Most pregnant and breastfeeding Muslim women get confused, whether they should fast or not during the month of Ramzan. According to Islam, pregnant women and breastfeeding moms are allowed to quit fasting during Ramzan. They come under the same category as those who are sick and are exempted from fasting.
There are two aspects that are to be considered:
- If the woman fears for herself or her child’s health because of fasting and is difficult for her, then she is not allowed to fast and has to make up the days not fasted
- If the woman does not fear for herself or her child because of fasting, and is not difficult for her, then she is allowed to fast.
In the Quran, Allah says “And do not kill yourselves” [al-Nisa’ 4:29] “and do not throw yourselves into destruction” [al-Baqarah 2:195]
She can make up for the missed fasts later, when she is healthy or do fidyah (i.e. make donation of food to poor and needy) which is a way of compensating for your missed fasts. “And as for those who can fast with difficulty, they have to feed a Miskeen (poor person)” [al-Baqarah 2:184]
If you feel you have a healthy pregnancy, or feel healthy during breastfeeding you can fast based on your doctor’s permission, following the Islamic rules. Do not overdo in the name of religion because most people interpret Islam in the wrong way.
Advice for pregnant or breastfeeding women during Ramzan fasting:
- You must consult your doctor to decide whether you can fast during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Doctor will have to do a check-up and assess the case accordingly.
- Women have the right to break the fast if she fears it may harm the baby and herself. Break the fast immediately if you feel nausea, dizziness and more tired than usual.
- Any pregnant woman who suffers from complications during pregnancy, like high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney infections or heart problems must refrain from fasting because her health situation does not permit her to fast, as these complications risk the health of the fetus.
- Consult your dietitian for a healthy diet. Most health problems arise due to inappropriate diet, overeating, fried or junk food and insufficient sleep. We recommend you to drink a full glass fresh juice while breaking fast.
- Do not overeat soon after breaking fast. Most people, while breaking fast or having food, forget this guideline during Ramzan. Eat energy rich food during Suhur.
- Choose foods that release energy slowly such as wholegrain, dry fruits or nuts, pulses or vegetables while breaking fast.
- Avoid sugary foods that will raise your blood sugar and make your feel dizzy.
- Do not dehydrate your body. Try drinking 2 liters of water between dusk and dawn in small quantities and not together. Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea. Have fruit juices without sugar.
- Avoid activities which will make you physically exhausted. Take rest and sleep well.