Intermittent Fasting While Pregnant: Is It Safe? 

The pregnancy period could be a turning period in a woman’s life, especially for their body. A pregnant lady could experience rigorous changes in their body throughout the nine months.

Moreover, with each day closing to the delivery date, the differences become visible. Hence, it is evident that a pregnant lady gains additional weight during the pregnancy period. B

ut, if a woman thinks about cutting down her growing weight while pregnant, she should be aware of everything related to weight loss.

Intermittent fasting could be an option to cut down weight while pregnant, but the fasting practice comes with several ‘Do’ and ‘Don’t’ for the woman.

Hence, before heading for intermittent fasting during pregnancy, you should be sure if it is safe to do or not.

Intermittent Fasting In Pregnanacy

Contents

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Before knowing how much safe Intermittent Fasting could be for a woman, you should know what happens during Intermittent Fasting.

During intermittent fasting, people have to consume calories in bulk within a specified period. The fasting habit could put people in a fat-burning state called ketosis and help them lose weight with efficiency.

Moreover, intermittent fasting also helps decrease the blood sugar, pressure, and cholesterol level in the body to keep an individual fit and healthy.

Generally, people prefer to do intermittent fasting in their preferred ways like:

You could do intermittent fasting with a 16:8 pattern, which allows you to consume calories in an 8 hours window throughout the day. For the remaining 16 hours, you should devote yourself to fasting.

Another way to do intermittent fasting is the 5:2 method, in which you could have regular meals for five days a week. In the remaining two days, you should fast or consume low-calorie meals.

But, the fasting method looks excellent for losing weight and is beneficial for a healthy person. A woman might face difficulty handling intermittent fasting during her pregnancy due to continuous changes in her body.

Why Is Intermittent Fasting Not Possible At Different Stages Of Pregnancy?

  1. First Trimester

    The first trimester is the initial stage of the pregnancy, in which a woman starts experiencing nausea and develops a strong dislike for the food.

    This experience continues for at least six to eight weeks and may extend depending on the individual.

    These sudden changes in a woman during pregnancy occur due to continuous changes in hormones as the body starts the preparation to host a baby.

    Alongside the above symptoms, you might experience a drop in blood sugar level and an improvement in insulin resistance.

    Moreover, the pancreas also starts increasing with each day passing, helping to produce additional insulin in your body.

    The elevated insulin level could increase your hunger during the first trimester. But, nausea and food aversion might not let you have a large meal at once.

    Moreover, if you forcefully consume a heavy meal due to intermittent fasting, you might vomit. Hence, regular small and precise meals could be great for dealing with hunger during the first trimester.

  1. Second Trimester

    The second trimester could be a bit relaxed for most pregnant women. Women start experiencing lesser hormonal changes and side effects like nausea and food aversion.

    As things start getting normal with time, you could focus on getting into a regular eating habit.

    During pregnancy, women require additional micronutrients and other essential nutrients to keep them healthy.

    But, with intermittent fasting, a woman could skip some important micronutrients. Moreover, by the second trimester, you could feel less hungry compared to the first trimester.

    You could feel full by having two meals a day, which is normal until you don’t force things. But, doing intermittent fasting during this phase might disturb the natural eating rhythm.

    Intermittent fasting might impact your health, as you would feel hungry and weak due to fasting.

    So, don’t force your body too fast; instead, start eating a balanced diet to enjoy your pregnancy days.

  1. Third Trimester

    The third trimester is the most crucial stage during the pregnancy period. In these three months, your belly becomes pretty big as the baby grows slowly.

    The growth squeezes your stomach and reduces its capacity to have large meals at once. Hence, intermittent fasting at this stage of pregnancy might be risky for a woman.

    Moreover, a woman seeks higher calories per day during the third trimester. But, you won’t be able to meet such high-calorie demand within a short span.

    So, regular small meals would help you achieve your daily calorie goals. These quick meals would help you get the essential proteins and fibers necessary to keep yourself healthy.

    You could consult your doctor for a guided meal plan to fulfill your macro and micronutrient needs.

Side Effects Of Intermittent Fasting During Pregnancy

  • May Create Nutritional Deficiency

    Intermittent fasting allows you to consume food within a certain period of the day. It is hard for an individual to consume all the required nutrients within the specified period.

    Especially for a pregnant woman whose nutritional requirements are high. So, you could experience a nutrient deficit in your body due to intermittent fasting.

    Also, you would have to consume additional calories a day for a healthy pregnancy. But, due to intermittent fasting, it won’t be easy for you to add some extra calories to your diet.

  • May Create The Risk Of Premature Birth

    Premature birth could be a significant concern for any woman, as the baby hasn’t entirely grown during birth.

    But, several studies and surveys have mentioned that intermittent fasting during the second trimester could increase the risk of premature birth.
  • May Decrease Blood Sugar

    For a baby’s healthy growth, the mother needs to stay healthy. Whether it’s high or low blood sugar, it could cause concern for you.

    As intermittent fasting asks you to fast for the majority of the day, you could experience a drop in your blood sugar level. Low blood sugar may result in dizziness, faintness, and low fetal movement.

  • May Disrupt The Supply And Quality Of Milk

    After the birth period is also crucial for a woman, as she breastfeeds the newborn to provide nutrition; moreover, a woman seeks special nutrients during this phase to keep the milk supply regular.

    Here, intermittent fasting may play a spoilsport as it could decrease the milk supply and disrupt the milk composition due to a lack of calories and nutrients.

Type Of Intermittent Fasting Suitable For Pregnant Woman

Intermittent fasting with a smaller eating window could be challenging for pregnant women. But, if you wish to do intermittent fasting to cut down your growing weight, you could do 12 hours of fasting.

You need to avoid eating for at least 12 hours a day in this type. The most preferred time slot to perform this type of fasting is during the night, as you usually don’t eat.

So, try to fast between 8 PM to 8 AM and eat for the rest of the day. The 12 hours of intermittent fasting might not be similar to regular intermittent fasting, which is more vigorous and effective.

But, a pregnant woman could be hungry throughout the day; hence, resisting food for 12 hours could be a great deal for her.

This type of fasting would not affect your nutrition consumption and may help you lose weight.

Conclusion

It is never a great idea to hamper your diet during pregnancy, as it may negatively affect you. Moreover, intermittent fasting isn’t a suitable way to lose weight for a pregnant woman.

If you still wish to cut down vigorously growing weight, you could consult your doctor to have a diet plan that may help you lose weight.

You may also try the 12 hours of intermittent fasting after consulting your doctor to cut down weight.