Many women choose to fast in pregnancy due to their personal beliefs or religious commitments.\r\n\r\nFestivals in which it is common to fast such as Karva Chauth, Teej or Shivratri are bound to come up at least once in the course of your nine months of pregnancy.\r\n\r\nIf you want to fast, especially for long spells such as Navratras, Ramadan or Lent, it\u2019s important to take extra care of yourself. Read on to find out how to make your fasting experience a good one.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nIs it safe to fast in pregnancy?\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s no clear answer. Despite research, we can\u2019t be sure that fasting is safe for you and your baby.\u00a0 However, fasting in pregnancy appears to be safer for you and your baby if you feel strong and well enough, and if your pregnancy is going well.\r\n\r\nIf you don\u2019t feel well enough to fast, or are worried about your health or your baby\u2019s wellbeing, speak to your doctor before deciding to fast. She will most likely review your physical health and medical history. She\u2019ll probably check for other complications, such as gestational diabetes, anaemia or multiple pregnancies before giving you the go-ahead.\r\n\r\nOne factor is when the fast takes place. For example, if Ramzan coincides with summer, this means hot weather and long days, which puts you at greater risk of dehydration.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAlso, fasting for long periods may cause:\r\n\r\n\theadaches\r\n\tfatigue\r\n\tfainting\r\n\tdizzy spells\r\n\tsevere acidity\r\n\r\nIf you have any of these symptoms talk to your doctor right away.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nWhat are the things I should keep in mind if I\u2019m fasting?\r\n\r\nSome religions do not permit any food or even water during the fast. Speak to your doctor and priest how best you can handle this.\r\n\r\nSome religions allow specific \u2018fasting foods\u2019 such as non-cereals foods, fruits, vegetables, milk and juices. Choosing a \u2018fresh fruit and vegetable fast\u2019 is a healthier option. This will help to ensure you don\u2019t miss essential nutrients such as iron. Try not to have high sugar foods and caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea during your fast.\r\n\r\nIf the weather is hot and humid, stay indoors during the peak heat hours.\r\n\r\nIf fluids are allowed ensure you keep sipping water, milk or fresh fruit juices at regular intervals.\r\n\r\nTry to rest for some time during the day. It is best to not do any strenuous work and exercise while you\u2019re fasting.\r\n\r\nFasting slows down your digestive system, so remember to break your fast slowly. Drink a small glass of juice or coconut water first and then follow it up with a light meal.\r\n\r\nIf you suffer from extreme exhaustion, fatigue, palpitations, abdominal cramps or severe nausea and acidity speak to your doctor right away.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nI feel bad about missing my fast, are there any other options that I could consider?\r\n\r\nFor many women fasting is an integral part of their lives, especially if it is a custom or a religious belief. So it\u2019s understandable that you are upset at the thought of giving up something you value deeply.\r\n\r\nConsider the following:\r\n\r\n\tInstead of a daily fast, can you fast on the first and last day of the fasting period?\r\n\tIs it possible to fast weekly or on alternate days instead of a daily fast?\r\n\tCould you choose a fruit fast instead of giving up all food and drink?\r\n\tAre there any exemptions or allowances for pregnant women, such as breaking the fast early or making up by fasting later?\r\n\tIs it possible to share the fast with another family member? Some husbands offer to keep the fast for half a day while their wives fast for the other half.\r\n\tCould you substitute the fast with other forms of sacrifice such as abstaining from certain foods like non-vegetarian fare, sweets, certain cereals or salt?\r\n\tCould you keep a different kind of fast such as a fast of silence?\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nSome choose to donate money they would normally splurge on themselves as an offering. Some women choose to offer penance by giving up things they enjoy most such as watching movies or shopping.