Unlike all other fasts that are kept in the Indian culture, where one is allowed to eat fruits, meals prepared with special vrat ingredients, or refreshing drinks, Karva Chauth is one such fast where not even a sip of water can be taken until it is broken. Apart from this, most traditionalists believe that it is not good to break the cycle of keeping a Karva Chauth fast. This, therefore, puts an expecting mother in a dilemma of whether or not she should keep the fast.
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Well, with advice flooding in from your in-laws, neighbours, and friends, it is ultimately you, who has to decide whether or not you need to keep it. In case you do, here are some important tips that you need to keep in mind while fasting during pregnancy.
There is no valid research that shows that fasting while expecting is completely safe or not. But, the Karva Chauth fast does not allow you to even take water during the day. This might lead to dehydration, further causing a lot of physical discomforts. Secondly, your baby needs his/her daily dose of nutrition. (READ: 5 Things Every Soon-To-Be Mom Should Know About 'Pregnancy Glow')
So, eating nothing the entire day might distress the baby. Also, a lot depends on which trimester you are in during the time of the fast. Thus, before taking a decision to fast or not, it is always advisable to consult your gynecologist.
Although, unlike the usual Karva Chauth fast, this time you will be having milk and fruits in between, yet there are a few things you need to be aware and expectant of. Remember that pregnancy increases your normal eating urges. Since you are eating something or the other the entire day at regular intervals during your pregnancy, a diet consisting of just milk and fruits will seem like a fast to your body.
It's important that you should be prepared to experience acidity, fatigue, a severe headache (mainly due to the acidity), nausea and dizziness. Do not panic as all these symptoms are due to fasting. However, if your condition becomes unbearable and extremely severe, immediately break the fast and have something to eat and drink. Do not lose heart in such a condition, at least you gave your best shot, no?
If your doctor and family members allow you to keep the fast, then unlike your usual Karva Chauth fasting, be ready to make some alterations this year! Talk to your mother and mother-in-law, and they will understand your need for these alterations, as they might have been in a similar situation themselves.
Here are some things to do:
Doing all this will help all the nutrients reach your baby without hampering his/her growth.
Try to keep yourself and your mind distracted. The more you think about the fast, the hungrier you will feel. Instead, try to keep to your regular routine that you follow every day and avoid any kind of strenuous physical work. Squeeze in a long nap in the afternoon. Look forward to getting ready for the evening puja, and try to be as chirpy and bright as possible.
All expecting mothers should keep in mind that during this time, your first and utmost priority is your baby’s health and well-being. If you have strength, willpower and the consent of your doctor, only then keep the fast. Happy fasting ladies!