Last year Nayel was only 3.5 month old in Ramadan and as I was exclusively breastfeeding him, I couldn’t fast. This year Allhamdullilah, as Nayel has started eating I have planned to fast. Breastfeeding is still a major part of his diet. I thought of writing a blog and sharing all the informative details that I have gathered for myself to help me stay steadfast this Ramadan with mummies going through nursing period like me. I know few of the questions that do occur in a nursing mother’s mind :
‘Will my milk supply decrease during fasting ?’
‘Will I be getting too thirsty? ‘
‘Is my baby not going to get good nutritious milk?’
Having spoken to a quiet few moms out there who observed fast during their nursing period, most of them say that there is no affect on the milk supply. What a mother needs to make sure is to have a healthy meal during suhoor and iftar and stay well hydrated.
Here’s a list of few things that you could incorporate in your diet this Ramadan.
- Raw Almonds- Nuts are great for suhoor because they require no preparation. Macadamia nuts ( google it to know more) and cashews are also known to support milk supply.
- Hummus- Chickpeas are known to increase milk supply. Also, the sesame seed butter or tahini is a strong source of calcium. I highly recommend making your own hummus because it is less expensive and easy. For an extra boost of nutrients and to your milk supply, add extra raw or roasted garlic.
- Oatmeal- Oats are the most commonly used food to increase milk supply. Many a times my favorite breakfast.It is one of the most nutritious foods and contains proteins, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Save time by mixing raw oats and water the night before and placing the bowl in the refrigerator. In the morning it will be thickened and can be eaten cold or warm. Stir in dried fruits, nuts and butter for a boost of nutrients. Oats can also be prepared in advance as granola ( chk my insta post for my recipe) or breakfast bars for suhoor.
- Dates- Not just to break thw fast but The best form of suhoor is dates as understood from the following hadith of the Prophet (saws), “How excellent are dates as the believer’s suhoor.” [(Sahih) Abu Dawood (2/303)]
- Fresh Fruits and fruits smoothie.
- Boiled Eggs.
With all this, keep in mind that every woman’s body is different. A mother who is breastfeeding a second or subsequent baby may have a different experience from a previous breastfed baby. All we can do is share and deliver the needed information with each other and support a mom in her decision and trust how she knows her body feels and what her baby needs.
Here are some of the Iftar meal ideas:
- Stay away from the fried offerings during iftar. Often they are fried in unhealthy fats full of trans-fats. Trans-fats are easily transferred to breast milk. Be mindful of healthy fats and fulfill your fat cravings in other healthier ways such as butter, meats, fish, and eggs.
- Three dates (khajoor) and juice or milk (good for bringing your sugar levels back to normal)
- Salad of fresh seasonal vegetables
- Clear chicken or vegetable soup
- Haleem( not v spicy ) or Harees : a thick stew made from pounded wheat and mutton
- Lots of water. Keep a bottle to drink until next suhoor.
Being a mother is hard. Parenting when you don’t have the energy is harder. I have loads of respect for women who seek spiritual fulfilment while giving of themselves. May Allah give us abundant health and strength to be able to care for our little ones. Remember Me , Nayel and my family in your duas this Ramadan. 🙂
Few links to read and get more information: