Ramadan E-Book: Nurse Your Baby and Your Soul

Unfortunately despite my intentions to do several webinars before Ramadan, I was unable to meet my goal this year:( Could of used some help from you tech savvy sisters, mashAllah. InshAllah I can try again next year or if you feel it would be a benefit to have a FREE live webinar about fasting in Ramadan while breastfeeding, let me know.  My presentation is ready and I can still do them. In the meantime, I prepared a concise E-book with all the information that will beneficial to mothers who choose to fast this Ramadan. Nurse Your Baby and Your Soul: Ramadan Prep for Breastfeeding Mothers discusses how to prepare for fasting and be successful this Ramadan.  Includes tips on staying hydrated, energized and maintaining your milk supply.  Updated list of best foods for suhoor, the early morning meal.   Here is the link to purchase.

Breastfeeding and Fasting: 27 Ways to Prevent Burnout

Recite Quran to help you relax.

Breastfeeding research tells us that short term fasting will not decrease milk supply, but that severe dehydration can reduce milk supply. A nursing woman may be at risk of severe dehydration if she is not drinking enough fluids during the night period. This risk will be heightened if she is exhausted with the demands of work, homemaking, caregiving and other daytime activities. Succumbed to too much physical and emotional stress, a breastfeeding mother can easily become burned-out while fasting.  Consequently, many Muslimahs blame fasting during Ramadan as the reason they stopped breastfeeding.  It saddens me that such an exciting time of the year, hinders women from providing the best nourishment for their children.  As mentioned in the Surah Al-Baqarah verse 233, breastfeeding should not be a hardship.  As a community, we should take more efforts to support women who are fasting, especially during Ramadan.  Essential to maintaining well-being, proper rest, a healthy diet, strong support network and rememberance of Allah will ensure mothers enjoy the barakah of breastfeeding and fasting.  Please share the following tips to help mothers protect their health and milk supply this Ramadan:

  1. Avoid caffeinated and/or carbonated drinks such as coke, coffee and tea which may contribute to dehydration. Caffeine is a diuretic which means it increases urination.

  2. Eat fresh fruits and vegetable as much as you can.

  3. Recite Quran daily to help you relax.

  4. Do not fill-up on fluids at suhoor. Set a schedule (if it helps) and drink in moderation overnight.

  5. Complete housework at night or before suhoor.

  6. Avoid spicy foods.

  7. Make dhikr throughout the day.

  8. Protect yourself from overheating by wearing hats, shades and light clothing when outside the house.

  9. Build a support network with sisters who are also mothers.

  10. Take a break from cooking by inviting others over for pot-luck style iftar and/or attending community iftars

  11. Limit your intake of dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt because they contribute to mucous production (thickening of body fluids).

  12. If you work outside the home, sit down and rest in between high activity flows.

  13. Though it may be a challenge, find time to be alone.

  14. Discuss your intention to fast with your husband, family and friends before fasting, to avoid negative feedback.

  15. Ask family and friends for help with housework, children, cooking, etc.

  16. Plan activities for children to keep them busy during the day.

  17. Make a list for grocery shopping and plan your meals weekly.

  18. Break your fast with a cup of juice or water and 3-4 dates to bring your blood sugar levels to normal.

  19. Make your fard prayers on time.

  20. Despite your desire to guzzle a gallon of water at iftar, try your best to practice the sunnah of filling your stomach with a third of each: water, air, food.

  21. Make dua to Allah (swt), calling him by his glorious name Ar-Razzaq (The Provider), to provide you with the strength to continue fasting. Remember to give salawat to the Prophet Muhammad (saws) in your dua.

  22. Recite Ayat-ul-Kursi. There are many benefits to reading this verse.

  23. Recite Surah Al-Ikhlas and Al-Mu`awwidhatain. In a Hadith, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and Nasa’i have recorded that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “Anyone who recites Surah Al-Ikhlas and the mu’awwadhatain (i.e. Surah Al-Falaq and An-Nas) morning and evening, they shall be sufficient for him.”

  24. Make sure you get enough sleep during the night. If you are up for prayers, take naps during the day.

  25. Be confident! Subhan’Allah, our bodies make metabolic adaptations to fasting, ensuring that milk production is not affected. In other words, our milk supply is inherently protected.

  26. If you are feeling overwhelmed, let someone know.

  27. If you feel like you are losing control of your emotions or are angry, pray taw’waz (authu billahi minash-shaitan ar-rajim) , make wudu to “cool off” and/or lie down on the floor.