Pregnancy during Ramzan (Sehri & Iftar)

Healthy pregnancy during Ramadan fasting

Healthy pregnancy during Ramadan fasting

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.

Preferred Iftar meals for pregnant ladies

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.

  • You may begin with three Khajoors (Dates) and a glass of milk or juice. This will bring your restore the normal level of sugar in your body.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Eat good amounts of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits (or a salad).
  • Chicken Soup or a vegetable soups are good to energize your body.
  • Adequate amounts of mutton and Brown flour “Roti” (bread) is good for you. Haleem is also a good option as it contains both these ingredients.
  • A small serving of rice with vegetables and chicken (Proteins) is also good.

To make your diet more balanced, you can alternatively include:

  • Fish or lentils (dal ), pulses, Chickpeas (kabuli chana ) or other types of beans
  • You can also get a good supply of complex carbohydrates from brown rice, whole-meal pasta and whole-wheat bread.

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.

Avoid a HEAVY meal at Sehri

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.

Some options for a healthy Sehri:

  • Stuff up your parathas or rotis with vegetables like potato, radish, etc. Preferably use whole-wheat flour and avoid using too much oil.
  • Prefer eating something which is high in fibre; like; cereals (dalia) or Corn-flakes with milk.
  • Fruit (fresh or dried) is a good serving for a pregnant lady at Sehri. These may include bananas and dates (khajoor)
  • Also get some nuts, but make sure these are not salted.

What if you are pregnant and you love caffeine?

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.

Take some healthy strolls:

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.

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