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  • Writer's pictureChardá Bell, IBCLC, CBE, CD

Happy Ramadan! Tips for Birthing, Birth Partners & Baby feeding

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Tips for Birthing, Birth Partners & Baby feeding during Ramadan ✨🌙☪️🕌🧕🏾🤱🏾🤰🏾

Verified & Approved by Somalia Midwife Faisa Farole, of Global Midwifery services in Seattle, WA.

Ramadan is observed by more than 1.6 billion Muslims. During Ramadan, Muslims wake up well before dawn to eat the first meal of the day, which must last until sunset. Which means eating lots of high-protein foods and drinking as much water as possible right up until dawn, after that you can't eat or drink anything and a morning prayer is also done.

When the evening call to prayer is made, the day's fast is broken with a light meal — more of a snack — called an iftar(literally "breakfast"), before the evening prayer. Many people also go to the mosque for the evening prayer, followed by a special prayer that is only recited during Ramadan.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and decide to fast, you may find some of these tips useful for safety. Nutrition during pregnancy and lactation play an important role. It is very important that you check with your midwife or doctor before you choose to fast. This is to ensure that you do not have any health risks such as high blood sugar or high blood pressure.

Take care of yourself if you are a doula or birth partner also fasting, don’t deplete your energy too quickly and consider having a backup or second to trade in and out during the laboring process as to not overexert yourself.

  • Break your fast gradually by starting with some grapes or dates and/or tea or room temperature water or tea

  • Eat a well-balanced meal at pre-dawn (Suhoor) and the time of breaking your fast (Iftar)

  • Make sure that your meal includes all food groups such as proteins, carbohydrates, dairy products, vegetables, and fruits.

  • Divide your meals following your Iftar and include a light evening snack and then your meal during Suhoor; please invite me to Iftar, I'd love to come break bread with you!

  • Eat healthy food like lean proteins (ex: skinless chicken), complex carbohydrates (ex: whole grain bread).and vegetables that are high in fiber and will help you feel full for a longer period

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids after you break your fast and before dawn; drink water little at a time throughout the permitted time, chugging it down will only make you feel thirstier later as you will likely loose most of that fast water intake when you pee.

  • Avoid heavy physical activities during fasting however perform simple physical activities like walking or gentle exercises for at least half an hour a day

  • Sleep well and ensure an average of 6-8 hours sleep per night; night nursing can help maintain your supply during Ramadan, which might be slightly lower at certain times of the day due to fasting

  • Breast massage/compression during feeds and pumps towards the end of the day before Iftar might be a good idea to help with the stimulation and the flow as the milk ejection reflex may slow down as a result of stress on the body from fasting and the baby might be a bit fussier too because of flow preference but it doesn't mean they aren't getting any, just not coming out fast enough due to the low fluids and energy levels.

  • If at any point during fasting you or your baby's condition becomes compromised, consider speaking with your doctor or midwife about the recommendation for your situation.

Eid Mubarak!!! Enjoy your Ramadan.

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