Weekly fasts, specific fasts on special days, diet fasts, the list can be endless! But is it safe for pregnant women to fast? After all, hasn’t it been dinned into our heads that a pregnant woman has to eat for two?
Fasting and Pregnancy
But yes, a pregnant woman can fast if she wants to, but only after ensuring that she is in the pink of health. What she needs at the time of fasting is the full support of her husband and other family members. First, ensure that you do not have diabetes, even if it is only gestational diabetes. Have you been diagnosed as anaemic? Then, of course, there is no way you can fast. And most certainly, a pregnant woman cannot fast continuously for 2 or 3 days.
When pregnant, a woman has hunger pangs that she might find very difficult to ignore. In fact, there is a chance of her falling sick with headaches or dizziness if she stays hungry for long periods. If fasting is essential and unavoidable, it is better to inform your doctor and have him on call.
If your fasting rules say that you cannot have even a sip of water, find out from the elders in the family how best you can handle or circumvent this. If you can adopt a saltless, sugarless, milk, fruit and veggie fast, this should suit your condition best. It is better to drink milk and avoid caffeine. And of course, no deep-fried stuff when you end the fast. You can also have sips of fresh fruit juice.
It is better if you can avoid going out both in hot weather or in the rain and remain indoors during the period of your fast. Your body being in a slightly weakened state without food, it is better that you simply take a rest on that day.
Precautions to be taken when breaking your fast
Be careful when breaking your fast and start eating in stages. There is no point in gulping down the food, however hungry you might be. Begin with some fluid – it could be juice or even a glass of water. Have a very light meal after a while. If you have adverse reactions at any time during your fast, don’t hesitate to call your doctor.
Simpler ways of observing the fast would be to give to some charity or give up your favourite entertainment for the day like your daily soap. It would of course be ideal if your husband can share the fast with you so that your share would be half a day!