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Made in India Magazine | April 17, 2021

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FASTING WHILE PREGNANT: THE ESSENTIALS

FASTING WHILE PREGNANT: THE ESSENTIALS
Chirag Thakkar

 There are many women who would not even consider fasting when they’re pregnant, no matter how devoted they are to their husbands. Karva Chauth or not, when they’re pregnant, they have to eat properly so that the child growing inside them should not want for food. But then there are some women who wish to hold the fast even when they’re pregnant. There is no conclusive research that looks into the effects of fasting while pregnant, so if you decide to hold the Karva Chauth this year even if your belly is bulging, then these few pointers may be just the ticket for you.
Ask your doctor
This may seem obvious, but your doctor knows more about your pregnancy than you, so if you’re planning a step such as fasting – which will affect the baby’s food intake – then you should ask your doctor for a strict schedule on whether or not this is advisable. The doctor will typically take into account several factors such as the age of your pregnancy, your body fat levels and other things before prescribing his solution. No matter what you do, though, if he says no, don’t do it. If an expert has advised you against it, it means it’s not meant to be. Let it go.

A fast with a difference
Even if your doctor says yes to you fasting, you will most likely not be able to keep the ‘authentic’ Karva Chauth fast of not eating or drinking anything for the entire day. You will be keeping a ‘fast lite’, which involves having milk and fruits whenever hunger pangs hit you. Two glasses of milk and two bowls of fruit – without seasoning – will be enough to keep the nutrients flowing to your baby in spite of your fasting.

Be prepared for ‘starving’ symptoms
Since pregnancy fires up your eating urges, a diet of milk and fruit will make your body feel as though it’s starving. So be prepared for the body’s defence mechanisms like acidity, fatigue, headaches, nausea and dizziness. While these symptoms can be handled, if you feel at any time that they’re getting out of hand, make sure you call your doctor, and if need be, call an end to your fast. Holding a fast for your husband is not as important as taking care of the life growing inside your womb.

Distract your mind
The human mind is such that it is easily distracted. The more you think about the fast, the hungrier you will feel, so make sure you have a routine that distracts you enough from the pangs of hunger. Include a long afternoon nap into your schedule, and be happy and chirpy at all times. Drink a lot of water and try not to think of your growling stomach.

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