can you do intermittent fasting while pregnant

Can You Do Intermittent Fasting While Pregnant?

Written by Andrew Brewer. ⚕️Reviewed and fact checked by our medical team.

can you do intermittent fasting while pregnant

Intermittent fasting is gaining in popularity because it’s highly effective for losing weight and promoting overall health and wellbeing. Despite the many benefits, it’s not recommended for pregnant women to follow. Here’s why you should think twice about intermittent fasting while pregnant. Even if you were following an intermittent fasting plan before, it might be best to pause until after the baby is born.

Key Takeaways

  • Pregnant women should avoid intermittent fasting, as it may cause nutritional deficiencies, low blood sugar, and increase the risk of premature birth.
  • It’s important to eat a well-rounded diet during pregnancy, including nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean proteins.
  • Consulting with a healthcare provider is crucial before making any dietary changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • After giving birth, breastfeeding mothers may also need to be cautious when following an intermittent fasting plan, as it may affect milk supply and nutrient composition.
  • Intermittent fasting may offer several health benefits, but pregnant women should prioritize their and their baby’s health by avoiding it during pregnancy.

Why Should You Avoid Intermittent Fasting While Pregnant

Pregnancy is already hard on a woman’s body, and intermittent fasting can cause too much stress, compromising your health and the baby’s health. Here are three reasons why you should avoid intermittent fasting while pregnant.

Nutritional Deficiencies

When you’re pregnant, you start taking prenatal vitamins to help you and the baby get all the nutrients necessary for healthy development. However, this is just a supplement, and you should still be trying to eat a well-rounded diet.  It’s recommended to add 300 calories per day if pregnant.

While some intermittent fasting programs don’t require you to restrict your caloric intake, it’s still not the best time for you to be fasting while pregnant. Fasting can increase nausea during pregnancy, leading to severe morning sickness. Eat when you’re hungry, focusing on nutrition-filled foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, and more. This will help prevent any nutritional deficiencies in your diet that could lead to complications.

Low Blood Sugar

Those who have diabetes may dream of having low blood sugar, but it’s a problem when you’re pregnant. If your blood sugar gets too low, you may feel faint or lightheaded. In severe cases, it can impact the baby too.

Now, that’s not to say you should pump your body with sugar. On the contrary, gestational diabetes is also a concern that can occur. Even after the baby, you may develop diabetes despite never suffering from it before. Overall, making smart choices will control your blood sugar while pregnant.

Increase Risk of Premature Birth

One of the scariest side effects of intermittent fasting while pregnant may increase the risk of premature birth. A recent study found that women who fasted in their second trimester had a 35 percent higher risk of going into pre-term labor. While the study wasn’t tired directly to intermittent fasting, it’s still concerning enough that you’d want to avoid it.

Can I Intermittent Fast After Pregnancy?

Yes, though you’ll want to consult with a doctor to ensure it’s safe for you and the baby. If you are breastfeeding, intermittent fasting can impact your breast milk supply. Your body has certain nutritional needs to help your milk develop and flow, and if they are not met, you may not be able to breastfeed. Too, your breast milk’s composition may change, and your baby may not be able to get all the nutrients it needs from your breast milk, so you may need to supplement. It may be best to wait until after you’re done breastfeeding to pick up your intermittent fasting.

So, Can I intermittent Fast While Pregnant?

It is not recommended to intermittent fast while pregnant or breastfeeding. More research is needed to determine the full effects. Still, it’s suggested that it can cause dizziness due to low blood sugar, lead to nutritional deficiencies, and increase the risk of premature. Even after having the baby, you should avoid intermittent fasting while breastfeeding.

Ultimately many of the reasons that make intermittent fasting such a powerful diet plan are why it can be harmful to your baby. Even if you were intermittent fasting before knowing you were pregnant, it’s best to pick back up after the baby is born and healthy.

Don’t forget to check our 10 best fasting apps to make your intermittent fasting journey easier.


  • Can you do intermittent fasting while pregnant?

Yes, it’s not recommended to do intermittent fasting while pregnant without first consulting with a doctor or a qualified healthcare provider.

  • Is intermittent fasting safe during pregnancy?

There isn’t enough evidence to determine whether intermittent fasting is safe during pregnancy. However, some healthcare providers may advise against it due to the potential risks it could pose to the health of both the mother and the developing baby.

  • What are the risks of intermittent fasting during pregnancy?

Intermittent fasting during pregnancy could lead to nutrient deficiencies, dehydration, low birth weight, premature birth, and other complications.

  • Can intermittent fasting affect the health of the developing baby?

Yes, intermittent fasting could affect the developing baby’s health by reducing the availability of nutrients essential for its growth and development.

  • Can intermittent fasting affect the mother’s health during pregnancy?

Yes, intermittent fasting could affect the mother’s health during pregnancy by increasing the risk of dehydration, nutrient deficiencies, and other complications.

  • Are there any benefits to doing intermittent fasting during pregnancy?

There isn’t enough evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting has any benefits during pregnancy. It may pose more risks than benefits.

  • What should you do if you want to try intermittent fasting while pregnant?

If you want to try intermittent fasting while pregnant, you should consult a doctor or a qualified healthcare provider first. They can advise you on whether it’s safe for you and your baby and how to go about it if it is.

  • What are some alternative ways to stay healthy during pregnancy?

Some alternative ways to stay healthy during pregnancy include eating a balanced and nutritious diet, staying hydrated, getting enough rest, staying physically active with safe exercises, and attending regular prenatal checkups.

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer started to give people the guidance that he never received when he was first starting. His goal is to make your goals achievable and to offer you only the best fasting apps that the internet has to offer. You're not on your own - Andrew and the entire family of reviewers at are here with you every step of the way!