Fasting during pregnancy: Mothers asked to seek doctors' advice
SHAH ALAM - Pregnant mothers are urged to seek their doctors' advice before deciding to fast during Ramadan.
This is to determine pregnant mothers' ability to fast based on their health condition.
Prince Court Medical Centre consultant obstetrician and gynecologist Dr Maiza Tusimin said if expectant mothers are not feeling well, they are advised to discontinue their fasting immediately.
"Look out for symptoms such as no or minimal fetal movement, urine that is dark yellow and foul-smelling, and if they experience a contraction-like stomach ache. If mothers experience these symptoms, they must break their fast immediately.
"Apart from that, symptoms like dizziness, weakness, and nausea are also signs to discontinue fasting," she said.
If mothers wanted to continue fasting, she advised them to have a hearty sahur almost at the end of the time before fasting begins.
"Mothers should also drink plenty of water and eat more high-fiber foods during sahur." "They need to prioritise high-protein dishes, take complex carbohydrates and avoid caffeine intake, especially during sahur," she advised.
During the breaking of the fast, Dr Maiza added that it would be best if mothers drank a glass of fresh milk with three dates before the main course.
Siti Syamsiar Mohd Jailani, 27, said this would be her first time fasting while pregnant.
"I ate foods that will give me energy, such as dates, milo, and cereals. I'm not placing high expectations on whether I could sustain it throughout the day, but I will see how far my body and baby can take it. So far, Alhamdulillah," she said.
Siti, who is currently five months pregnant, shared that her doctor had given her clearance to fast as she didn't have any health conditions.
"For certain pregnant mothers, if they have health issues, then it’s okay for them to not continue their fasting," she said.
For Nor Athirah Azhar, 26, who is currently six months pregnant with her first child, the first day of fasting was challenging.
"I was shaking, but I'm still fasting.
"However, if I feel really tired, then I will have to break fast since I need to frequently eat and drink or I will start shaking," she said.
Nor Athirah said her gynecologist also advised her to stop fasting if she didn't feel any fetal movement.