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How can I cope with fasting, working and being pregnant?

Working while you're pregnant is hard enough. Add fasting to this and you're asking rather a lot of yourself.

Going for long stretches without food or drink can make you feel tired or unwell, so go easy on yourself. Take it one day at a time, and keep track of how you are feeling on each day of your fast.

Observing Ramadan traditions is of course a personal matter. But if you have a good relationship with your employer, share any concerns about fasting at work with them. Your employer is likely to be sympathetic and supportive. Allowing you to have extra breaks, or reduced hours, for example, is considered good practice.

If you become sick, feel dizzy or light-headed, have blurred vision, or are concerned by other symptoms, break your fast immediately with liquid. Drink water that ideally contains some salt and sugar, or an oral rehydration solution such as Dioralyte. And speak to your doctor or midwife straight away.

In later pregnancy, don't hesitate to contact your doctor or midwife if you notice a change in your baby's movements.

During your fast, be extra careful about any activities at work that could tire you out and pile on stress. Changes in your routine, lack of food and water, and eating and drinking at different times can all cause stress. When you add work pressures to this it could put a real strain on you. Pregnant women who fast have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood than women who are not fasting.

Try to avoid activities that make you hot or thirsty, which can lead to dehydration. It's important that you slow down and take extra rests during the day whenever possible.

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