Nutrition during pregnancy plays an important role in the health of both mother and baby. It is therefore extremely important for pregnant women who are fasting to be aware of how to fast safely.
Ghazi Daradkeh, Nutrition Supervisor at Hamad Medical Corporation said:
Women who suffer from constant vomiting and the loss of fluids during the early months of pregnancy are advised not to fast as this may result in severe dehydration.’
However a pregnant woman’s body acclimatises to the unique experience of fasting, so if her body contains a good enough supply of energy then fasting does not negatively affect her.’
The dietitian explained that pregnant women should undergo a medical examination before fasting to ensure they are free from common health issues such as high blood sugar and high blood pressure. If their doctor does give permission to fast during Ramadan, pregnant women should:
- Avoid stimulants such as coffee, tea and soft drinks to reduce the intake of caffeine
- Take care to consume a healthy and balanced diet
- Drink sufficient amounts of water, between eight to twelve cups per day to avoid dehydration.
- Start Iftar with a glass of milk and some dates, followed by a variety of foods that contain all food groups
- Eat a healthy snack before bedtime i.e. about an hour after Taraweeh prayer
- Consume the permitted quantities of starches and keep away from saturated fats
- Eat protein such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs and cheese
- Take advantage of the opportunity to eat Suhour
- Avoid excessive use of spices when cooking
- Eat multiple meals in low quantities when permitted to avoid the feeling of satiety
- Stay away from fatty foods and fries to avoid heartburn and weight gain
- Eat at least two to three servings of fresh fruit daily
- Perform some kind of physical activity for half an hour a day
For more information, visit hamad.qa.