Pregnant women & breastfeeding mothers are allowed to break fast or exempted from fasting if they feel that their health or their baby's health is negatively altered due to fasting. However, for those who are capable of doing so, it's highly recommended that you do fast and you are allowed to fast. If you really have the strength you are required to fast.
Many of us tend to think that when we are fasting our milk supply decreases in volume and quality. But really, it does not. Milk production is not affected, but you might get a little bit dehydrated. So, less chores to avoid this problem. In fact, even if a women goes on a day up till 24 hours with no food, milk is still produced as it normally would. Ramadhan fasting is only a few hours from the break of dawn till sunset, I met many lactating mom's survived the month of ramadhan while fasting just as a non-breastfeeding mum would. However, if your body feels funny and unwell, do break your fast as your health may be harmed.
As a mom who breastfeeds her child, I understand the fear that many moms face when the month of fasting looms closer. Here I'd like to share some tips on how to keep the milk production flowing and to keep our body fit in the month of Ramadhan. Hope it's a help to mommies out there who wishes to fast while breastfeeding their babies.
Metabolism slows down in the month of Ramadhan, no need for extra consumption in the night, for those with gastritis and constipation problems, it is advised to take more fiber-rich foods in your diet. Dietary fiber helps to reduce gastric acidity and excessive bile acids, as well as prevents constipation.
Have more fruits and veggies. Not only they are rich in fiber, they are packed with phytonutrients, vitamins and essential nutrients. When we take more fiber, we don't feel hungry quickly, so this is a good point why we should increase our fiber intake.
Meats and beans are good source of protein.
Whole wheat products, oatmeal and rice provides us with sufficient carbohydrates for energy.
Sufficient water is sufficient. Heh. Yes hydrate your body well, with proper hydration, your body will produce milk consistently. Have more of these; fruit juices, veggie juices and soups.
Avoid spicy food & caffeinated beverages. Why? Caffeine are diuretics, they make you go to the loo more, thus more fluid is eliminated, leaving your body in dryness, not good when you're fasting. In normal days, you could just refill yourself up, but in the Ramadhan, avoid these drinks, as they also tend to cause mood swings, irritability and unnecessary headache(due to dehydration).
Gradually drink water in the night for back ups of milk supply in the day, formulated or full cream milk mixed with few spoons of honey might be helpful.
- At sahur: Take a balanced, healthy meal. A few dates(7 preferably) blended with warm milk, a bowl of oats and honey mixed with dried fruits and of course, drink plain water. Sounds simple, yet it does keeps your body active throughout the day.
- Breaking fast: As the sunnah goes, it's advised to take 3 dates and a glass of water when breaking fast. After performing Maghrib prayers, you can enjoy a heavier meal. A plate of rice with protein(chicken/meat/fish) and veggies for fiber. A bowl of dhall dish would be great to go with. Keep your cooking healthy, rule out additives and flavorings. Salt and pepper makes the dishes flavored well already.
- If you need to pump out breast milk, do so in the night or at sahur time.
- Have some healthy snacks, if you get hungry in the night. Raisins or any other dried fruits are the best choice.
Don't forget to seek guidance, patience and strength from the One Who is Greater, Allah SWT. As He is the only One who truly knows what you are and will be going through. And it is He who will have the power to help you. InsyaAllah.
If your child has started on solid foods, try to offer other snacks or water bottle instead of your milk, that is if your child has reached two years or above. (I'm trying to stop my child from breastfeeding, but to no avail, she is turning two this Ramadhan and I hope she will cease before year end, InsyaAllah..)
That's just a little bit from me . Hope it helps. Thanks for reading and may you have a smooth Ramadhan. Salam.
**Any tips to share? Please a comment.TQ~**