can you do intermittent fasting while pregnant

Can You Do Intermittent Fasting While Pregnant?

Andrew Brewer - Intermittent Fasting Expert

Written by Andrew Brewer. Updated on December 2022.

Medically reviewed and fact checked by our 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.

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.

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer started Fastingapps.com 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 Fastingapps.com are here with you every step of the way!

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