Wednesday, August 18, 2010

is it safe to fast while u r pregnant?

Is it safe?

There is no clear answer, even though medical studies have looked at the effects of fasting (Cross 1990, CIA/NHS 2007). At the moment, we don't know if fasting is completely safe for pregnant women and their babies (NHS Choices 2008).

If a pregnant woman feels strong and healthy enough to fast, especially during the early part of pregnancy, she may do so. If she doesn't feel well enough to fast, Islamic law gives a pregnant women clear permission not to fast (NHS Choices 2008).

Some studies seem to show little or no effect on newborn babies if their mothers fasted. Others suggest that people may have more health problems later in life if their mothers fasted during pregnancy.

But it is hard to compare different studies done in different ways. Most of the studies we have on fasting in pregnancy are very small, so it's difficult to know for sure. Much may depend on how healthy the mother is before she gets pregnant. Here’s what the research has told us:

* There is no difference between the birth weights and Apgar scores, which are a way of measuring babies' health at birth, of babies of women who fasted, and the babies of women who did not fast (Arab 2001, Cross 1990, Mirghani 2006).

* Some women who fast during pregnancy may go on to have lower-birth weight babies. However, these results came from a study of women who were more likely to have poor diets or too little food (Sadeghipour 2008).

* Fasting by a pregnant woman does not seem to affect the potential IQ of her baby (Azizi et al 2004, Dikensoy 2008).

* Women do experience changes in the chemical balance of their blood while fasting. But the changes do not appear to be harmful to either the women or their babies, and do not affect the babies' birth weights (Dickensoy 2009).

There have been concerns about whether there is a link between fasting and how well a baby grows in the uterus (womb)and premature labour. Some studies have suggested that more babies are born early during Ramadan, but this depends on which country the mothers live in.

Women whose weight and lifestyle are generally healthy seem to cope better with fasting. Your baby needs nutrients from you. If your body has enough energy stores, then the impact of fasting is likely to be lessened. And it may depend on the many other factors, such as:

* whether Ramadan coincides with hot weather and long days
* what stage you are at in your pregnancy
* your general health before pregnancy
* how long the fast lasts

In places where the fast lasts longer and temperatures are high, dehydration may be more of a concern. Countries nearer the equator tend to have shorter fasting times. Check the accepted fasting hours for your area.

more to read--->

credits to baby center for putting up this issue so nicely discussed:)

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