Shall I Fast in Ramadan While Breastfeeding?

18 April, 2021
Q As-salmu Alaikum dear counselor,

I have a 4-month-old baby, which I'm breastfeeding. My question is: shall I fast in Ramadan while breastfeeding?

Thank you for your advice.

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•If you have other children yourself then you may already be aware of how fasting impacts your milk supply and whether fasting may compromise this.

•If not, you may consider carefully monitoring your supply by things such as how full your breasts are, how demanding they are to be fed, and how many wet and soiled nappies they have throughout the day.


Wa Alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

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Masha Allah, congratulations on your newborn. There are some slight differences of opinion regarding the extent to which you are obliged to fast. And how to make it up. I would advise seeking advice from a scholar on this first.

Breastfeeding during Ramadan

From my limited knowledge, we know that Allah will not obligate someone to do something at the risk of one’s or someone else’s life such as your baby. Especially if they are solely reliant on your breast milk.

Regardless of whether you are advised to fast or not from an Islamic perspective, there are a few things that you can consider to assist you in getting the best from this Ramadan.

If you have other children yourself then you may already be aware of how fasting impacts on your milk supply and whether fasting may compromise this.

If not, you may consider carefully monitoring your supply by things such as how full your breasts are, how demanding they are to be fed and how many wet and soiled nappies they have throughout the day.

Shall I Fast in Ramadan While Breastfeeding? - About Islam

Even if you are permitted to not observe fasting during Ramadan, you will likely be obliged to catch up at a later date so you might consider the option of fasting some days during the month so that you have less burden to catch up on remaining fasts at a later date.

If you choose to fast all or some days, then make sure to drink plenty and follow a nutritious diet during eating times to reduce the chances of your supply diminishing.


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If you notice your supply diminishing, you might consider supplementing your baby’s dietary intake with formula as well during this time if necessary, but we do know that your baby also has the right to be breastfed until 2 years if you are able.

Conclusion

Perhaps you might pump milk during this time also as a means to stimulate milk production also to reduce the chances of your supply reducing too.

Regardless of whether it is obligatory for you to fast or not, use Ramadan as a time to get closer to Allah and engage in plenty of acts of ibadah during this time. This will be good for both you and baby.

May Allah reward you desire to give your baby the best and may He make your baby the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)