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I'm a muslim lady- should i fast whilst breastfeeding my 7.5 months old, since my food/drink doesnt affect supply? TIKTOK OR ANYONE ELSE!!

(24 Posts)
rainbow83 Fri 06-Jul-07 20:13:04


I'm a muslim lady and our fasting month is coming up soon- dd will be seven and a half months. at the moment she is still exclusively breastfeeding at 5.5 months and i want to take solids really slowly with her, starting perhaps in a few weeks time.
Anyway, according to our religious law, breastfeeding and pregnant women dont have to fast if they dont want to, but are asked to give money to charity instead. I don't mind fasting if it really wont affect my supply or quality of milk, but will going without food from dawn till dusk REALLY not reduce my milk? or have any adverse effects on breastfeeding in any other way? please advise.

Perigrine Fri 06-Jul-07 20:15:18

Rainbow, you have been given an exclusion, so take it and respect the fast in other ways, ie only eat healthy and needful food. IMO

moondog Fri 06-Jul-07 20:15:19




GibbonInARibbon Fri 06-Jul-07 20:16:02

I would say don't fast - the days are long and I would of thought it could affect supply...I may be wrong and someone with more knowledge will come along and advise differently

rainbow83 Fri 06-Jul-07 20:16:46

i probably wont fast, but i'd like to know anyway whether fasting does afect milk or not, mainly for my own info and to inform other women.

moondog Fri 06-Jul-07 20:17:40

Tiktok (local breastfeeding boffin) always tells us that what a woman does/doesn't eat has little effect on supply but it might be tough on you.

nickytwotimes Fri 06-Jul-07 20:19:09

hi rainbow
i'm a catholic and there are times in our calendar when fasting is desirable (although not so many nowadays!) During these times, the elderly, kids and pregnant or bfing mothers are exempt. Perhaps ther is a similar rule fo ryou? I have no idea hiw it might affect you if you were to be fasting and bfing, but i wouldn't think it was advisable. Maybe you could make some other kind of sacrifice instead eg: limiting the types of food you can eat in a way that will not had an adverse effect on yo uor your milk or as yo usay, donate money to a charity.
is it Ramadan already?
good luck!

daisybo Fri 06-Jul-07 20:19:11

it won't affect the quality of your milk, but it will definately put a strain on your body.
for example...when your diet doesn't contain enough calcium, your body removes calcium from your bones to put into your milk, not enough iron, it takes iron out of your blood etc etc
your body will make sure your baby doesn't suffer but you might, which is prob why you have been given an exemption, which imho you should take

maisym Fri 06-Jul-07 20:19:38

I suppose it wouldn't effect milk supply as in famine conditions women can still bf. You'd probably lose weight yourself and would need to take vitamins.

yesmynameisigglepiggle Fri 06-Jul-07 20:22:01

Yes I think it would be tough on you. Are you allowed to try and then stop if you feel it is too much for you? (sorry I am a bit ignorant)

I would say if you are allowed to be exempt then don't fast. It is only for this time while you are breastfeeding.

I am bf my 8 month old and I know I feel rotten when my blood sugar is low. Baby seems to do ok though

rainbow83 Fri 06-Jul-07 20:27:12

hi , thanks for all your answers. yes, i could try and then stop if it gets too hard.

the crux of the matter for me is determining whether fasting is bad for the milk or bad for the mum. there seems to be so many misonceptions surrounding this issue as time and time again you hear comments like 'your breastmilk will vanish if you fast' etc, when i'm coming to the conclusion that its actually the mums who suffer. If i knew a bit more about this i could rectify that a bit.

i wouldnt mind losing a couple more kilos though

Kewcumber Fri 06-Jul-07 20:30:21

I'm not sure if its a risk I would want to take wihtout being absolutely sure. Could you arrange some kind of mini-fast eg perhaps one nutricious midday meal of food which isn't a particular favorite of yours and which you can have everyday for the month. So you are "abstaining" in a way. Does that make sense?

NotQuiteCockney Fri 06-Jul-07 20:33:19

I think it would just make you wobbly, low blood sugar etc. If you are the sort of person who faints, you might do that?

Oh, actually, if it's warm, and you don't drink any fluids, then that might actually be bad for both of you, if your baby is still breastfeeding a lot. You'd get horribly thirsty.

If you wanted to try fasting, but drinking water, that might be a reasonable thing to try, if you don't want to use the exemption.

saadia Fri 06-Jul-07 20:34:26

you also need to consider the fact that you won't be able to drink water - I was always very thirsty when bfing.

terramum Fri 06-Jul-07 21:11:37

I personally wouldn't if you don't have to. It might put a strain on your own health as the baby will be using up your stores of nutrients etc. Also if you lose too much weight too quickly as a result it might release the toxins stored in your body fats which would then get into your milk - its for this reason that detox & extreme dieting isn't recommended while you are bfing...

Kellymom has some good info on diet & bfing as well as a specific page on relgious fasting. Worth reading most sections from here imo:

PussinJimmyChoos Fri 06-Jul-07 21:16:23

The prophet (PBUB) always used to try to make Islam easy if he could and so please, don't make it too hard on yourself. Islam is moderation so I would strongly recommend you don't fast and instead, donate to charity.

Breastfeeding is so important - the Prophet (PBUH) was breastfed by a wetnurse and in Islam it is permitted for a woman to breastfeed another woman's child if the mother has problems feeding etc. That to me, signifies the importance of breastfeeding in Islam, therefore I would say don't stop, take it easy and enjoy breast feeding while you can

tribpot Fri 06-Jul-07 21:17:59

Honestly - and my opinion is as a non-Muslim and non-breastfeeder, so you should treat it accordingly - I wouldn't. Your job right now is to feed another person, and the purpose of the exemption is (I think) to allow you to do that.

tissy Fri 06-Jul-07 21:19:17

a junior doctor I know fasted during Ramadan when pregnant, and fainted on a regular basis.

Although there is no reason why your blood pressure should now be low, I wouldn't risk it- your milk supply will probably be fine, but looking after a tiny baby is exhausting enough, without going without food- will you be expected to function in other ways (eg looking after older children, house work)?

tiktok Fri 06-Jul-07 21:33:47

Your baby will be fine - there is research on this - but you may be affected as fasting takes place over are exempt, why go through it?

kiskidee Sat 07-Jul-07 05:09:22

couldn't you do a partial fast like maybe going meatless or chocolateless or giving up tea? if you do want to do something for Ramadan.

march29 Sat 07-Jul-07 15:52:25

i was told in the hospital that water is quite important for the milk supply ie more u drink the better the supply of milk. i didn't fast when bf i did try in the beginning but felt too weak.i think if u have an option then don't.

Aliway Wed 25-Jul-07 09:28:29

My husband is a muslim and he told me lactating women are exempt from fasting, it would undoubtedly affect your milk supply I reckon I wouldn't like to feed and not be able to drink water Yikes!!

meowmix Wed 25-Jul-07 09:32:42

NO. Our local women's hospital had posters up from the Minister for Religion reminding pg and bf women that they should not fast during Ramadan. And they're uber-strict here.

tiktok Wed 25-Jul-07 09:33:55

Your intake of water does not affect your milk supply - Big Myth! You need to drink to thirst and it's common at the beginning to feel thirstier than normal but no one needs to make any effort to drink more water than they want.

Ditto eating.

But bf women are definitely exempt from fasting. So why do it??

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