Doubts about fasting are usually experienced by mothers who are still breastfeeding. They are worried that if breast milk is the only intake for the baby, it will decrease in terms of quantity and quality. Actually, can breastfeeding mothers fast?
The decision to fast or not is in Busui's hands. However, actually Busui does not need to worry too much. The reason is, even though you are fasting, your body will adjust naturally.
The amount and quality of breast milk in breastfeeding mothers who are fasting does not change
Although the intake of drinks and food is temporarily stopped for a few hours, the amount of milk produced is generally not reduced. This is because at this vulnerable time, the body will take fat reserves from the body to produce breast milk, so the amount of milk production will remain as usual.
Then, how about the nutrition? The amount of nutrients in breast milk will indeed decrease slightly, especially the levels of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc. However, Busui does not need to worry because the macronutrient composition of breast milk (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) remains the same, so it will not interfere with the baby's growth.
Changes in the composition of breast milk during fasting are also more influenced by what Busui eats and the needs of the baby itself. The composition of breast milk will change if Busui only eats a small amount of food. So, make sure you have adequate food intake and don't forget to eat nutritious foods so that the quality of breast milk is maintained.
Fasting while breastfeeding generally won't do any harm either. According to research, the chemical balance in the body and body functions between mothers who breastfeed and those who are not generally the same.
Pay attention to the condition of the baby and Busui
If Busui is still breastfeeding a baby less than 6 months old, the decision to fast in Ramadan must be carefully considered. This is because at that age, babies only consume breast milk and have a different feeding pattern from 1 year old babies who have received complementary foods.
Busui can still breastfeed while fasting, but make sure that Busui's fluid needs are adequately met so as not to become dehydrated. The reason is, in cases of severe dehydration, the supply of breast milk may decrease for a while.
So, if signs of dehydration such as dry eyes, mouth and lips, feeling very thirsty, dark urine, headaches, fatigue, and feeling weak, immediately cancel the fast.
Immediately drink water or consume a solution of salt and sugar to replace lost body fluids. Check with your doctor if it doesn't improve after about 30 minutes of rest.
As for babies, Busui is advised to stop fasting if the little one looks lethargic, often sleepy, cries often, and the frequency of urination and defecation decreases. This could be a sign that your baby is dehydrated or not getting enough milk.
Tips for Breastfeeding While Fasting
To expedite the breastfeeding process while fasting, there are tips that Busui can follow. Here are some of them:
- Buy most of your fasting needs before Ramadan, so Busui can get more rest when the fasting month arrives.
- Limit activities, especially strenuous activities. It is best to avoid activities in the sun.
- Make sure the food consumed at dawn and iftar meets nutritional adequacy. In addition, make sure Busui drinks plenty of water during iftar and sahur.
- Do not miss vitamin supplements for nursing mothers. Doctors can recommend vitamin supplements that can be taken at dawn.
- Check with your doctor if Busui is losing more than 1 kg per week.
Although the desire to fast fully is so great, Busui still has to pay attention to the condition of the body. Instead, don't force yourself to continue fasting, if Busui is feeling unwell or physically unable.
Not all women are able to breastfeed while fasting. So, don't force yourself to fast if you feel you can't. If Busui is unsure whether it is healthy enough to fast while breastfeeding, you should consult a doctor.