What is the Islamic view on fasting during pregnancy?
Are there any tips to consider while fasting as a pregnant woman?
These are some of the questions that pop up in the mind of a pregnant woman when Ramadan is around the corner. Well, worry not as we have got you all covered!
This article will deliver all the best information you need to know to get out of that mind-boggling situation of whether to fast in Ramadan or not if you’re expecting.
Ramadan is a month of spiritual reflection and ultimate repentance. During this month, Muslims spend the entire 30 days fasting from sunrise to sunset, praying and worshiping more remarkably, and executing deeds of charity to thrive as better Muslims and get closer to Allah. Fasting during Ramadan is undoubtedly an essential way to bolster one’s faith, acquire self-control, and cultivate empathy for the less fortunate.
However, if you are pregnant, then it’s pretty obvious that you might be worried about whether fasting might impact your health or the health of your growing child.
Well, scroll through the article to find out more about what Islam says in such a situation and take a sigh of relief!
What is the Islamic Point Of View Regarding Ramadan And Pregnancy?
Fasting during Ramadan is no doubt extremely important and compulsory for all Muslims. And, that is why it is one of the five pillars of Islam. However, certain exemptions for Muslims are laid down by Islam if they are unable to fast due to a certain condition and that is what makes our Islam so beautiful and easy to practice!
Young children (preferably under 12), the elderly (if they have a disease or a certain health condition), and women who are menstruating, pregnant, or breastfeeding are some of the groups who can be exempted from fasting during Ramadan. However, they should complete their fasts when they’re better and out of that particular condition.
According to the Department of Islamic Development, the Islamic legal enactment on fasting during pregnancy is that a pregnant woman can fast if she is physically capable of doing it. If a pregnant woman is in an acceptable physical ailment and thinks she can fast without apprehension for her health or the unborn, then she should go for such an incredible act of worship. However, if she feels weak, or dehydrated or is advised against it by the doctor then she has the option to leave the fasts and carry them out after the birth of her child.
According to Islam, pregnant women who do not fast out of trepidation for their and their child’s health and protection can compensate by fasting on other days (qadha’) to make up for the fasts they have skipped. They are also required to pay fidyah.
Fidyah pertains to meeting the necessities of the impoverished by providing them with food or other items. Fidyah can be put together as cash donations or assistance with staple food items like rice, wheat, etc. For a better idea, you can hit upon an online calculator to demonstrate how much fidyah you need to pay according to the fasts missed. Should Pregnant Women Fast During Ramadan?
Islam is no doubt a magnificent religion that understands everything deeply and that is why Muslim women have the clear option to omit fasting if they wish to do so—and no that is not embarrassing at all!
Regardless, many Muslim women prefer to proceed with fasting during their pregnancy. Several Muslim women who have fasted during pregnancy enunciate that it is possible to fast during pregnancy without any bad consequences but we’d say it is entirely up to you.
Eventually, it is a decision for each woman to make after reflecting upon the pros and cons. The pre-existing health situation, work obligations, and the time of year that Ramadan tumbles on might be some aspects to contemplate in settling on whether to keep the fast or not. However, it is always better to consult your doctor or midwife before making a decision.
If somehow a woman chooses to omit fasting then she can earn Sawab by doing other good deeds like recitation of Quran, charity, nawafil, etc.
Side Effects of Fasting During Pregnancy
Outside of pregnancy, fasting can assist in boosting one’s metabolic rate which works for burning extra calories and preventing weight gain. According to a study, pregnant women who fasted during their second trimester found that women who fasted during pregnancy had a lower chance of getting gestational diabetes than women who did not fast. Other studies have demonstrated that in pregnant women who were formerly at a nutritional weight and had no chronic disorders, there is a very tiny discrepancy in the effect of pregnancy between those who fasted and those who did not fast.
However, other professionals consent that fasting while pregnant may also result in adverse side effects, especially in women with high-risk pregnancies. This is because pregnant women need additional nutrients than usual and obtaining irregular nutrients while pregnant may set tension in pregnant women’s bodies. Fasting during pregnancy may also inflate the danger of lower birth weight, premature labor, and in exceptionally rare cases lead to a birth injury.
To sum up, there is no apparent amiability on the health consequences of fasting during pregnancy. But it is crucial to be knowledgeable of the probable unfavorable effects of fasting during pregnancy so that you can put together a scholarly conclusion.
Tips to Fast Safely During Pregnancy
If you are determined to fast during pregnancy, you may be pondering over how to do it safely. Here, we have gathered some amazing tips for you to fast safely while safeguarding yourself and your child.
Don’t forget the pre-dawn feast
Some people may deem missing out on the Ramadan pre-dawn meal, also known as sahur, to make an effort to get some additional sleep in the morning. However, omitting this feast might make you more sluggish throughout the entire day as you might have nominal energy. The nutrients you gulp in from sahur will enable you to become more fresh and active with lots of energy! Hence, make sure you eat enough food during sahur to stave off deficiencies and dehydration until the moment you can break your fast for the day.
Dehydration is a profound problem to keep an eye on during pregnancy. Pregnant women need more water/fluids than average because water is highly vital and required to build the placenta that provides the blossoming baby with nutrients. Hence, plenty of water intake is a must! Insufficient levels of water in the body can further usher low amniotic fluid, low breast milk production, and even premature birth in some cases. A parched mouth, headaches, and dark yellow urine are a few of the signs of dehydration.
Therefore, remember to drink lots of water and fluids during your sahur and after you break your fast for the day–iftar. It is also beneficial to eat foods with high water content like fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain hydration. Also, one should avoid eating salty foods as they can leave you thirstier.
Maintain a balanced diet
Holding onto a balanced diet is crucial to guarantee that you and your baby are getting sufficient nutrients. Your meals at sahur and iftar should include a good proportion of all the nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and fiber. Consuming more convoluted carbohydrates would enable you to feel less peckish as complex carbohydrates emit energy more gradually. These include foods like brown rice, wholemeal bread, and pasta. Lean protein and wholesome fats from foods like nuts and olive oil are also fair sources of nutrients you require to remain fit during Ramadan.
Regulate your portion sizes
Regulating portion sizes is extremely necessary to stay healthy and fit, therefore, you shouldn’t be eating massive portions of food during iftar because that way you might stress your body by glutting. Overeating can result in indigestion and excessive weight gain, particularly if you devour a lot of meals that are rich in sugar and salt content. Hence, only eat up to your stomach’s fulfillment; this will deter you from putting on those extra pounds that you don’t require or a feeling of uneasiness after eating.
Change positions to stay energetic
During Ramadan, it can be enticing to become a couch potato and not move around much. However, dodging your exercises or physical movements might make you feel more slothful instead. Keeping yourself active through middle-of-the-roader exercises can assist you in maintaining your energy levels throughout the day, and decrease the risk of back pain, constipation, and outrageous weight gain during pregnancy. Easy exercises that you can perform while pregnant include walking, swimming, yoga, etc. And, it would be excellent if you try to do these exercises around an hour before sahur.
But, be meticulous and do not overdo things.
You should stop right away once your body signals you to do so. Indications that you should halt exercising include calf pain, headaches, periodic painful contractions of the uterus, and shortness of breath.
This was a little effort from our side to guide and assist pregnant women out there who are willing to fast during this precious month.
We certainly expect that this article has undoubtedly assisted you to be more mindful of the consequences of fasting during pregnancy and how to fast safely this Ramadan. However, if you’re still in doubt then it is always best to consult your doctor/midwife before proceeding with any kind of decision because health is the most important thing here.
Yusra Sumair is a mother of beautiful kids and an SEO content writer by profession who produces top-notch, quality content. An Engineer out there who cherishes writing in every way and simply loves it!
Apart from being a homeschooler to her eldest kid, she is also a successful kids' author and has written and illustrated kids' Islamic books which were adored by everyone in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. She is also a voracious foodie and a person who just can't live without tea!