Saturday marks Karwa Chauth, when wives dress in their festive best and fast for their husbands’ long life. It is one of the biggest Hindu festivals for married women, mainly across north India. But if you happen to be pregnant, you may want to proceed with caution.
You might have been a strict follower of the festival, but if you’re expecting, it’s time to change your Karwa Chauth plan. From moderation to modifications and variations, there are many ways to celebrate the Hindu festival, while ensuring yours and your baby’s health at the same time.
Fasting during Karwa Chauth usually involves skipping meals all through the day and eating dinner only after offering puja to the moon. But Dr Namita Gupta, gynecologist, Pearl Healthcare, Mumbai says women should bypass the practice when pregnant. She warns day-long fasting could overly stress pregnant women’s bodies.
“Research is very inconclusive on occasional fasting during pregnancy but a Karwa Chauth fast should be avoided, if possible,” says Dr Gupta.
Doctors recommend pregnant women consume liquids and drink extra water to keep themselves healthy and hydrated, if skipping the Karwa Chauth fast is unavoidable. (Shutterstock)
She says fasting, even for religious purposes, could be sometimes “dangerous” and “unnecessary” for pregnant women, who are required to have multiple meals and snacks through the day to keep themselves from feeling ill and also to maintain their blood sugar. Dr Gupta recommends pregnant women consume liquids and drink extra water to keep themselves healthy and hydrated, if skipping the Karwa Chauth fast is unavoidable, provided their gynecologist gives the go-ahead.
“The problem with fasting during pregnancy is that the proper amount of calories per day may not be taken in,” says Anupam Dey, a Kolkata-based nutritionist.
But it’s not just pregnant women who should be mindful about Karwa Chauth fasting. Dey says that not getting enough calories before and after the fast could mess with women’s hormones and mess with her natural metabolism.
If you are pregnant and still looking to keep the Karwa Chauth fast, there are other, potentially simpler ways to reboot your system, like getting some extra hours of sleep during the day, says Dr Gupta. Note that it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor before finalising your Karwa Chauth plan, whether or not you’re pregnant.
First Published: Oct 25, 2018 11:02 IST