your energy better than breaking fast with a big carbo-loaded meal.
4. Keep a food diary
- Jot down what you have for sahur and how you feel throughout the day, at least for the first few days. This helped me gauge what type of meal sustained me best throughout the day.
5. Take a nap and don’t tire yourself out too much
- 15 minutes does wonders and you’ll feel much more refreshed after a quick nap. If you’re working, most bosses and colleagues will understand that you need to take some time to rest if you inform them beforehand that you are fasting.
- It’s tempting to do as much worship during Ramadan, which includes going to the mosque. It’s okay if you can’t make it for every tarawih prayer or do it at home. There are other ways in which you can engage in worship as well.
- Get help around the house where and when possible! Husbands can pitch in with the chores as well.
6. Have sincere intentions
- Last but not least, having the right intentions helps tremendously. Know why you are fasting and do it sincerely, and insyaAllah, it will be made easy for you. Also, make lots and lots of dua!
One of the ayat in the Quran that Allah SWT says to us with regards to Ramadan is in Surah Al-Baqarah [Qur’an: Chapter 2, Verse 185] “Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship”. If you feel that you are able to fast, make sure that you take care of yourself and your baby. It is perfectly okay if you feel that it is too difficult – you know yourself and your baby best.
Sabrina Hanim is currently doing her Masters in Psychology.
Image Credit: www.babycentre.co.uk.