For Indian women, especially from North India, the auspicious day of Karwa Chauth is very significant as they wait for an entire year to pray for the long life of their husbands and for their marriage to stay blessed for years to come. On Karwachauth, married women fast for the day wherein even water is not consumed. This fast is considered difficult even for healthy women. In such cases if pregnant women decide to keep the Karwa Chauth fast, it is likely to be more challenging for them? Pregnant women have more health complications to keep in mind as well as to prioritize the health of their unborn babies.
This poses the question of whether you should even be fasting on Karwa Chauth if you are pregnant. Answering this query, Shwetha Vijan, Senior Health Coach at Mylo, says, "Pregnancy is a very vulnerable state. The answer to "can you fast" depends on your pregnancy stage. If you fall under the first and the early second trimester, fasting can be taken up but only after your doctor's suggestion and recommendations. Rather than taking up the traditional way of fasting, have a healthy Sargi, include a balanced meal with good sources of protein and yes, do have some coconut water along with your meals. Also, try including some portions of fruits to keep yourself away from hyperacidity." "If you're in the third trimester, the recommendation is not to take up the fast, as during this trimester, the baby requires your nutritional support more than the first two trimesters," Shwetha Vijan adds.
As a pregnant lady, you're feeding not just your body, but your child's too. If you fast, your baby will also fast. A fast without food and water can elevate your blood sugar levels and you may faint. If you have pregnancy complications or gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. it is a big no-no for fasting on any day as it exposes you and your child to critical risk. While doctors do not recommend staying with an empty stomach during pregnancy, if you are still adamant about keeping the Karwa Chauth fast, here are some tips to assist you.
1. Take Permission From Your Doctor
You have to take responsibility for yourself and your child's health and well-being during your pregnancy. Anything that you consume or don't consume can have direct consequences on your baby. Thus, before you decide to fast for the long life of your husband, make sure you visit your doctor and evaluate whether it's a viable option for you.
2. Avoid Physical Activity
Rest is essential for women if they want their babies to be healthy and wish to avoid nausea, discomfort, and swelling during pregnancy. If you are keeping the Karwa Chauth fast, you should completely refrain from any activity unless necessary during the day. Exhaustion can lead to high blood pressure and create other problems too.
(Also Read: 4 Stunning Outfits To Wear For Karva Chauth)
3. Eat Fruit
We know that Karwachauth is an important day and you are not allowed to eat during the fasting time. However, your baby is allowed to. So, eat fruits at decided intervals which will replenish your body with nutrients and you'll still be keeping a fruit fast. Fruits provide fibres, folate, and vitamins, and hydrate your body. Eating fruits or even consuming them as smoothies will keep exhaustion at bay and you and your baby will feel full.
4. Take Your Vitamins
According to your doctor's prescription, do not miss on folic acid and vitamin D supplements to ensure that your body and your baby's body is nourished. These supplements provide the important nutrients that come from your meals which you will miss because of the fast. During pregnancy, you must consult your doctor and consume any medicine only if it is prescribed.
5. Skip Caffeine
Tea or coffee are drinks that contain caffeine; you might think that it's liquid and it'll keep you hydrated but caffeine can increase heart rate and blood pressure, causing stress. Instead, you should have a few nuts every hour, consume milk, or even coconut water every few hours to stay hydrated and avoid having an empty stomach. It will keep you and your baby in good shape while fasting.
If you go by tradition on Karwa Chauth then yes, you shouldn't consume any food or water. However, as a pregnant woman, you have to look after your baby's well-being before anyone else. The first suggestion for you would be not to keep the Karwa Chauth fast at all. However, if you still want to abide by the tradition, modify the rituals to suit your current condition. Also, make sure you follow these tips to avoid any serious health concerns for yourself and your baby.
Shwetha Vijan is a Senior Health Coach at Mylo, an ITC-backed leading full-stack platform for new and expecting mothers. Tools like a Baby weekly tracker, Period tracker, Daily tip, Pregnancy tracker, Personalised diet chart and many more make Mylo a companion for all parents in their journey.