Welcome to the ULTIMATE Ramadan Guide for Mothers! Here, you will find tips and advice on what to eat during Ramadan, what to recite, how to have a peaceful Ramadan with children, craft ideas, and more!
Pregnant and Nursing Mothers:
A woman has the option of not fasting while she is either pregnant or breastfeeding, and I often get asked what I did during my pregnancies and while I breastfed. Before I share my experiences, I want to point out that I’m not an alima by any means, so if you have any questions about fasting while pregnant or nursing then please consult with an Islamic scholar or an imaam.
Fasting while pregnant– I fasted while I was pregnant with my first baby, and was able to do so for a couple of weeks. I had consulted with my doctor and was given the go-ahead, as I had a normal pregnancy and no other medical conditions. It was also the fall season, so the days were not too hot and not that long, which made my fasts manageable. However, a couple of weeks into fasting, my water broke! After talking to the doctor at the hospital, it was said that my water may have broken due to dehydration, BUT there was no way of telling for sure. Therefore, for the rest of my pregnancies, I was advised against fasting due to the risk of another premature birth.
Fasting while nursing- last year during Ramadan, I was still breastfeeding my 6 week old baby, so I decided not to fast because I did not want to lose my supply. Although I was not fasting, I was still able to feel the blessings of this holy month and I knew that I was fulfilling my baby’s right to breast milk, so I did not feel guilty at all.
With that said, I know many women who did fast while pregnant and these women had healthy babies delivered at full term (or even past their due dates!). I also know women who nursed while fasting and they never experienced a dip in their supply, mashallah! The main point here is that every woman is so different, as is her situation; therefore, every woman should do what she feels is the best for her and for her baby. If you have any concerns, please consult with a doctor.
Here are some factors you should take into consideration when deciding to fast or not:
- Are you in your first trimester of pregnancy? If so, some women may experience nausea on an empty stomach within their first trimester, so fasting would only worsen this.
- If you have a high risk pregnancy, please talk to your doctor before deciding to fast, as abstaining from fasting may be best for you.
- The length of day- the longer the day, the more difficult it will be to keep a fast for a pregnant and breastfeeding mother.
- If you are nursing, consider the age of your baby. For the first few weeks of their life, newborn babies will cluster feed, which means they will nurse often throughout the day. You may not be able to keep up with your baby’s needs while fasting at this point.
- The first three months of nursing are crucial for building up your breast milk supply, you will have to drink lots of water and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that may include healthy snacks in between meals; therefore, fasting may not be ideal for you.
- Is your baby on solids? Fasting may be difficult if your baby has not yet started solids, as he or she will be solely relying on you for nourishment.
If you are a expecting or breastfeeding mama and decide not to fast this year, then check out my post for BabyCenter, 4 Ways Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Partake in Ramadan
What To Eat:
Looking for foods to eat during Ramadan that will keep you fuller longer, hydrated, and provide you with more energy?
As a general rule, look for foods that are high in either fibre or protein, as these foods will keep you fuller for longer throughout the day and give you that kick of energy! Here’s a list of foods that should be considered for your Ramadan diet:
- chia seeds
- Greek yogurt
- brown rice
As for water intake, this is key! Staying hydrated isn’t always easy, here are some tips that will help you out:
- Consume soups- Soups are fantastic because of their high water content.
- Keep a water bottle by your side– Fill up a water bottle and start drinking from it as soon as you open your fast. Take sips of water until suhoor and refill if needed!
- Try flavored water– Don’t like plain water? Try adding some lemon, berries, or mint in your water to give it flavor.
- Eat fruit– Look for foods that are made up of water, such as watermelon and oranges
For a more in-depth guide to what to eat during Ramadan, click the link below:
Top Foods For Ramadan
You may feel sluggish after iftar, so light exercise may be just what you need to feel energized for taraweeh prayer! Even 5-10 minutes of physical activity makes a huge difference. For instance, start off with skipping rope after Maghrib prayer and then do a few jumping jacks; just these two will make you feel lighter and more energized. Another quick way to feel lighter, is by going on a short walk around the block.
What to Recite:
It’s easy to get overwhelmed while fasting and taking care of children. When you do find yourself overwhelmed and exhausted recite the following:
“SubhanAllah” 33 times, “Alhamdulillah” 33 times, and “Allahu Akbar” 34 times; inshallah this will give you the energy boost you need-
It is that reported in the Hadith of ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (Radi Allahu Anhu) who said that Fatimah (Radi Allahu Anha) came to the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and asked him for a servant. He said, “Shall I not tell you of something that is better for you than that? When you go to sleep, say ‘Subhan’Allah’ thirty-three times, ‘Allhumdulillah’ thirty-three times, and ‘Allahu Akbar’ thirty four times.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3113, Book 57, Hadith 22)
I have also put together a list of helpful tips for mothers that they can utilize during the holy month of Ramadan. Included in this list are what mothers can recite during Ramadan to gain reward, do check it out:
Tips for Mothers During Ramadan
Ramadan With Young Children:
Are you feeling nervous about going through Ramadan with young children and babies? Here are some tips that will make it easier for you Inshallah:
- Keep children on their regular schedule
- have planned activities for children ready
- get rest during the day
- limit your household chores
- don’t attend iftar’s if they interfere with your child’s bedtime
I go over each of these points and more in my blog post about How To Have a Peaceful Ramadan With Children.
Here are some ideas to keep your little ones busy during the day:
- colouring or painting
- bubble baths
- playing with playdough
- building blocks
- imaginary play
- reading or writing stories
- playing sports in the backyard
- board games
- puppet shows
- coming up with an iftar menu using healthy foods
Craft Ideas For Children:
My biggest advice would be to keep it simple. If you aren’t a crafty person (like me), then don’t put pressure on yourself in this area. Your kids don’t have to make a paper mache mosque to get into the Ramadan spirit, instead you can have them build their own version of a mosque with lego (less time consuming and something they can do independently). Also, children love coloring, so have them make Eid cards for their friends during Ramadan (just give them paper and crayons and your job is done!).
If your children are looking for Islamic crafts that involve scissors and glue and even some felt (for the older kids, of course!) Then check out these three DIY projects-
DIY Kaaba Box of Knowledge
99 Names of Allah, DIY Flowers in a Pot
DIY Islamic Dolls and Prayer Mats
Increasing Imaan As A Family:
Looking to spend more quality time with your family this Ramadan while learning more about Islam and increasing your imaan? If so, then you’ll want to check out the 10 Minute Islamic Challenge For Families. Ramadan is a great time to bond with your family and learn about Islam at the same time, so take advantage of this holy month!
Also, check out my post on ‘How to Implement Prayer Within Your Household‘
Ramadan With your Spouse:
Ramadan is great time to work on your relationship with your spouse as well, here’s an article I wrote for Productive Muslim that can help you do just that-
Marital Bliss In Ramadan
A Ramadan Journal:
Documenting your Ramadan in the form of journal is a great idea! Ramadan is a month of blessings, so why not document your feelings, thoughts, and actions during this month in a journal? A Ramadan journal is something you can refer back to at any time of the year and instantly get reminded of the joy that Ramadan brings! Here’s one of my Ramadan Journal’s- My Ramadan Journal, Puppet Shows and Murder.
Furthermore, you can have your children write in their own Ramadan Journal. Children can document the following:
- checking off the prayers they fulfilled each day of Ramadan
- jotting down how many hours they fasted
- what good deed engaged in each day
- what surah’s they recited
- what dua they made
- a reflection on how they can become a better Muslim
I pray that this post is beneficial to anyone reading it; may you all have a peaceful and blessed Ramadan!
Peace and Duas,