Personal Accounts

Our final section is a composite of various pregnancy and breastfeeding ‘stories’ told by sisters who tried to fast in Ramadaan. Enjoy!

Early Pregnancy

“Last year I was preg, it was the first trimester and I kept them.. just missed 2 or 3. But I did find it quite hard especially towards the end of the day.. I’d be exhausted!” Umm Z

“Fasting ramadan between 9-13wks pregnant – alhamdulillah managed to do this as I wasn’t eating much anyway & sickness was there whether I ate or not, so alhamdulillah that wasn’t too difficult. Was October time so days were quite short.” Umm S

“I was in the early stages of pregnancy and I fasted Ramadan and it was August. I would feel sick, tired and pretty miserable but I knew I would feel like that even if I wasn’t fasting!! I had 3 other children to look after so, no, I didn’t sleep all day to cope!” Umm H

“Family members told me not to fast as I was in the early days of pregnancy. I missed the first couple of weeks and then I felt that I could fast so I did and I was fine!” Umm U

Middle Months

“I fasted last Ramadan and was 4 months pregnant. Alhamdulillah I never had any morning sickness throughout pregnancy and so found fasting quite easy Alhamdulillah. Only missed three due to being ill. If anything would just feel a bit tired at the end of the day but can’t say I was starved or anything!” Umm U

“I was pregnant (I think about 5 months) the days were still quite long but alhamdulilah once I got into the routine of fasting it was easy. I tried to get everything done in the morning and rest in the afternoon and keep the other kids busy. I was tired when I broke my fast but picked up later in the evening. Insha Allah this year (8 months pregnant) goes as well. Lot of duas pls!” Umm A

“2 Ramadans ago I was expecting and was nearly 6 months pregnant at the time. Started off with the best intentions, yet because my baby was pushing on my lungs and the fact that I’ve had asthma myself since childhood I really struggled, I was constantly coughing, tight-chested and wheezy throughout the entire day – despite this I carried on fasting for the first 10 days after which my husband was becoming concerned and annoyed with me. My midwife recorded that my bp was all over the place and that my son was showing signs of an erratic heart rate… so I stopped fasting because I really was very ill and needed my medication, fluids and food to strengthen me. Things did improve and so I made a compromise and fasted every odd fast for the last 10 days of Ramadan.” Umm AR

Late Pregnancy
“I was 35 weeks when Ramadan 2014 started. I was on iron tablets but took them at night instead. Had been told baby was small but subhanAllah he grew lots in Ramadan and was born a very healthy weight. We managed fasting the whole month which was a couple of weeks before birth. Taraweeh was hard on first day maybe as I didn’t drink enough and masjid was hot and busy but coped much better a few days in.” Umm H

“I have had 2 shawwal babies so fasted ramadan in last month of pregnancy. I found this tiring but manageable alhamdulillah. The baby (in belly) was less active during the day, but picked up after eating & resting. I did find that other ibadah was much harder as I was very tired & sleepy after maghrib. Often I would sleep after maghrib for a couple of hours and then get up for isha/taraweeh, that worked for me. One child was born on 6th dhul hijjah and alhamdulillah I fasted the day he was born! I didn’t feel those days as they were January and very short.” Umm S

“Both my children were born in Shawaal – so I have fasted two Ramadhan’s being heavily pregnant.  With my first child, I was sick throughout my pregnancy and I was worried about how I would feel whilst fasting.  Nevertheless, I gave it a try and found it to be easy, alhamdullillah. Yes, I would be sick, but then I would just rinse my mouth out and carry on as normal – it was fine!  I remember praying taraweeh at a local masjid when pregnant and miss those times where I could go to the masjid and not have to think about the kids!”  Umm H

“I alternated my fasts when I was 7 months pregnant but had to stop in the last week coz I got really weak and used to feel dizzy.” Umm A

“I had my daughter (Child No. 3) 2 weeks after Eid ul Fitr.  Alhamdulillah, I didn’t find the fasting difficult, it felt pretty much the same as when I wasn’t pregnant.  And what was great was that I could fast the whole of Ramadan and pray the taraweeh and not miss any due to menses.” Umm N

“Hitting 36 weeks as ramadhan approached was daunting with long summer days ahead.

Alhamdulilah I started fasting it was tiring, I felt weak and very thirsty and after Iftar I was wiped out but I managed. The difficult thing is getting everything you need done in a very short night with children I can’t sleep much in the day so need to sleep at night and eat and drink! Some days are tougher than others with headaches and fatigue, I think it depends on how much rest I get and some days I haven’t been able to fast but in sha Allah I will keep trying!  May Allah accept it from us and may it be an intercession on the day that we will need it, ameen” Umm A

“With my second child, I spent the majority of Ramadan with my in laws. I would crave fish nearly every day – my father-in-law was hoping I would be craving samosas or other goodies, but I would want tuna sandwiches or fish and chips! Towards the end of my pregnancy, they detected some glucose in my urine and I had to miss one fast for a gestational diabetes test – I really missed fasting that day – it just does not feel like Ramadan! I went through false labour several times in the last ten nights – I would be praying taraweeh and making dua to get through Ramadan – I wanted to be able to fast and pray in these precious days and I wanted my husband to be there in labour. Subhanallah, my duas were answered as my daughter arrived on Eid day!” Umm H

“I was 35 weeks pregnant Ramadan 2013 and alhamdulilah I was able to fast. I can honestly say I didn’t feel weak or dizzy – I really do feel that it is a blessed month. I think it really helps to eat well during suhoor. I drank lots of water from iftaar time all the way to suhoor. I did most of my resting in the morning and stayed awake from Maghrib to suhoor. We had the older children (7, and 9 yrs) in a good routine of staying awake from Magrib to suhoor and then sleeping after Fajr. They would then sleep until Dhuhr, tired out from taraweeh and the fast itself. It helped me being in the last trimester that the children were resting so I could rest too. I plan to do the same routine this Ramadan (inshallah!) and put my 10 month old in the same routine, so she will sleep when we sleep.” Umm S

Breastfeeding in Ramadaan

“My daughter was one month old and I finished post-natal bleeding in Ramadan so I began fasting. I was really worried if I could do it with a baby so very small but my milk was fine and baby didn’t even notice a difference! It’s REALLY hard making up the fasts that I missed last year before I started praying again. This year she just turned a year old and I’ve fasted the long British fasts and now I am back in Saudi and fasting. Alhamdulillah, I don’t find fasting affects my milk, I’m just more hungry! .” Umm H

“My first was a few months old when Ramadhaan approached and we already had issues with food and weight gain! She wasn’t gaining weight and was rapidly dropping of the chart! Ramadhaan came I started fasting she still wasn’t gaining weight and everyone got on my case health visitor family and friends so I broke my fasts… she still didn’t gain weight and I felt terrible! Alhamdulilah I made them up and 5 years later my definitely not underweight daughter is fine mashallah.”  Umm A

“S was born before Ramadan and I was able to fast. He was six weeks old so my post partum bleeding had stopped. Alhamdulilah I had no problems and the health visitor was fine.  I felt well and S was steadily putting on weight.” Umm S

“My first baby was 4 months old and I fasted. He would get hungry as it approached iftar time. It would upset me but soon after I had iftar and drunk a couple of glasses of milk or water, I would feed him and he would settle. Then I could enjoy my iftar! Sometimes I would drink and I could feel the water going straight into the milk factory rather than my stomach! It took about a week and then my baby and body adjusted to feeding on a different schedule.” Umm H

“Baby no.2 was 5 weeks old when Ramadan came. It had been 3 days since I started praying again after nifaas and was still adjusting to coping with a toddler and a new baby. The fasts were not difficult but I did find that prayer at night was not as easy. I was still pacing the corridor with my super-windy baby when my husband would return from the masjid at about midnight. I would often recite short surahs in taraweeh and not have much of a break in between rakatayn. After a week or two of fasting we all adjusted to our new routines and things settled. During some of the last ten nights my husband would take baby no.1 to the masjid so that I could have ‘quality’ time for Quran and to pray before putting them to bed, even if I had to finish the rest later.” Umm H

“My son was being breast fed, in order not to exert myself I would breastfeed morning and evening and during the day he was bottle fed which worked well for both myself and him. There is no right or wrong answer in my opinion as to whether to fast, breastfeed etc in Ramadan, Allah is Merciful and He knows our limitations. You mustn’t be weak about it and not bother or give up without trying but certainly give it a go if after your efforts you feel you genuinely can’t then Allah knows your intentions and sees our efforts” Umm Z

“Last year I fasted while breast feeding. I was really worried but alhamdulillah the blessings of Ramadan made it easy. My baby was about 5 months. I cut down everything in the days and tried to take it easy.  I drank lots in the night and fed lots in the night! But u can read Quran at the same time! It was nice to keep all the fasts. I was very tired and didn’t do as much other ibadahs but alhamdulilah I fasted!” Umm A

Umrah in Ramadan

“A-R was just under three months when Ramadan came and I had no problem with the first fasts, but when we went to Saudi Arabia for our umrah trip in Ramadan I found it difficult with the heat. My milk started to dry up because I was dehydrated so I had to abandon the fasts. Those fasts were really hard to make up afterwards, there is something special about the month of Ramadan. If I was not in such a hot country I would definitely have continued with the fasts.” Umm S

“I fasted in Ramadan whilst breastfeeding my nearly 6 month old son, who had not started solids, so he was quite a guzzler! My milk took a few days to adjust to fasting, as it did with my previous children, but alhamdulillah my not-interested-in-food baby didn’t seem too bothered by it! We were blessed with the opportunity to do umrah (with the guzzler and his siblings!) that Ramadan and alhamdulillah, he coped with all that just fine too! I fasted the journeys, the umrah, and all our time there and can you believe I actually put on a few pounds in those 2/3 weeks?! Blessed dates and zam zam!” – Umm H

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