Breastfeeding during the Ramadan period can be very taxing for mothers. So, mothers, (before anything else) please visit and talk to your doctors and get a general check-up before you make any decisions.\u00a0 Generally, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers do not necessarily have to fast during Ramadan. However, it is still possible to fast and breastfeed as well. These are some of the tips to help those moms out there that are determined to make this Ramadan a fulfilling one.\u00a0 1. Keep Yourself Hydrated\u00a0 Studies have shown that fasting for 24 hours or less will show very little changes in the amount of breast milk produced and in its composition. But long-term fasting can affect a mother\u2019s ability to breastfeed effectively; mainly due to fatigue and dehydration. This is because, fasting might reduce or stop producing certain components that are usually there in your breast milk. So, drinking three litters or 13 cups of water daily before and after the fast is essential.\u00a0 Water helps all your bodily functions to operate smoothly. This includes producing enough milk for your little one with the right composition as well.\u00a0 2. Plan a Nutritious Breastfeeding Diet Breastfeeding women need to ensure they are eating not only a balanced diet but a nutritious one as well. This includes up to 500 extra calories in addition to the normal daily recommended amount of 2000 calories for females. So, plan your breastfeeding diet accordingly. Photo credit: https:\/\/americanpregnancy.org Make sure to eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in minerals and calcium to supplement yourself throughout the day. Fruits provide vitamins like B1, B2, B6, and C; which help to keep you healthy and are necessary for milk production.\u00a0 Thus, eat at least three servings of fruits and vegetables every day. This will ensure that you can produce the healthiest breast milk possible while giving you the energy you need to fast as well.\u00a0 3. Avoid Heavy Chores\u00a0 If you plan on fasting during this Ramadan while breastfeeding, then, avoid strenuous exercise. The more energy you need to burn in the daylight, the more your body prioritizes keeping the energy for you and not for the production of breast milk. So, prioritize, get help or just postpone any vigorous activity for later because you know you and your baby come first.\u00a0 4. Get Enough Rest Moreover, get at least two hours of rest prior to feeding your baby. Mothers should also ensure an average of eight hours of sleep during the night. With enough rest, the body will ensure the optimum production of breast milk. Image from stock.adobe In addition, breastfeeding can make you feel hungry as well, so napping can help alleviate the hunger pangs until you break open your fast. However, if you are feeling really week, dizzy, and faint, then you should immediately break your fast. 5. Stick to Your Pumping\/Feeding Schedule\u00a0 I changed my pumping schedule during the Ramadan. As a result, my supply decreased by 1 oz. This is huge! Considering I only produced 4 oz total throughout the day, I was mixed-feeding. Irregular breast pumping and feeding can play havoc on your biological clock. So, it is extremely wise to stick to the schedule as closely as you can. Even if your baby does not want to be fed, you should still pump your breast milk and store them for future use. Browse at Motherhood.com for more options on pumps! 6. Take milk boosters and supplements\u00a0 Milk boosters are foods that are known to help your body produce more breast milk by increasing the level of either or both Prolactin and Oxytocin - which, are hormones thought to affect the production of breast milk in the body.\u00a0 Food such as soya, dates, oat, ginger, and even fenugreek (or halba in Malay). This herb is FDA (US. Food and Drug Administration) approved as it is able to increase the prolactin levels that help in the production of breast milk. Moreover, during this fasting month, some breastfeeding mothers out there might still be losing out on some of the much-needed nutrition in their bodies. So, taking supplement is as important as taking your meals. You can talk to your doctor or lactation consultant to help you choose the right supplement, according to your body\u2019s condition.\u00a0 7. Time to Choose Your Formula Yes, you heard that right. Trying to 100% breastfeed your baby might put on a heavier stress load on your recovering body, which might lead to detrimental health in the future. So, mix-feeding is not such a bad idea if you decide to fast during this Ramadan while breastfeeding.\u00a0 Yunzatie shared her experience and said, \u201cI try to feed my baby by milk bottle during the evenings just before breaking fasts. If I can, I\u2019ll stock up breast milk whenever I can but if not then never mind. But, in the evenings I will use the milk bottle. If not, I\u2019ll feel dizzy and faint.\u201d\u00a0 There\u2019s no one-stop solution for everyone so trial and error is a good plan as any. Get help, whenever and wherever you need it and stay positive during this Ramadan.\u00a0 8. Stay Stress-Free Stop stressing out and breathe deep. This Ramadan can be your chance to be more relaxed because of the MCO. So, staying quietly at home to pass the fasting month is an ideal plan for all Muslims out there. Source: Adobe Stock Stress can affect your body, mind, and soul. Ramadan is the month for you to focus more on the spiritual aspect of the month, so stressing on how much breastmilk you are going to produce won\u2019t help you. The fact that you are still trying to breastfeed\/pumping is an act of ibadah while fasting too!\u00a0 9. Pay attention\u00a0 Fasting will change the quality and quantity of milk, if a fasting breastfeeding mother is worried that her baby is not getting enough milk then maybe it's time to stop fasting. The change in the composition of the milk will affect some babies but not all. So, breastfeeding mother's need to pay attention to your baby's condition, especially when the baby: \tcries constantly \thave fewer wet diapers \tpasses green-colored stool \thas weight loss She should stop fasting and immediately contact her doctor or a lactation consultant. 10. Pray for The Best\u00a0 All in all, the choice is your, whether to fast while breastfeeding or not. Nobody has the same experiences so some things might work for others but some might not. In this holy month of Ramadan, prayer will be your assistant and savior. God will help those who are in need so, after your humongous efforts, the result will then be in God\u2019s hand. Whatever the results might be we should find acceptance and move on. In order to ease your breastfeeding journey during this Ramadan, head over to Motherhood.com.my for a high-quality breast pump, nursing cover, and many more.