Should pregnant women fast for Ramadan?

Updated on: Mar 9, 2016

Maybe, it depends on the pregnant woman’s health status.

The decision to fast during pregnancy is a personal one. It is mentioned in the Qur’an that it is permissible for any pregnant woman not to fast. This rule is particularly applicable if it exposes the fetus or the mother herself to risks such as prematurity, low birth weight or low sugar levels. However, if she is healthy and feels strong enough to fast, it is her choice to do so.

Before beginning the fast, it is important to consider the following:

  1. Ramadan period varies each year. If Ramadan is during the summer, the fasting period is longer and the heat increases the risk of dehydration. It is very important to hydrate yourself several times throughout the night.
  2. A healthy mother with a normal weight can better manage the stress of fasting. For this reason, it is advisable for pregnant women to be well prepared if they intend to fast. They must consider adopting good eating habits even before the start of Ramadan. Having good reserves ensures that the baby gets enough nutrients for its growth during this period. Consult a nutritionist in case of uncertainty.
  3. The stage of pregnancy can affect the decision to fast or not. As the first trimester is characterized by the development of the placenta and fetal vital organs, it is important that the baby gets all the nutrients necessary for this construction phase. Furthermore, a large majority of pregnant women often experience nausea, vomiting, heartburn or have other conditions that may limit their food intake during the first trimester.
  4. In the third trimester, the fetus gains 65% of its total weight. Since this is a period of intense growth that requires a lot of energy, the mother may feel extreme fatigue during this period. Fasting is not recommended, especially during this time, since the baby is deprived of essential nutrients for several hours. It is also mentioned in the Qur’an that if the woman feels weak due to a pregnancy, it is her duty not to fast.

If a pregnant woman wants to observe Ramadan, click here to find out what foods to promote.


L’islam en questions et réponses. (2002). La femme enceinte doit-elle jeûner?

L’islam en questions et réponses. (2005). Quelle est la meilleure attitude de la femme enceinte par rapport au jeûne ?


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