Pregnancy during the holy month: As the holy month of Ramadan gets closer, everyone begins to look forward to the great spiritual, healthy and rejuvenating experience. For most people, the whole routine changes, along with the meal timings. However, in this exciting month we all must make sure that; as we go without food for the whole day, we continue to get sufficient nutrition to maintain our health and meet our daily energy needs.
The pregnant mothers amongst us must be extra careful and cautious about their daily food intake and dietary requirements. As an expectant mother, you have the additional responsibility to provide ample nutrition to the baby evolving in your womb. Here are some tips to maintain and improve your health through a month of fasting during pregnancy.
An expecting mother should not limit herself to one meal at Iftar (evening meal) and then waiting till Sehri (pre-dawn meal) to consume the next meal of the day. Healthy pregnant women are advised to avoid heavy feasts during Iftar and Sehr, instead, they should be eating numerous smaller but nutritious snacks between Iftar and Sehr.
The pregnant lady can thus maintain her weight, while also preventing any chances of indigestion, constipation or headaches in during the Fast. Smaller meals will also help reduce the feeling of lethargy throughout the daylight hours. In most cases, pregnant women are observed to suffer from the above-mentioned symptoms during days of fasting.
Although, there are no specific dishes recommended for iftar during pregnancy, however, as the expectant mother should try to consume the following items at regular intervals after iftar.
To make your diet more balanced, you can alternatively include:
Strictly avoid eating deep fried food like; Samosas, Spring Rolls, Pakoras or Namak Para. These items are very oily and fatty, and will fill you up without providing sufficient nutrients, besides causing some indigestion. Your choice of dishes should not be too rich in calories, like desserts, including; Confectionaries, Gulab Jamuns and Jalebees. These heavy food items are very common iftar servings in most households in Pakistan. The urge for a sweet dish can be satisfied by having some sweet fruits or a small amount of custard.
Throughout Ramadan, Sehri is definitely the most important meal, since it is expected to maintain your energy level up throughout the day. Never skip the Sehri meal during pregnancy. Because you and your baby should not suffer from the hunger pangs.
Take a moderate but wholesome meal at Sehri. It should fill you up and provide sufficient energy for the whole day. High fibre foods are recommended at Sehri time, enrich it with some complex carbohydrates, like grains & pulses. This food takes longer to break down and absorb inside your body, so you will remain energized and active for a longer time during the fasting hours.
Caffeine, being diuretic, makes you lose more water when you urinate.
If you are a Tea and Coffee enthusiast and you get pregnant, you must make a compromise on this caffeine habit. Having tea with food also reduces the amount of iron in your body.
You should Drink more fresh fruit juices and ample amounts of water, which can be made more tasty by adding some lemon. (Nimbu Pani). This helps in avoiding dehydration.
Make a fruit-smoothie for yourself by adding some milk, yogurt, fruit and ice. This will prove to be a refreshing drink, which also fulfills your daily fruit requirement.
After Iftar and Sehri, relax for around two hours, but then you must get up and move around. Take some slow strolls at regular intervals. Ramzan is a month when your physical activity tends to decrease, especially if you are pregnant. Try not to snack late in the night or moments before going to sleep.