Pregnant women should consult doctor before and during fasting

Kaushalendra Singh –
SALALAH, June 14 –

There is a word of caution for pregnant women during Ramadhan. They should opt for fasting only if they have been allowed by their doctors. There is no harm in observing fast if a pregnant woman is healthy. Still she should go for regular check-ups so that things become easy both for the mother and the child.
Dr Claire Thomas, obstetrician and gynecologist at a Salalah-based hospital, asked the pregnant mothers to listen to their own health conditions and do not fast under any misguided guilt or pressure.
She gave six valuable tips to remain healthy during Ramadhan and called for more check-ups, rest regularly, avoid caffeinated drinks, less work hours, listen to warning signs immediately and observe the best practices while breaking the fast.
“Let the doctor or midwife monitor your blood sugar level, advise on your dietary needs or keep an eye out for early complications of your pregnancy. Plan your day as best as you can and get plenty of rest. Take things easy and accept any help that may be offered to you. Sit back, relax and avoid stressful situations; put your feet up and try to remain composed.”
Though 19 days of Ramadhan have already passed, Dr Claire advised the expectant mothers to plan their food intake.
Working pregnant women, Dr Thomas said, should “ask their employer if they can take some time off work or work fewer hours during Ramadhan, perhaps offering to put in the hours at a later date.”
She asked them not to ignore warning signs, “as it is crucial that you pay proper attention to your baby’s movements. Before Ramadhan, make a note of them so you can compare them while you are fasting. If you notice any difference, no matter how slight, such as your baby not kicking or moving as much, you should immediately inform your doctor. Also be aware of any contraction-like pains which could be an indication of premature labour.”
For food intake during non-fasting hours, she suggested to make sure that they have lots of healthy food and drinks at iftar and at suhoor. “Eat whole grains and high fibre foods, such as vegetables and dried fruits, and include beans and eggs, chickpeas and potatoes. Steer clear of sugary and high-fat foods. Drink ample fluids — at least two litres of water between iftar and suhoor,” she said
She cited Abdul A Samra, Chief of Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases at Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Centre, who suggested that “A pregnant woman may choose to fast in Ramadhan if she feels strong and healthy enough to fast, especially during the early part of the pregnancy.”
“He goes on to say that it is recommended that such women do not fast during the last few months of pregnancy because the foetus requires a lot of nutrition at that time. It is also recommended that they do not fast in early pregnancy if she develops nausea and vomiting. A nursing mother should not fast since she risks her health and the health of her baby.”