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Nourishing Both Body and Baby- a Mother's Journey of Breastfeeding During Ramadan Fasting

As the holy month of Ramadan dawns upon us, it reminds me of the memories of fasting while breastfeeding both my children, Ahmad Ayyaz & Arfa Atiya, when they were little. It is a journey that has shaped me spiritually, as well as influenced my bond with my little ones in a very profound way.

Ahmad Ayyaz and Arfa Atiya, back in 2022

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was determined to continue fasting during Ramadan. It wasn't easy, but with each passing day, I felt a sense of spiritual connection and resilience. Little did I know that the challenges would multiply when my bundle of joy arrived and breastfeeding became my primary focus.


Along came the second child. And as my son and daughter grew, so did my commitment to nourishing them both physically and spiritually. Ramadan became a time of deep reflection and multitasking, balancing the demands of fasting with the needs of my nursing babies. It was a beautiful struggle, one that tested my patience and dedication but also filled me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.


Looking back on the breastfeeding and nourishing journey during Ramadan. And beyond

Now, as my children are 6 and 3 years old, I look back on those early days with a mixture of nostalgia and pride. Breastfeeding during Ramadan taught me invaluable lessons about selflessness, perseverance, and the power of maternal love. It was a time of sacrifice, yes, but also of immense joy and connection.


For mothers embarking on a similar journey this Ramadan, I offer a few tips from my own experience:

Stay hydrated: Drink enough water during non-fasting hours to maintain your milk supply and prevent dehydration. Milk is 80% water!


Prioritize self-care: Take breaks when needed, rest whenever possible, and don't hesitate to ask for help from family and friends.


Listen to your body: If fasting becomes too difficult or affects your health or milk production, you decide if you need to break your fast and make it up later.


Nurture your soul: Use this sacred time to deepen your spiritual practices, whether through prayer, meditation, or reading the Quran.


Focus on nutritious foods: Choose foods rich in protein, fibre, and healthy fats for sahur (pre-dawn meal) to keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your meals. For me, it is always rice and dates.


Don't ever skip SAHUR: Despite the early hours, sahur is essential for sustaining your energy levels during the fasting day. Even a small meal or a nutritious snack can make a big difference in your ability to cope with fasting while breastfeeding.


Know when to stop fasting: If fasting begins to deteriorate your health or the health of your baby, it's crucial to prioritize their well-being. Consult with your healthcare provider and religious authority to determine the best course of action. 


Remember, your health and the health of your child are important.


Positive mindset: Have faith that your milk supply will be enough to nourish your baby, even during fasting. Maintain a positive mindset and believe in the miraculous capacity of your body to provide for your child's needs.


Breastfeeding during Ramadan is a deeply personal journey, one that requires patience, faith, and a whole lot of love. But as I've learned, it's also an incredibly rewarding experience that strengthens the bond between mother and child, enriching both body and soul.


Happy Breastfeeding Mommies!


IBU Volunteer

Intan

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