this year, for the first time, i am breastfeeding while fasting! my 3rd son, kazim is fully breastfeeding – and after 7 days, i am feeling good! alhamdulillah, and yay to me!
now - different moms will have different experience when breastfeeding during puasa month, so don’t compare ok! personally to me, these 7 days prove to be as easy AND as difficult as any other puasa days. meaning, the tiredness and hunger are just the same as when i’m not breastfeeding.
unlike when i was fasting while pregnant with kazim – man, that was hard. i would feel dizzy and fainty whenever i fast, and i could not stand for too long. lepas makan baru ok. i missed a lot of puasa days!
so i’m glad and thankful that my body can take it this time – breastfeeding while fasting, and kazim seems to be nursing well without any mengamukness of not having enough milk. hihi. i thought i’d be super dehydrated and in need of water everytime i breastfeed, but i feel fine.
the key is to drink well during berbuka, and eat a lot of fruits and vegetable. more importantly don’t skip sahur! me, i drink anmum milk during sahur. also, just got this great tip from kak arin (who is currently a breastfeeding AND pregnant mom who is fasting – respect!) to eat a lot of kurma during sahur.
lapar dahaga tu biase la masa puasa! hihi.
in Islam, every pregnant or nursing mothers are allowed the breaking of fast. they will be required to compensate later on - qada' puasa or fidyah. however, if i feel fine, i know i shouldn't take advantage of this 'special privilege' as a nursing mom!
most concerns that i read, are usually about the decreasing of mother's milk production, and the mother herself not being able to adapt to the conditions of fasting.
1) medically speaking, fasting does not cause harm to mothers who are breast-feeding. moms shouldn't worry about milk depletion, and its effects on the baby, as long as they eat a balanced diet and healthy food! the nutrients of milk is dependent on feeding mothers, so eat well during berbuka and sahur!
2) studies concluded that fasting does not reduce milk supply, but the dehydration that occurs might affect the mother's milk supply. that's why moms who're breastfeeding are encouraged to drink plenty of water while berbuka and bersahur. insufficient water in the body might affect the milk supply, as well as making moms feel tired and weak. so drink up, moms!
3) for working moms, try pumping after berbuka or, an article suggests you start early and just freeze a good supply for puasa month.
4) some articles i read say that if moms are fasting, it will increase the production of toxins in the body that eventually gets in breast milk. however, we must remember, babies also have immune systems that can prevent themselves from diseases, insyaAllah!
we must remember that Allah ordained fasting upon His servants because fasting does have a lot of benefits; a cleansing mechanism - physically and spiritually, rather than harming the people who fast.
at the same time, breastfeeding is encouraged in Islam for the many wondrous benefits as well - so why not seize the opportunity of getting two great rewards at the same time!
well, at the end of the day, it is a personal decision – to fast or not to fast while breastfeeding. it is up to how your body responds, and how your baby reacts. Allah is All Merciful and that is why He has allowed this leniency on us nursing mommies!
if you’re a breastfeeding mom who choose not to fast for fear of yourself, or your baby – then remember that the holy month of ramadhan is so much more than just lapar and dahaga – it’s about increasing our worship, and our remembrance of Allah. after all, breastfeeding is a noble thing, a blessing that Allah has grant us – so don’t feel that you’re left out this ramadhan!
in my case, i hope i will continue to have this strength to puasa while breastfeeding, and not make it an excuse not to! (kazim, susu mak cukup kan? kalo tak cukup, cakap je. nanti mak bukak pose ye. hihi.) if i succeed, this will be a much more meaningful ramadhan for me and kazim!
oh, and again, a reminder to me - don't skip sahur!