DISCLAIMER: It’s important to note that the posts in this page are NOT intended to be a medical reference or to replace professional care during pregnancy, labor, or birth.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Breastfeeding during Ramadhan Al-Mubarak


Favourite month of the year is just around the corner.
Last year, my baby was merely 8 months during Ramadhan and I was exclusively pumping for her breastmilk. My breastmilk stock wasn't so great at that time and was just starting to collect stock in our newly bought deep freezer.

As many mothers out there, I was indeed worried about my milk supply declining since my supply had just stabilized at that point of time. I am aware that there are exclusions for breastfeeding and pregnant mothers with regards to fasting, but am not going to write about the details and depths on that in this post (I'd rather leave it to the experts) :-)

What I am going to write about is my experience during last Ramadhan and some factual details on how a mother's diet effects her breastmilk production.

Alhamdulillah, I only missed 1 day of fasting last year due to mastitis (had to take anti-pyretics, couldn't stand the chills and pain). The first day of fasting, my breastmilk supply dropped. A bit panicked, I continued to drink lots of water (more than I need I think) after breaking fast and stuffed myself with whatever food that is said to be `Milk Boosters'. Next day, breastmilk supply dropped even more. I still wanted to fast though. Alhamdulillah, I googled and came across an article that denies my paranoia and mindset that if I fast, my breastmilk production would decrease. Next day, during sahur, I ate as usual (moderately) and didn't stuff myself with water :-) Guess what? Milk production increased! And it was just stable during the whole fasting month, Alhamdulillah. So it's all in the mind :-)

To support my story, here are some facts from trusted resources about mother's diet & breastmilk production.

Breastfeeding mothers need proper nutrition to:
1. Maintain quality of milk
2. Recovery after delivery
3. Maintain mother's health

Fat deposition @ pengumpulan lemak during pregnancy is meant to assist breastmilk production during the breastfeeding period. Breastmilk is produced partly from maternal fat deposit and partly from mother's food intake.

Significant decline in breastmilk production only happens in cases of SEVERE MALNUTRITION.
In those cases of severe food intake deprivation, body produces breastmilk mainly from maternal fat stores. In SEVERE MALNUTRITION, the quantity of breastmilk and quantity of fat in breastmilk might be reduced BUT the breastmilk still has it's vitamins and qualities.

So, in conclusion, approximate 14 hours of fasting has been proven scientifically that it will not affect breastmilk production.What affects breastmilk production is mothers feeling tired, weary, worried or stressed during fasting hours.

So how to maintain breastmilk supply during Ramadhan?

Eat & Drink well from Dusk till Dawn (no need to overdo it),
Supply vs Demand Concept (continue Breastfeeding / Pumping often)
Try to get enough rest.
If need so, take supplements or whatever food that boosts your energy :-)

Lots of Love :-)

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