Ramadan guide for Moms🌙Uncategorized
JUNE 27, 2016
Here are some basic facts that you need to know about Ramadan and How to stay healthy when fasting if you’re a mom-to-be or nursing.
When is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic Calendar and a time where Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk for approximately 30 days.
The Holy Month’s dates change annually determined by the sighting of a new moon. Fasting during the time of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Do you know what are the most common greetings?
There are some traditional Arabic greetings that one may use or come across:
“Ramadan Kareem!” this phrase means “Wish you generous Ramadan!”
“Ramadan Mubarak!” means “Blessed Ramadan!”
What is Iftar and Suhoor?
Iftar is the meal to break the fast. After sunset traditionally people will break the fast with eating three dates, then they head to evening prayer.
The evening prayer is followed by large meals spent with family and friends. Suhoor is a meal taken before sunrise, this is the last meal before the fasting starts again.
What is the etiquette that you need to follow during the Holy Month?
Drinking and eating in public is a big no (read more about pregnant and nursing women, below). Listening loud music is also not allowed as it may offend those who are fasting. Ladies need to be more cautious with their wardrobe choices, meaning no sheer or tight clothing; shoulders and knees must be covered.
Pregnant & nursing ladies
If you’re pregnant or nursing Islamic law does not require you to fast.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers come under the same heading as those who are sick. If their excuse is that they fear for the child, according to some scholars, they have to feed one poor person for each fasting day missed, giving wheat, rice, dates or any other staple food.
According to studies if you are a nursing mom and you fast it does not affect your milk supply but it does changes the components (quality) of your milk. Rakicioğlu et. al. (2006) studied mothers with babies aged 2-5 months who fasted during Ramadan (no food or fluids between 5:00 am and 7:30 pm). They found that although infant growth and macronutrient content of breast milk was not affected, levels of several nutrients in breast milk (zinc, magnesium and potassium) decreased and the nutritional status of the breastfeeding mothers was affected.
What if You choose to fast?
You may want to stay healthy and safe following these tips:
- For Suhoor include foods that are slowly digested and rich in fiber: fruits, veggies, beans, oats, grains
- Break your fast with dates, milk or a yoghurt
- Ensure to keep a healthy, balanced diet
- Choose complex carbohydrates (to release energy slowly): bsmati or brown rice, beans, lentils, oats, wholemeal bread and pasta
- Choose your fats wisely: avocados are the best! But don’t forget the yummy nuts, nut butters and fish (strictly low in mercury)
- Tons of green leafy vegetables
- Avoid sugary foods -yes, we know it’s a hard one when craving strikes – as can rapidly raise your blood sugar levels, and then cause them to drop
- Drink plenty of water (approx.. 2litres) between Iftar and Suhoor
- Try to resist drinking coffee as it can make you more thirsty
What are the warning signs that You should contact your doctor?
- You’re not putting on enough weight or you’re losing weight
- You become very thirsty, weeing less frequently, or it becomes dark and strong-smelling
- You experience headache, fever, or any other pains
- Feeling nauseous or vomiting
- Feeling dizzy, faint, weak, tired
- Having contraction-like pains
- Noticeable change in your baby’s movement: not moving around or kicking as much
Do not forget to always consult to your doctor who is in full knowledge about your health. In general, any expectant woman who suffers from complications like high blood pressures, diabetes, heart problems etc. must refrain from fasting.
Additional information and references
Pregnancy, Nursing, and Ramadan by Stacey Greaves-Favors
Breastfeeding during Ramadan by Dr. Naomi Mirza, Medical Specialist at maya.com.bd
Fasting According to Five Islamic Schools of Law by ‘Allamah Muhammad Jawad Maghniyya
Advice to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers from Islamweb
Fasting for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers from Principles of Fiqh at islamqa.info
Fascinating research on Ramadan fasting gives breastfeeding mothers ‘food for thought’ from the Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign (2012)
Breastfeeding and Fasting from BabyCenter UK