Can you fast while pregnant or breastfeeding?

For religious reasons (Kippur, Ramadan, Lent) or to limit weight gain, some expectant mothers choose to fast during their pregnancy. Is this practice safe? What are the recommendations and precautions to be taken? Answers from Isabelle Héron, gynaecologist.

Fasting during pregnancy: what are the risks?

[Mise à jour du 6 avril 2022]. Apart from patients suffering from a chronic disease that requires a balanced diet, Fasting poses no danger to either the mother or the baby. It would be dangerous not to eat for several days in a row and to drink for more than 12 hours“, assures the gynecologist for patients with gestational diabetes, insulin-dependent diabetes or insulin-induced type 2 diabetes, the answer is much more reserved. “Fasting is particularly complicated for diabetics, as they may be asked to check their blood sugar before and after each meal, sometimes as many as four to six times a day, to meet defined glycemic goals. This will cause us to change insulin patterns, which can affect the balance of diabetes.She keeps going.

General, Any pregnant woman wishing to follow an intermittent, therapeutic, or religious fast must always notify her obstetrician or gynecologist upstream to ensure she has no contraindications to fasting, that she is not putting herself in danger, or that she is not putting her baby in danger.

Ramadan fasting during pregnancy: not mandatory?

Fasting in Ramadan occupies an important place in the Muslim religion. Therefore, it is recommended to fast for a month between sunrise and sunset. But, Sick people, travelers and pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating women are not obliged to follow her, if they believe it poses a risk to their health or that of their baby. “A patient who has no medical history or particular health problems can observe the Ramadan fast without risk. In other words, there cannot be any deficiencies caused by fasting in Ramadan. whether the patient eats well at mealtimes, in the evening, or early in the morning. “In contrast, In high summer temperatures, it is strongly recommended that you drink enough fluids during the day“, comments Dr. Isabelle Héron, Medical Gynecologist, President of the National Federation of Colleges of Medical Gynecology (FNCGM). It is therefore important to be able to continue to do so Stay hydrated throughout the day and eat a balanced diet during Lent. It is particularly important to take a high carbohydrate breakfast so it lasts all day.

Young Yom Kippur during pregnancy: what recommendations?

This Jewish holiday is marked by a 25-hour fast that begins half an hour before sunset and ends at nightfall the next day. This festival takes place on the 10th of the month of Tishri, ten days after the Jewish New Year. According to the Shul’han ‘Arukh (Chapter 617, Halakha 1), a work covering all of Judaism’s commandments, Pregnant or nursing mothers must fast on Yom Kippur. It is therefore safe not to eat or drink on this day. Nevertheless, there are certain scenarios in the Jewish religion Enable expectant and new mothers to eat on Yom Kippur. As a matter of fact, Women who have just given birth are advised not to fast for the first three days after childbirth. The same goes for women who miscarried three days before fasting. Breastfeeding women whose baby is sick should also eat normally. If you plan to fast on the day, eat starchy foods, fruits, and vegetables, and stay hydrated in the days leading up to the fast. Nevertheless, If your doctor thinks fasting is dangerous for you and your baby, you should stop fasting. If necessary, it is also possible to drink and eat in smaller quantities on this fasting day.

Intermittent Fasting and Pregnancy

With intermittent fasting, you don’t eat anything for several hours. to calm the digestive system. A practice that promotes the elimination of toxins that have accumulated in organs such as the liver and kidneys. Specifically, this means skipping either breakfast or dinner to extend the normal overnight fast. “If fasting means not eating for several days, then yes, it’s dangerous. However, if it is only a few hours, there is no risk for mother and child.“, the medical gynecologist reassures. The downside can be that you get tired in the morning if you skip breakfast, or you have trouble sleeping if you skip dinner. In any case, it is important that the other two meals of the day are balanced to meet all vitamin and mineral needs.

Can you breastfeed while fasting?

Breastfeeding is not contraindicated during fasting, but we know that for a fact If the patient is not adequately hydrated, she will not have adequate lactation. In other words, she will be tired, produce less milk, and be unable to breastfeed her child.“, warns the president of the FNCGM. Hence the meaning Continue to stay well hydrated and eat a varied and balanced diet when breaking your fast. However, the fact that the mother is fasting does not affect the quality of her milk: it also remains nutritious and provides the baby with everything it needs. As far as the feeding rhythm is concerned, no change is to be expected: you must continue to respect your child’s needs. Finally, if you are feeling tired or discouraged, know that the Quran allows pregnant women not to observe Ramadan.

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