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Karva Chauth 2022: Is It Safe To Fast During Pregnancy? Dos And Don'ts For Pregnant Women During Karva Chauth

Karva Chauth is primarily celebrated by Hindu women in north India. Married women observe it on the fourth day after the full moon of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Kartik. Women fast from sunrise until the sighting of the moon to protect and prolong the life of their husbands.

In 2022, Karva Chauth will be celebrated on 13 and 14 October. In particular, if you are fasting for the first time, you will require additional energy and effort. Women will fast at dawn, not eat during the day, and look through a sieve at their husbands and the moon after completing the fast.

While women throughout the country celebrate this festival with great zeal, observing an austerity fast during pregnancy can pose a problem because it involves balancing traditional beliefs with the health of the expecting mother and her baby.

Let's look at some commonly asked questions regarding Karva Chauth - Is It Safe To Fast During Pregnancy? Do's And Don'ts For Pregnant Women During Karva Chauth Fast.

Karva Chauth And Pregnant Women: What You Should Know

Pregnant women are not recommended to fast during Karva Chauth because their bodies undergo many changes and may suffer health problems if they do not consume water throughout the day [1].

As it has been advised, pregnant women should not fast during Karwa Chauth since it can elevate blood sugar levels and trigger several body issues, not just for the expecting mother but also for the foetus.
If you fast for an extended period during pregnancy, you may experience bloating, acidity, nausea, and discomfort. Therefore, eating at regular intervals during pregnancy will help you healthily manage your pregnancy. However, you must also avoid any form of physical activity if you are pregnant and wish to observe a fast, as it can cause you to become exhausted [2].

Breastfeeding mothers are not expected to fast, particularly if their child is under six months old and exclusively breastfed. However, depending on your child's age and how you feel, you may decide to fast [3].

However, some women wish to fast. If this is the case, it is recommended that they avoid fasting completely without food and include fluids such as coconut water, fresh juices, milk, and fresh fruit smoothies. However, a doctor should be consulted if one is still considering fasting [4].

Do's For Pregnant Women During Karva Chauth Fast

In case pregnant women still wish to fast, they should not skip water during the fast and should consult their gynaecologist, particularly if they are experiencing pregnancy-related health issues.

  • Get your day started with a glass of milk: To ensure that you are fuelled throughout the day, it is imperative that you begin the day with a glass of milk and also include vermicelli in your sargi*. It is high carb and high calcium starts to the day, which will ensure that you are well fed even while you are fasting. It is possible to keep yourself full by drinking lukewarm milk with mixed dry fruits and nuts at the beginning of each day [5].

*Sargi is the food consumed by women who fast throughout the day. It is prepared by the mother-in-law. Sargis have both sweet and savoury dishes. A Sargi thali typically includes pheni or meethi seviyan, fruits, coconut, dry fruits, parathas, and sweets.

  • Drink plenty of water: Although women generally do not have water during Karva Chauth fast, pregnant women must remain hydrated. Ensure that you consume many healthy drinks throughout the day, such as fruits and fruit juices, buttermilk and coconut water, etc., to keep yourself hydrated and refreshed. Stay hydrated by drinking fresh fruit juice every 2-3 hours to avoid dehydration or urinary tract infections [6].
  • Be sure to get adequate rest: As a woman's body is already working extra hard during pregnancy, proper care must be taken to take full rest and not exert at all during fasting since the body is devoid of proper nourishment [7].

Don'ts For Pregnant Women During Karva Chauth Fast

  • Feeling weak or experiencing nausea is caused by the lack of food and water you are consuming, so do not panic.
  • Avoid consuming high-calorie or sugary foods during pregnancy, as this may lead to gestational diabetes [8].
  • Make sure you take your medicine and supplements regularly.

On A Final Note...

Several reasons may lead women to fast - some may be dieting or fasting for weight loss. However, fasting during pregnancy is not recommended. Instead, you need to drink enough water and eat a well-balanced diet to ensure your baby and you receive adequate nutrition.

Generally, pregnant women and nursing mothers are not expected to fast during pregnancy, even if it is for religious reasons, due to the health risks to you and your baby.

Nevertheless, it is a personal decision, so it is a good idea to consult with your midwife or doctor for advice if you decide to fast.

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