Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 536-540

Fasting in pregnancy: A survey of beliefs and manners of Muslim women about Ramadan fasting

1 Department of Midwifery-Nursing, Islamic Azad University, Babol, Iran
2 Department of Statistics, Babol Branch, Islamic Azad University, Babol, Iran
3 Department of Statistics, Mazandaran University of Medical Science, Mazandaran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Bita Jamali
Aftab42, Iamm Khominie Ave. Amol
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.133710

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Background: Fasting during Ramadan is compulsory in the Muslim faith. Although pregnant women may be exempted, many still choose to fast because of a confluence of social, religious and cultural factors. Objective: Little is known about the physiological effects of fasting during Ramadan on the mother or unborn baby, and thus nurses and other health-care providers are faced with the difficult task of providing appropriate medical advice to Muslim women regarding the safety and impact of their fasting. In this study, we examined the practice of fasting among pregnant Muslim women in Amol/Iran, and examined their beliefs on fasting during the holy month of Ramadan 2011. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study of all Muslim women in Amol who were pregnant and received antenatal care in healthcare center during the month of Ramadan. Exclusion criteria were all women with any problem in pregnancy. A questionnaire was tool of study. Data were analyzed with Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software (SPSS) (P < 0.05). Results: From 250 questionnaires, 215 were responded and collected. 31.8% pregnant women fasted during Ramadan. The average time of fasting was 9.88 days. There was a significant relationship between parity (0.035) and gestational age (0.049) and fasting. 85% of women believed that fasting during pregnancy is a ritual. 71.7% women did not change their prenatal care. 73.5% of pregnant women consulted the obstetrician about fasting. The most common complication in mother was fatigue and weakness. The average size of the head circumference and length of newborn was normal. Conclusion: Midwifes and other health workers need to learn as much as possible about the multicultural best practices and research-driven information about fasting in order to help Muslim women make informed decision.

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