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Fasting in Pregnancy: Make Safe Choices
Fasting in Pregnancy: Make Safe Choices

Fasting, refers to the voluntary abstention from food and drink for a specific period. Over time, it’s become a practice not just for religious or spiritual reasons, but also for health and lifestyle purposes. So, for some, it’s a way to detoxify the body, while for others, it’s a means to get closer to a higher power. The latter would certainly explain why such a seemingly challenging act is so prevalent across cultures? In some cultures collectively is non negotiable however, there are some exceptions to the rule. In these cases members are actively encouraged to abstain from fasting such as during, pregnancy, illness, childhood where fasting could have negative affects. And yet, despite their exemption many pregnant women fast during spiritual practices.

Traditional medical models still advocate these views however, recent research is suggesting otherwise. It seems that managed fasting in pregnancy does not automatically lead to adverse effects for mother or baby. In fact, that fasting might have beneficial effects.

This blog is offering a new perspective on fasting during pregnancy and how fasting can be safely integrated into a pregnancy program.

Physiology of Fasting during Pregnancy
How the Body Reacts

During fasting, the body undergoes various physiological changes. However, in her book Fast Like Girl, Dr Mindy Pelz suggests that a different approach to fasting is needed for women. Unlike men, a woman’s body is constantly in hormonal flux which makes fasting challenging at best. She has found that by encourages women to fast according to their monthly hormonal cycles women manage their fasting better.

She also found, that women who fasted in alignment to their natural hormonal bio-rhythm had many of their pregnancy related issues resolved. Infertile women got pregnant, poly-cystic ovaries and insulin intolerance pre-diabetic conditions improves, women had more energy and vibrancy, etc. More importantly they loved fasting and were able to maintain it.

However she hasn’t spoken much about fasting in pregnancy because there are a lot of taboos around this area. Most importantly, I want you to consider not starting fasting whilst you are pregnant and more so, if you have never fasted before. If you do want to go this route it is important that you do it under the strict guidance of a person that has a deep understanding of the body. This is because when you are pregnant, the changes that occur in your body can be more pronounced. Thus, the increased demand to of supporting another life might become too stressful for your body, particularly if fasting is new to you. Pregnancy is like having a guest in your house; you need to ensure their comfort while taking care of your needs. Thus, you need to be mindful of what you are doing.

Impact on the Mother and Baby

Throughout millennia women have experienced natural periods of fasting because of available food source. Thus, while short-term fasting might not significantly harm you or your baby, prolonged fasting can lead to dehydration and nutrient deficiencies. It’s similar to running a car on low fuel; it might work for a bit, but eventually, it’s going to need a top-up! This is why you need to be strategic when fasting. You need to know and understand your body so that you can respond quickly and appropriately to the message it gives you.

Reasons for Making Healthy Choices
For Mother’s Well-being

As pregnant mum your health directly impacts your baby’s health. During pregnancy you have the greatest amount of  uninterrupted influence over your baby. It is here that you can lay the foundations that increase your baby’s mental and physical wellbeing. Fasting has been shown to improve mental clarity, wellbeing and happiness. Thus, by directing your own brain plasticity through strategic fasting supports not just your well-being but also sets a foundation for your baby’s future health.

For Baby’s Development

Just as a plant needs the right amount of sunlight and water, a developing baby requires specific nutrients and conditions to grow optimally. You may not realise that during pregnancy there will be different periods when the baby will need foods that to support organ growth. They body will often shows this through cravings. It is important firstly to make sure that all the right food s are available for it and also that your body is absorbing correctly. Eating and resting times (strategic fasting) can optimises the uptake of food by your baby. Fasting helps your baby to also regulate their food in a more rhythmical way.  

Monitoring Body Changes
Signs to Watch Out For

From fatigue to dizziness, dry throat, dark or smelly urine, the body gives numerous signs when it’s not getting what it needs. Your baby’s movements may slow down a little and increase with food or water. When strategically fasting during pregnancy, it’s crucial to be hyper-aware of these signs. Think of them as alarm bells, signalling you to take action.

Adapting to Changes

A reminder is that pregnancy itself brings about countless changes, and fasting can add another layer to this. It’s like learning a new dance; it takes time, patience, and keen observation to master it without tripping. Strategically fasting during pregnancy is never about weight loss rather, it is about getting your body into a maximum functioning state. This is the priority.

Many women that fast for religious reasons it is important to prepare especially if done in summer when the fast days are long. You never should never attempt going cold turkey or doing this alone even if, you have fasted before or are on a regular fasting routine. We want to optimise that you remain in the healthy fasting window.

Responding Appropriately to Body Changes
When to Break the Fast

Listening to your body is vital. If you feel overly fatigued, dehydrated, or any unusual symptoms, it might be time to break the fast. Remember, it’s not about how long you can go without food, but how wisely you navigate the journey. There are some suggestions however I would suggest that you first contact the person that is helping you. Yours and our baby’s safety is pivotal.

  1. If your fast is for religious reasons that perhaps yourself to have water, or at least within the 8-12 hour window.
  2. Take notes for the next day on how you will prepare. Write this out in detail to help you
  3. Check out if you have been over extending and perhaps slow down for the rest of the day.
  4. Have a small oil based treat without sugar to tide you over. This will still give you energy but won’t take our out of your body’s fast mode.
Nutritional Needs during Pregnancy

When you break your fast do it slowly. Do not try to gorge food down with a big meal as this will make you sluggish and your stomach will rebel. Choosing light nutrient-rich foods like soups, unsweetened milky drinks or yoghurt. These can make all the difference. Think of it as refueling a car; the quality of the fuel matters immensely. Aim for foods that offer both you and your baby the essential nutrients required.

Preferably foods that are:

  1. High in vegetable matter, free range meats and eggs, natural oils.
  2. Try to focus on not having highly processed such as, caked, sweets, sausage rolls, piazzas, etc.
  3. Check all foods and remember, if you haven’t cooked from scratch and you don’t see the natural ingredients on sight, then it is probably highly processed.
  4. Go for the 80% rule – Over the week 80% unprocessed food and 20% what you fancy.

Fasting during pregnancy can be navigated safely with the right knowledge and precautions. By understanding its physiology, monitoring your body changes, and responding appropriately, pregnant women can make informed decisions that benefit both them and their baby.

To Consider….

If this article resonates and you are experiencing pregnancy related challenges maybe I can help. Book yourself in for a FREE introductory chat. In that session we can start exploring what you want and how I can help you you to achieve that outcome. We need to know where are your potential blocks (your biggest gaps) and what is in season to work with right now. Timing is everything and pregnancy is a time when we can do magnificent work together to help you make the biggest difference for you in attaining your outcome.

If you are ready I would love to support you on your journey.

Some Questions Regarding Pregnancy Related Fasting
  1. Question: Is it safe to fast during pregnancy?
    • Answer: While short-term fasting can be safe, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions.
  2. Question: How long can I fast while pregnant?
    • Answer: The duration varies from person to person. Always listen to your body and consult a healthcare professional.
  3. Question: What are the signs that I should break my fast?
    • Answer: Symptoms like extreme fatigue, dizziness, dehydration, or any unusual discomfort should be taken seriously.
  4. Question: How can I ensure my baby gets the required nutrients?
    • Answer: Opt for nutrient-rich foods when breaking your fast, and ensure a balanced diet throughout the day.
  5. Question: Are there any long-term effects of fasting during pregnancy?
    • Answer: While occasional fasting might not have long-term effects, prolonged fasting without proper precautions can impact both mother and baby.
General FAQ

If you have any questions, feedback, or need further assistance, you can easily message me through the contact form on my website. I strive to respond promptly to all inquiries and look forward to connecting with you!

How can I message you?

If you have any questions, feedback, or need further assistance, you can easily message me through the contact form on my website. I strive to respond promptly to all inquiries and look forward to connecting with you!

What services do you offer?

As a Pregnancy and Infertility coach, I specialize in helping professional women to navigate the challenges they experience on their pregnancy journey. I help them reclaim back control by provide them with a safe, non-judgmental space where they can openly express their feelings, fears, frustrations and be empowered to confidently create a safe, nurturing and loving environment for themselves and their unborn child.

My passion lies in empowering women to effect sustainable, positive changes in their lives. To achieve this, I employ a diverse range of transformational tools that help in the release of trauma, PTSD, grief, and loss, particularly those stemming from their primary mother wound. Together, we embark on a journey of growth and healing, inspiring each individual to find solutions that ensure a healthier and more fulfilling pregnancy experience.

Can anyone benefit from your coaching programs?

Absolutely! While my specialization is in tailored to working with professional women who are focused on issues surrounding pregnancy the primary trauma that most women experience is a the collect mother wound. My coaching programs and healing books are designed to benefit any individual, especially women, seeking to overcome trauma, heal deep wounds, and create a positive impact on their lives.

How can I access your trauma healing books?

You can access my trauma healing books, Amazon’s number one best-selling authors, through various platforms, including Amazon Kindle, paperback, and other online bookstores. Additionally, you may find links to these books on my website, making it convenient for you to explore and purchase them.

What are the benefits of fasting during pregnancy?

Fasting during pregnancy is a specialist undertaking especially if you are have never fasted before and you are choosing to start during pregnancy. Sometimes it is the only option you may think is available to you but you do need to do this strategically. It is always going to be a balance of how to give yourself the right encouragement to hang in there and when to break the fast and start another day. I know that from fasting myself there are good and bad days despite my being menopausal and therefore, it is going to require much more diligence from you. However, fasting has been shown to regulate insulin which is responsible for pushing sugar into the cells so it can be used. When the cells don’t get food they start breaking down and die. So by giving your body enough time to absorb, digest and utilise the food it activates metabolic and healing functions. People who have fast for health reasons have tended to improve compared to controls. Thus, if you are in a good space then you create the best nourishing space for your unborn baby.

Are your coaching programs tailored for specific individuals?

Yes, my coaching programs are personalized to cater to the unique needs and goals of each individual. Whether you a want coaching for reasons such as improving relationships, spiritual connection, optimising health or seeking healing from the Mother Wound, I will work closely with you to design a program that aligns with your desires and aspirations and which will result in personal growth.

How can I stay updated on your offerings and events?

To stay informed about my coaching programs, trauma healing books, and upcoming events, you can subscribe to my newsletter on the website. By joining the mailing list, you’ll receive regular updates, exclusive content, and early access to any new releases or offerings.

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