Fasting is the willing abstention from all or some foods / drinks, partially or totally, for a set period. It is a part of many cultures and religions. Though fasting is a practice that dates back centuries, it has seen a surge in its popularity very recently in many forms (for example - intermittent fasting.)
What are the possible health benefits? Fasting has been associated with a range of health benefits including weight loss, enhanced blood sugar control, cancer prevention, and better heart health / brain function among others.
Now the question is whether fasting is safe when you are pregnant. Does it put your growing baby in the womb at any sort of risk?
Fasting during pregnancy is always considered to be something like walking a tightrope. Even studies and researches on this have portrayed a mixed picture and have not been able to decisively prove if fasting is safe during pregnancy.
While few studies have shown that fasting will have no effect on you and your baby, the others have found that if you fast, your baby will be at risk.
Some studies have shown that fasting during the first and the last three months can be riskier than mid-period. Below is a list of possible risks your baby may face if you fast during pregnancy.
- Increased probability of premature labor or birth. A research study also states that your baby may grow up to be shorter and thinner.
- Reduced gestation period, and hence, chances of low birth weight, especially if you fast during the first three months.
- Nutritional restrictions during fasting can result in elevated levels of cortisol hormone. This may cause cognitive impairment in the baby.
- Prolonged fasts may make you face problems such as weakness, anemia, fatigue, acidity and headaches, which in turn interfere with the normal growth of the baby.
One thing is certain, your baby is fully reliant on you for all the necessary nutrition including proteins, vitamins, etc. If you feel you must fast for whatever reasons, do have a thorough physical check-up and get clearance from your doctor.
ReproMed Fertility Center offers personalized fertility treatments in six convenient locations in the Dallas metroplex and one in Tyler. Please contact us at (214) 827-8777 for all appointments and information.