The month of fasting is what many Muslims have been waiting for. This worship only comes once a year, so many people are willing to go under fasting, including breastfeeding mothers. Although breastfeeding mothers need plenty of nutrients to produce milk and support their baby’s development, breastfeeding while fasting can still be done. What to watch out for during fasting?
Should breastfeeding mothers join the fast?
It’s okay for moms to perform their religious fast, but at the end, it depends on your ability and your baby. Choosing to fast might have a negative impact on your health and also on the development of the baby. That is, if you undergo fasting while breastfeeding, you should pay very close attention to the nutrients you consume.
Is breastfeeding when fasting can be bad?
Fasting will not be bad for you know how to meet your nutrient intake needs. You don’t need to worry about milk production decreasing during fasting. Research has shown that short-term fasts will not reduce milk production, but severe dehydration may decrease breast milk production. So, make sure you drink enough fluids during the breaks to prevent dehydration during fasting.
Concerning the quality of breast milk, fasting will not affect the nutrition in breast milk. Your body will adjust to change the way it uses calories and nutrients available to produce milk, so the quality of breast milk is maintained. Thus, you do not have to worry about fasting having a bad impact on your baby. Keep in mind that you still have to eat lots of nutritious food to provide the body the nutrients needed for milk production.
Tips for safe fasting while breastfeeding
To keep the usual nutrients your baby needs in breast milk during fasting, you should pay more attention to your food intake. Some tips you can do to stay breastfeeding during fasting are:
Meet your fluid needs
This is important to keep milk production smooth. Adjust fluid intake to meet your body fluid needs and avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids when breaking the fast to sustain the hydration of your body.
If you have signs of dehydration, such as feeling very thirsty, having dark urine, infrequent urination, feeling weak or wanting to faint, and headaches, you should stop fasting to have a drink of water and rest.
Meet your nutritional needs
Meet the nutritional needs is very important to maintain the quality of breast milk. Make sure you eat a variety of foods during breaking, especially foods with high content of zinc, magnesium, and potassium. Fill your plate with a source of carbohydrates (rice, noodles, potatoes), animal protein (meat, chicken, fish, eggs), vegetable protein (tofu, tempeh, nuts), and various vegetables and fruits.
While fasting, at least you should eat a total of 1800 calories per day. This is important to make sure the body get the energy and nutrients needed to produce milk. Do not let your weight reduce too fast, more than 2 kg per month. Losing weight too fast means you are not meeting your nutritional needs and could have a negative impact on milk production.
Make sure you get enough rest
Getting enough rest is important to prevent yourself from lack of energy during fasting. Take some time to sleep during the day to save your energy. Reduce heavy activities and exercise during fasting. And stay home when the weather is hot and humid.
Watch for changes in your baby
When you are fasting and breastfeeding, see if your baby is showing any change because of it. It could be that your baby is not getting enough milk. The signs of your baby not getting enough milk are:
- Baby’s diapers are less wet
- Baby’s stools are greenish
- Baby cries more often and is hard to calm down
- Baby loses weight or doesn’t gain weight
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 30, 2017 | Last Modified: August 30, 2017
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