Fasting Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers to Stay Healthy and Safe
Muslimcreed – The fasting month is coming soon. For mothers who have just given birth before or during the fasting month, it means that this month of Ramadan must be passed by fasting while breastfeeding.
Of course, breastfeeding while fasting will be a new challenge for mothers. Because when fasting for breastfeeding mothers, the body loses more fluids due to changes in eating and sleeping patterns, in the midst of demands to give breast milk to the baby.
Is it safe or not to breastfeed while fasting? As reported by Alodokter, fasting or not, a decrease in calorie intake will not affect breast milk production. If the mother loses weight while fasting, this condition only affects the fat content in breast milk, not the total amount. For this reason, mothers must know the tips and tricks for fasting for breastfeeding mothers, which we summarize below.
Ruling on fasting for breastfeeding mothers
Before going any further, it is better for mothers to know the rules of fasting for breastfeeding mothers according to Islamic religious law.
Quoted from Dream.co.id, fasting for breastfeeding mothers is mandatory. However, there is relief for breastfeeding mothers who feel that it is dangerous if they fast, namely they are worried that they will not be able to provide adequate milk intake to their babies and weaken their physical condition.
For mothers who feel the danger or get a recommendation from a doctor, the law of fasting while breastfeeding turns out to be haram. As a consequence, the mother must replace it with fasting at another time (qadla) and pay a fine (fidyah) for the number of days left fasting.
This is stated by the scholar Abdurrahman Al Dzujairi who adheres to the Shafiischool, as follows:
“The Shafi’i school is of the opinion that pregnant and lactating women, when fasting, are afraid of an undoubted danger, whether that danger harms herself and her child, herself, or only her child. So in the first two conditions, they are obligated to leave the fast and are obligated to refrain from fasting. But in the third condition, namely when fasting is feared to endanger only their children, they are also required to pay fidyah.” (Abdurrahman al-Juzairi, al-Fiqh ‘ala Madzahib al-Arba’ah, Bairut-Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2nd printing, p. 521).
Read also : Benefit of fasting
Fasting tips for breastfeeding mothers
After understanding the law of fasting while breastfeeding, mothers can follow these tips to be able to carry out fasting comfortably, without reducing the obligation to feed the baby.
1. Pay attention to food intake at dawn
The food that the mother consumes for sahur will determine the condition of the body for a full day, until breaking the fast at sunset. So, it is important for mothers to pay attention to the intake of food eaten at suhoor because the food and fluids that the mother consumes become a reserve of nutrients and calories during fasting.
Food intakes that are important and must always be present when sahur are green vegetables, animal protein, lean meat, and nuts. For example, broccoli, spinach, katuk leaves, eggs, fish, and kidney beans. Mothers can also add vitamin D supplements at dawn which is good for breastfeeding mothers.
2. Sufficient water reserves in the body
Fasting for breastfeeding mothers is not dangerous. But, if the method is not right, it can backfire. One of them is dehydration when the body lacks fluids. Symptoms of dehydration are feeling thirsty, dizzy, dry mouth, tired, and weak. If the mother feels these signs, immediately break the fast with water or fluids that contain electrolytes to hydrate the body.
So, when fasting, breastfeeding mothers are advised to consume adequate fluids during sahur and iftar. For example, 2 glasses when breaking the fast, 4 glasses after the tarawih prayer, and 2 glasses at dawn. Avoid drinking tea because it has liquid binding properties. Mother will be thirstier more easily when drinking tea.
3. Adjust to the baby’s age
Before the mother decides to fast, it is better to consult a doctor so that the doctor can see the condition of the mother and child, whether they are ready to fast or not. If the baby is under the age of 6 months, he will depend on breast milk as the main nutritional intake. Meanwhile, for children who are over 6 months old, mothers are usually more allowed to fast because at this time, the child is already consuming complementary foods to breast milk or complementary foods.
4. Pumping breast milk as much as possible at night
When fasting, milk production during the day will decrease. Mothers can maximize the time to pump at night, after maghrib, tarawih, and before dawn prayers. So technically, the mother shifts the pumping time and maintains the supply of breast milk that the child uses during the day for the little one.
5. Get enough rest
Fasting while breastfeeding is a fairly heavy phase because the body will be weaker after giving breast milk or pumping milk. So, mothers should get enough rest so that their physical and psychological conditions can be maintained properly. Thus, the mother’s milk production will remain smooth and the little one does not lose the best intake from the mother.
If you feel weak or your baby needs more breast milk, don’t force yourself. Mother can break the fast in the middle of the day. There is nothing wrong with being able to fast in the following month as a substitute day, just like when you are menstruating.
6. Regulate food intake properly
So that your fasting and milk production both run smoothly, there is nothing wrong if you make arrangements for food and drink intake for sahur and iftar.
For example, eat lots of vegetables, fruit and milk at suhoor. Avoid eating oily and spicy food that can make the body feel thirsty easily, then calculate the time for sahur so that it is not too far from Imsak time.
Then to break the fast, don’t forget to measure your sugar intake so you don’t overdo it because suddenly high blood sugar will not have a good effect on the body. Then consume foods that can nourish breast milk such as green beans or almonds and supplements if needed.
Don’t forget to also set the distance to drink water, so that it is not only a lot when breaking the fast or sahur but more consistently to drink per glass with a certain time lag, throughout the night before going to bed.
7. Avoid things that add to stress
Humans cannot be avoided one hundred percent from stress, but you can still try to avoid it as much as possible. Especially if you choose to fast while breastfeeding.
You see, stress can make your milk production hampered or reduced. Likewise with fasting, of course there is the possibility of decreased milk production of course there is.
So, imagine if you are breastfeeding, then fast and experience this stress. Of course, milk production can be further disrupted. For that, try to avoid things that easily make you stressed, and ask your husband for support to help you make it happen.
Even if your milk production decreases during fasting, don’t be stressed either, okay? You can try other tips that can trigger more milk production, in particular by maximizing nutrient and fluid intake during iftar and sahur or consulting a doctor for additional supplements.
8. Don’t force it and consult a doctor
If after fasting for a few days you feel that your physical condition has decreased drastically, for example, you are very easily tired and weak, feel excessively dehydrated and your milk production has decreased quite a lot, then it is better not to force yourself to continue fasting. If you continue to force it, you can threaten your health and even your own safety and it’s a pity that your little one is short of breast milk.
It is better for you to also consult a doctor to check whether your body condition while breastfeeding is able to fast or not. Even if you can, don’t forget to ask your doctor for instructions if there are special food intakes or supplements that you must consume to support your fast.
After knowing the fasting tips for breastfeeding mothers, I hope you can carry out your worship in this month of Ramadan more calmly and comfortably!