Five Navratri Fasting Guidelines for Expectant Mothers

Extended fasting periods with low-energy food options are not recommended for pregnant women. Here’s what you should understand.

Five Navratri Fasting Guidelines for Expectant Mothers

The nine-day Navratri celebration is synonymous with vibrant colors and delectable cuisine. A central tradition during this time is fasting, although in many North Indian regions, it’s not a stringent fast. Participants typically consume small portions of fried foods, fruits, vegetables, and sweets throughout the Navratri period. While fasting can offer health benefits, it’s crucial to consider one’s health condition before embarking on a fast. Pregnant women are generally advised against fasting during this period due to potential adverse effects on their health. Therefore, consulting with a doctor before deciding to fast is essential.

Is it safe for pregnant women to observe fasting

Pregnant women are discouraged from undertaking prolonged fasting periods with no-calorie food options. Consistent hunger can potentially hinder fetal development. Hence, it’s recommended for expectant mothers to maintain a nutritious diet, consuming balanced meals at regular intervals that include a mix of macronutrients and micronutrients.

Tips for fasting during pregnancy

Now that the nine-day festivities have begun, let’s discuss the dos and don’ts pregnant women should consider while fasting.

1. Stay hydrated

First and foremost, it’s essential to prioritize hydration while fasting, especially crucial during pregnancy. To ensure a healthy body and mind throughout the auspicious nine days of Navratri, make sure to drink an adequate amount of water and liquids. Coconut water stands out as one of the best and easiest options for staying hydrated during the day.

2. Do not eliminate carbohydrates completely

Carbohydrates supply energy to both the brain and muscles, promoting vitality and productivity throughout the day. Hence, even while fasting during pregnancy, ensure that at least one of your meals contains a sufficient amount of carbohydrates.

Do not eliminate carbohydrates completely

3. Incorporate seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet

During Navratri fasting, nearly all fruits and vegetables are permissible. Hence, aim to include more seasonal fruits and vegetables in your fasting regimen. They not only provide essential nutrients but also serve as rich sources of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C, and potassium.

4. Keep your portion sizes in check

During Navratri, it’s unnecessary to consume large portions of food, as overeating may strain the body. Excessive consumption can result in indigestion and weight gain, particularly problematic during pregnancy, especially if indulging in foods high in sugar and salt.

5. Stay active

While pregnant and fasting, the temptation to remain sedentary may arise. However, avoiding physical activity can exacerbate feelings of lethargy. Therefore, incorporating simple exercises such as walking or dancing can provide significant benefits during this period.

Who should refrain from fasting

Pregnant women with conditions such as diabetes, anemia, and high blood pressure are advised to refrain from fasting entirely. Doing so can help avoid potential complications that may arise, ensuring the well-being of both mother and child.