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Backroads

Fasting during pregnancy

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My opinion: I think there is very little danger in a healthy and well-nourished person fasting for 24 hours, even a pregnant woman. If a pregnant woman wants to try fasting, I would think she should eat a good meal beforehand and tank up on water, then fast and see how she feels. If she starts feeling bad enough that she gets concerned, eat or drink something.

 

If a woman is already very used to fasting before she gets pregnant, I imagine she would find fasting during pregnancy much less distressing than otherwise, as is the case with pretty much everybody else.

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More of Vort's opinion:

 

I think we view pregnancy as an illness, and I think that's wrong. Women who are pregnant are not "delicate". Some women are "ordered" by their doctors to bed rest, and in a few situations I expect that's the best way to save the pregnancy. But medical doctors are notoriously conservative, sometimes (often, IMO) absurdly so.

 

I would think that common sense is enough to see one's way through a normal pregnancy. Work as usual. If you think you're getting overworked, then stop. Fast just like normal. If you think the fast is causing undue stress, then stop.

 

Anyway, that's my view. I wish we would quit treating pregnancy as a disease and quit viewing pregnant women as handicapped. (Except women whose pregnancies are genuinely in peril, and the vast majority of women more than eight months along.) I don't think we do pregnant women any favors by telling them, both explicitly and implicitly, that they're in bad shape and must be feeling awful. Our young women's president and our Cubmaster (shouldn't that really be a Cubmistress?) have been full term while doing their callings, and they have soldiered on and done great work. Most women I have seen, my wife included, function well (despite discomfort) right up until delivery. I have loads of admiration for expecting mothers and what they put up with, and I think it's unnecessarily condescending to tell them how fragile they are. In most cases, that really is not even true.

 

There ya go. More opinion than you ever wanted.

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In a roundabout way!

There's a family fast tomorrow I'd like to participate in and didn't know how that's religiously viewed.

 

For starters: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!   :)

 

As to whether on not a women fasts while pregnant: up to her in and the Lord.  She knows how to listen to the spirit and her body.

 

It is also no one else's business whether or not you're fasting.  So if you don't feel up to fasting, and you don't want to tell people why, that's ok.  

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Maybe pregnancy isn't an illness, at least for some (I'm sure glad my husband never assumed to make such a judgment), but dehydration can cause contractions.I wouldn't stop drinking water. I also had blood sugar problems during pregnancy, so I did modified fasts: only simple, sustaining foods, and no treats.

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Bini, we must be! I'm also 2 months in.

Thanks for the thoughts, everyone.

Vort, I agree with you. I'm feeling mostly healthy and thought I could handle a fast this early on if I were sensible.

I did get a bit sickly and have eaten a small sandwich.

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Many congrats to you both! I love babies. I'm glad other people are still having them, because I really shouldn't have anymore, but I can still admire and snuggle someone else's. :)

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Oh I forgot to chime in on this.

 

I don't think there's a one-fit-answer for everyone, in fact, I'm 100% certain there isn't. If you are a high risk pregnancy, follow your OBGYN's orders, and anything you're iffy about - ask for clarification. Otherwise, it's true that pregnant women are not delicate flowers, having been one and now one again, I think we're built pretty dang sturdy and are more than capable BUT common sense is important. Unnecessary stresses (physical or psychological) can be upsetting to pregnancy, and sometimes no matter how much preparation you do, there are just some things you'll find that end up out of your control. If you start feeling light-headed and dizzy, for goodness sake, drink some water or have a nibble - fast or no fast.

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Bini and Backroads... CONGRATULATIONS!

I'm with Vort too.

But... the thing is... fasting is supposed to be mind over body, right? So, when the body is signaling hunger signs - getting hungry, lightheaded, dizzy etc... we're supposed to go on our knees and pray to get through the fast. It is a sacrifice and so it's expected to be difficult.

With pregnancy, it is still the same - getting hungry, lightheaded, etc. And it's just fine to go on our knees and pray to get through the fast.

So, how do we tell if the discomfort has become physically dangerous? My answer is, of course, to trust in God that He will inspire us to know the difference. But, that only applies to me. I can't say that to anybody else because - if they somehow felt inspired to continue with the fast and they end up in the hospital, I would feel responsible...

Edited by anatess

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So, how do we tell if the discomfort has become physically dangerous?

 

I think we're going about this the wrong way.

 

The situation doesn't need to be dangerous or life threatening to validate an expecting mother to hydrate or snack. Dizziness and nausea brought on by pregnancy can literally make a woman non-functional, or at the very least, unable to participate in meetings or activities. She needn't be on her deathbed for a good reason to sip a bottle of water or have a snack. With my last pregnancy, I'd get dizzy spells and nausea where I couldn't see well or concentrate on anything, and often needed a snack of some sort which helped but didn't cure. If sipping a bottle of water or having a modest snack will help you attend your meetings and participate in activities, do it, and know that you're human like everyone else. It beats calling it quits on the whole day, skipping all your meetings and activities, because you're so uncomfortable otherwise. Common sense. I don't think this is a righteous or unrighteous situation, at all. Like with other similar topics, if you take MEDS that require some sort of snack accompaniment, I'm sure God gets that.

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Bini and Backroads... CONGRATULATIONS!

I'm with Vort too.

But... the thing is... fasting is supposed to be mind over body, right? So, when the body is signaling hunger signs - getting hungry, lightheaded, dizzy etc... we're supposed to go on our knees and pray to get through the fast. It is a sacrifice and so it's expected to be difficult.

With pregnancy, it is still the same - getting hungry, lightheaded, etc. And it's just fine to go on our knees and pray to get through the fast.

So, how do we tell if the discomfort has become physically dangerous? My answer is, of course, to trust in God that He will inspire us to know the difference. But, that only applies to me. I can't say that to anybody else because - if they somehow felt inspired to continue with the fast and they end up in the hospital, I would feel responsible...

 

The first time you do anything -- pushups, running a mile, walking up a flight of stairs -- it's uncomfortable. If you do it for a while, your body adapts.

 

Same is true with fasting. Almost everyone who has never (or rarely) fasted gets sick when they try. But if you fast every month, very soon you don't get sick any more. The fasting quits feeling like punishment, and your body quits giving you a headache in demand for more blood sugar. You adapt.

 

This is why it's very useful to become a good faster (i.e. to fast a few times until it doesn't feel horrible to fast) BEFORE you get pregnant. Then, when you fast when pregnant, you can tell whether you're just feeling the normal feelings of fasting -- which after you get used to them are not painful or even unpleasant -- or whether your pregnant body is telling you that you really ought to eat or drink something.

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The first time you do anything -- pushups, running a mile, walking up a flight of stairs -- it's uncomfortable. If you do it for a while, your body adapts.

 

Same is true with fasting. Almost everyone who has never (or rarely) fasted gets sick when they try. But if you fast every month, very soon you don't get sick any more. The fasting quits feeling like punishment, and your body quits giving you a headache in demand for more blood sugar. You adapt.

 

This is why it's very useful to become a good faster (i.e. to fast a few times until it doesn't feel horrible to fast) BEFORE you get pregnant. Then, when you fast when pregnant, you can tell whether you're just feeling the normal feelings of fasting -- which after you get used to them are not painful or even unpleasant -- or whether your pregnant body is telling you that you really ought to eat or drink something.

I've been fasting all my life. I still have a hard time with it a lot of times including getting lightheaded. It's more psychological than anything, in my opinion, because it usually comes sometime after skipping the first meal and during the last stretch or when I smell food. It was a lot worse when I was pregnant because my brain keeps on telling me - Quit Quit Quit, you are pregnant, you have an excuse. I had to really pray pray pray pray a lot.

Edited by anatess

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Generally I'm fine with fasting--I get thirsty, but hunger isn't a problem.

I've been in a constant state of moderate nausea so I figured not eating would be fine, but I felt significantly sick before I ate.

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