Friday, June 22, 2012

Fasting and Breastfeeding an 8 month old

not a picture of me

If my baby was under 6 months, I would most definitely not even attempt to fast because it's obvious that fasting will have an effect on my milk production and maybe even quality if I don't manage to eat enough during the few hours of the night. It would have been a no brainer.

But at 8.5-9.5 months, Adam will hopefully be eating a decent amount of solid food even though my milk will still be the main nutrition for him. So it's still an issue.

And on top of that (second issue), my delicate body will definitely have trouble tolerating fasting. I normally eat multiple small meals during the day, drinking regularly, but while breastfeeding, it is a MUST for me or I get nauseous and dizzy. I always eat every 4 hours or more often. I have breakfast the minute I wake up, a second breakfast around 9-10am, lunch just before noon, small snack in the afternoon, supper around 6 and after that a snack before bed though this last one I'm able to skip without feeling ill since I'm just going to bed anyways. Yesterday I was out with my husband late and I was really very nauseous and dizzy at 10pm or so and felt better instantly after taking a few bites of food. I once nearly passed out at Wal-Mart but probably managed to save myself by just opening something off the shelf and eating. lol (I paid for it afterwards of course)

Anyway, I was planning on trying to fast and just breaking my fast if I needed to. If I felt close to passing out or felt unable to care for my baby, then it would be an obligation for me to break the fast anyway - Islam is not here to destroy my life and health or my baby's. BUT I'm realizing that my husband doesn't support me trying to fast and will my weak will, I don't know that I will even end up trying without his support. He figures I have a valid reason to not fast and that I should use it.

What do you think?

6 Comentários:

Amber said...

Not being a Muslim and not being a mother, this is totally peanut gallery opinion time over here, so feel free to ignore anything I say if it's ridiculous and makes no sense.

Right, so:

If I felt close to passing out or felt unable to care for my baby,

If you feel close to passing out, isn't that a little late? The only times I've ever felt like I was about to pass out, I passed out. So it just seems...ill advised to be taking that sort of risk.

It's my (limited) understanding of fasting in Islam that if there's a medical problem that makes the fast a health risk (aside from pregnancy or nursing) then you're released from the obligation. And it kind of sounds like that's the case with you.

But you still feel like you want to fast, obviously. So maybe...can you do something that's a modified version of the fast? I don't know what would work, I admit, but (again from a non-Muslim perspective) the idea behind fasting is to sacrifice in order to bring your mind more to focus on the presence of god, the sacredness of life and thankfulness for what's been given to you. So maybe restricting yourself to eating only certain foods - still getting enough nutrition, but giving up favorite snacks or kinds of meals during the day.

Or, and I know it's different from the Muslim fast, but for Orthodox or Catholics, when they fast during Lent, even if they can't keep the dietary fast because of health reasons, they can make a different kind of sacrifice in remembrance of the season by giving up activities or other things that they enjoy.

And that's all I have to say about that.

*wanders back into the shadows of the peanut gallery*

LK said...

Technically if you're breast feeding scholars will tell you that you shouldn't fast. However, if your doctor clears it then why not. Perhaps your doctor would find that time appropriate for weening anyway? Id ask him/her before attempting to fast.

.::Tuttie::. said...

If you are still nursing and considering what you just mentioned about you getting dizzy and nauseous maybe you should do trial fasts right now. That way you either condition yourself or if you need to break it you are only breaking a nafl (voluntary) fast rather than a fardh one.

I fasted while pregnant in my first pregnancy and the agreement with my midwives was that I would take a blood test at the beginning of the month and a second one half way through the month. If my nutrient levels and full blood work showed a dip then I was to stop fasting IMMEDIATELY. Turned out because I was eating more conscientiously and focusing on better nutrient dense meals and staying hydrated during the night. Milk supply did not drop and the quality most definitely improved.

With my 2nd pregnancy I was still nursing my son (I wanted to give him a full 24 months and he was 22 months at the time). I managed to fast for 2 weeks and while my blood work was excellent and pregnancy was progressing just fine I chose to stop because it was too much for me. Chasing after a hyperactive toddler, while fasting and pregnant was no fun and I was already 9 months pregnant.

It can be done and my midwives monitored me very carefully and approved of what I was doing since my blood work was phenomenal. Alhamdulillah.

This year I'm expecting again (about 7 weeks in) and nursing my daughter who is 21 months. So I'll be about 5-6 months preggers (inshaAllah) when I wean her. I don't know if I'll fast this Ramadan but I'll be testing my endurance with some nafl fasts this week.

I'll pray istikhara to get a clearer picture if I should or shouldn't.

Candice said...

Amber: I wouldn't want to get that close to passing out. I consider "close to passing out" as dizzy and vision a bit blurry. I might be 10 minutes of intense exercise away from passing out but that's still "close" to me. I've never actually passed out in my life so maybe I don't know the meaning.

And you know, I'm not sure I actually want to fast. I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. I'd be perfectly happy sitting out another month of fasting and concentrating on other things. I'm not like some Muslims who would feel left out of the spiritual goodness of it.

LK: I'm not sure how many scholars would actually tell me not to fast. It can be a valid reason but in my situation, is it? I don't know.

Tuttie: Thanks for sharing your experience. You're really determined to do fasts in preparation like that even while pregnant and breastfeeding! I didn't give fasting any sort of chance last year when I was pregnant. I'll think about what you suggested, thanks!

LK said...

breastfeeding is a valid reason if a doctor says its not safe to fast. That is usually how I've seen scholars put it. If it will put the baby in danger then its no good. If it wouldn't hurt him or you then its fine.

A doctor's opinion would be helpful. There's a chance that by in taking less food/water you may produce milk more slowly and need formula to make up for the difference.

Rebekka @ Becky's Kaleidoscope said...

I was told that not having to fast is a mercy from God, and that you should accept any mercy he has given you :)

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