Monday, July 8, 2013

Breastfeeding during Ramadan - Guest Post

Every year around the time of the blessed month of Ramadan there are many moms on our Facebook support group “Breastfeeding in Lebanon” asking if they could fast and still have enough milk for their babies. The answer is not simple as every mom/baby is different, but I hope this article will be helpful and reassuring to everyone!
Can a breastfeeding mom decide NOT to fast?
Fasting is obligatory for all able-bodied adults, however, there are some exceptions. Allah, The Most High says:
((And whosoever is sick or is upon a journey, then the period is made up from other days...)) [Sourah Al-Baqarah: 185]
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are included here and are allowed not to fast during that time if they feel it may negatively affect baby’s health! They may compensate for the missed fasting at a later time when they are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding. They may also pay some expiation for not fasting instead (please consult a scholar or a book of fiqh for exact guidelines).
Will fasting affect milk supply?
And even though Muslim breastfeeding moms are allowed not to fast, many women still

Photo credit:
prefer not to skip this blessed time or at least not to miss too many days. So they naturally worry if their baby will have enough milk during fasting and if the milk will still have all the necessary nutrition (if it will be “good” and fat for the baby).

Breastfeeding studies have shown that fasting during the daylight hours of Ramadan does not affect mom’s milk supply but very strong dehydration (not having enough water in the body) may do so. That is why breastfeeding women during fasting may want to drink as much fluids as possible at night to compensate for the day time dehydration.
Mothers may also decide to stay on a “safe side” and drink water even if fasting. As Kelly Bonyata, a known lactation consultant, mentions in her article: “Some mothers have found that drinking water on fast days is more of a need during the first six months when baby is exclusively breastfed (not taking any food or drink other than breastmilk); once baby is older and taking other foods, it may be feasible to neither eat nor drink during the fast.” (Reference: - great resource for many more links on fasting and breastfeeding!)
What to keep an eye on?
Every mom and baby is different, and while it may be absolutely fine for one mom to fast and exclusively breastfeed at the same time, it may be a real challenge for another one. That is why it’s important to check on the following signs on whether everything is going well.
Signs of dehydration in mother:
1)    Headache or other pain;
2)    Dark yellow strong smelling urine;
3)    Mother feels very weak;
4)    Extreme thirst.
Signs that milk supply may be negatively affected:
5)    Number of wet and dirty diapers of the baby has suddenly decreased.
6)    Baby seems unusually unhappy and fussy. May cry at the breast and even refuse it completely.
7)    Baby seems hungry all the time and wants to breastfeed non-stop (frequent breastfeeding will actually help the mother increase her supply in the best and fastest way! So baby should be always allowed to breastfeed as often and as long as he wants!)
8)    Baby stopped gaining weight or even started to lose some.

** If any of these signs are present the mother may need to re-consider her decision to fast till later time, as her and her baby’s health may be under risk!
Tips for fasting and breastfeeding
Stacey Greaves-Favors, experienced La Leche League Leader and breastfeeding counselor, recommends the following:
1)    Pay attention to what you eat during the evening and pre-dawn hours: have a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables; high fiber and complex carbohydrates are more filling; limit sweets.
2)     Drink, drink, drink when you can! Water is the best, fresh fruit/vegetable juices are also good, but sugary and caffeinated drinks should be avoided or limited.
3)    Eat a meal in addition to suhoor and iftar (never miss suhoor when fasting and breastfeeding!)
4)    Get plenty of rest. An afternoon nap is a great idea. Try also to do most of the work in the morning and relax more in the evening hours.(Reference:
5)    Watch your body and your baby for any signs of problems.

Good luck ladies! And don’t let anyone push you to make a decision to fast or not! This is your and only your decision. Think of everything carefully, weight risks and benefits of each decision and remember that you are the best expert to your baby’s health and you will be able to make the right decision for yourself and your baby!

Nadiya Dragan El-Chiti is a breastfeeding counselor and lecturer. She is a graduate from the University of Maine, Orono (USA), with Master’s Degree in Communication and a certificate from World Vision in coordination with WHO for accomplishing an intensive training in “Exclusive Breastfeeding”.  Mrs. Nadiya  gives seminars and private consultations on breastfeeding essentials, managing work and breastfeeding as well as starting solids and breastfeeding. She also provides personal support and assistance to mothers who already gave birth and are facing challenges in breastfeeding. You can contact Mrs. Nadiya by facebook, Breastfeeding in Lebanon, by mail at or by phone, 961 71 924481.

** This post was originally published in Moms and To Be magazine, issue 54.


  1. Thank you! We are in a huge need of helpful tips on breastfeding in lebanon . Most hospitals do not support breastfeeding alone. My sister just gave a baby and the nurses directly gave him a bottle of baby formula. it is a shame. we salute your hard work and thank you for giving us the infomration on peple who support breastfeeding

  2. u r linked here

  3. So great to have you today! You are such a wonderful mommy!

  4. It never makes a big issue especially in Asia. Women are very fit and they can chest feed in Ramdan too.

  5. Super-Duper site! I am Loving it!! Will come back again, Im taking your feed also, Thanks.
    spirulina powder UK

  6. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
    Como Combatir el Estres

  7. Nice Blog ,This is what I exactly Looking for ,I really get benefit from your blog Keep sharing more blog .

    Weight Loss Diet for Men | Weight Loss Diet Plan for Women | Weight Loss Centers in Bangalore

  8. WHAT A GREAT MIRACLE THAT I HAVE EVER SEE IN MY LIFE. My names are Clara David I’m a citizen of USA, My younger sister was sicking of breast cancer and her name is Sandra David I and my family have taking her to all kind of hospital in USA still yet no good result. I decided to search for cancer cure so that was how I found a lady called Peter Lizzy. She was testifying  to the world about the goodness of a herbal man who has the roots and herbs to cure all kinds of disease and the herbal man's email was there. So I decided to contact the herbal man @herbalist_sakura for my younger sister's help to cure her breast cancer. I contacted him and told him my problem he told me that I should not worry that my sister cancer will be cure, he told me that there is a medicine that he is going to give me that I will cook it and give it to my sister to drink for one week, so I ask how can I receive the cure that I am in USA, he told me That I will pay for the delivery service. The courier service can transport it to me so he told me the amount I will pay, so my dad paid for the delivery fee. two days later I receive the cure from the courier service so I used it as the herbal man instructed me to, before the week complete my sister cancer was healed and it was like a dream to me not knowing that it was physical I and my family were very happy about the miracle of Doctor so my dad wanted to pay him 5 million us dollars the herbal man did not accept the offer from my dad, but I don't know why he didn't accept the offer, he only say that I should tell the world about him and his miracle he perform so am now here to tell the world about him if you or your relative is having any kind of disease that you can't get from the hospital please contact or whats app him +2348110114739  you can follow him up on Instagram @herbalist_sakura for the cure, he will help you out with the problem. And if you need more information about the doctor you can mail me 

  9. I am here to tell you about a natural remedy that is
    guaranteed to make you wonder why your doctor didn't tell
    you about it. Then, on the other hand, it is pretty obvious
    why your doctor didn't, because that's not his job, is
    it? But, seriously, promise me you won't get too angry
    with your health practitioner, it's really not their
    fault. They can only practice what they're told to
    practice, right?When your health is at risk there's no time for Tom
    foolery, you've got to get down to the cause and nip it
    in the bud. So you've been suffering from painful gout
    attacks have you? Well, allow me to give you a new
    perspective on the solution to what plagues you I was once in your shoe until my college friend introduce me to Dr Itua herbal center which cure my hiv/herpes after drinking it for two weeks as instructed, Dr Itua is an africa herbal doctor who has natural power to cure the following diseases: Herpes,Hiv,Hepatitis B,Fibroid,Schizophrenia,Cancer,Scoliosis,Fibromyalgia,Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva.Fatal Familial Insomnia Factor V Leiden Mutation ,Epilepsy Dupuytren's disease,Desmoplastic,Diabetes ,Coeliac disease,Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease,Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy, Ataxia,Arthritis,Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis,Alzheimer's disease,Adrenocortical carcinoma.Asthma,Allergic.
    As Dr Itua assure me that all those disease below that he guaranty 100% permanent cure to all these disease I believe Dr Itua so much because he help me cure my hiv/ herpes which has being my burden in life so I promised Dr Itua that I will testify about his work online after curing me and that is what I'm doing here so please if you are suffering from those diseases do not hesitate to write Dr Itua Herbal Center On Email: Or chat with him on whatsapp: +2348149277967.