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Karwa Chauth: Fasting during Pregnancy

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By DR ARTI LUTHRA

The festive season and the celebrations have already begun. While for the expecting parents, the feeling of the awaited joy brings in excitement and delight, it is also the time to provide all necessary care and support to the ‘mommy-to-be’.

Karwa Chauth is a beautiful celebration of marital life. Married women observe nirjala vrat (fasting without intake of food and water) for the long life of their husband. The festival for sure stirs up love and affection among couples.

“While Diwali is not far and Karwa Chauth is here, we would like our expecting mothers to go slow with the fun and frolic and not over-strain themselves”, suggests Dr Arti Luthra, Consultant Gynaecologist, Luthra Maternity & Infertility Centre, Dehradun.

However, amid all those expert tips coming in from the elders in your friend circle and family, here are a few tips of dos and don’ts for pregnant women for Karwa Chauth:

Decide for yourself

Do not overburden yourself and your health just because others want you to do it. Go gentle on your health and above all your baby’s health. Fast only if you want to do it and not to prove yourself and your love to others.

Have a word with your Gynaecologist

It may be the case that you are very much willing to fast on Karwa Chauth, however, let your doctor decide for you – to be on the safer side. “During pregnancy, the baby gets nourishment only through the diet taken by the pregnant woman. This is the reason why women are asked to take nutritious food during the nine months of pregnancy because the development of the baby depends on their diet”, explains Dr Arti.

Spending an entire day without food and water might cause distress to the baby. Also, the body’s condition is different in every trimester and only a doctor is the best person to know that.

A wholesome healthy Sargi is a must

While many families follow the tradition of sargi, however there are families who do not follow the culture of sargi. But keeping in mind that you are pregnant and fasting, it is advised to begin your day with a nutritious and healthy meal – call it Sargi or not – but this would help you throughout the day. Women suffering from morning sickness may have a lighter Sargi. Opt for foods that can keep you hydrated for the day.

Do not be rigid

While observing Karwa Chauth, do not overcharge yourself with inflexible customs. Do only as much as your body permits. Make your fasting comfortable and easy going. Afterall, it is about your baby in there!

Side-effects of fasting

Fasting without having food and water may cause – headaches, fatigue, acidity, nausea, etc. This is the reason why pregnant women are advised to keep eating on regular intervals to not let their health suffer.

Divert your attention

Keep yourself busy – binge watch, talk to friends, read something, go for a movie, or prepare for your evening puja look.

“If you feel any discomfort while fasting, just remember, health and baby’s health come first, rest all can wait”, advises Dr Arti. Do not feel guilty if you are unable to fast, get ready, participate in puja, and enjoy the celebrations.

Tips for Lactating Mothers

· Have a nutritious sargi in the morning

· Be flexible to make your fasting comfortable

· Keep yourself hydrated

· Have dry fruits, fruits, juices, buttermilk, etc.

· Seek your doctor’s advice in case of any health concerns