Unlike all other fasts that are kept in the Indian culture, where one is allowed to eat fruits, meals prepared with special vrat ingredients or refreshing drinks, Karva Chauth is one such fast where not even a sip of water can be taken until the fast is broken. Apart from this, most traditionalists believe that it is not good to break the cycle of keeping a Karva Chauth fast. This, therefore, puts an expecting mother in a dilemma whether or not she should keep the fast. With advice flooding in from your in-laws, neighbours, friends, etc., it is ultimately you who has to decide whether or not you need to keep it. In case you do, here are some important tips that you need to keep in mind.
Consult your doctor and your baby
There is no such valid research that shows that fasting while expecting is completely safe or not. But the Karva Chauth fast does not allow you to even take water during the day. This might lead to dehydration, further causing a lot of physical discomfort. Secondly, your baby needs his/her daily dose of nutrition. So, being without food the entire day could leave him/her in distress too. Also, a lot depends on which trimester you are in during the time of the fast. Thus, consulting a doctor once, before taking a decision to fast or not would be the right thing to do.
Healthy ways to keep the fast
If your doctor and family members allow you to keep the fast, then unlike your Karva Chauth fasting, be ready to make some alterations this year! Talk to your mother and mother-in-law, and they will understand your need for these alterations, as they might have been through a similar phase themselves. Here are some things to do:
- Firstly, while having your sargi early in the morning, make sure you drink a big glass of milk along with it.
- Secondly, make a bowl of fruit salad, but without any seasonings. During the day, whenever you feel a sense of acidity, discomfort or severe hunger pangs, have a small portion of that fruit salad.
- And lastly, after doing the Karva Chauth puja in the evening, have a glass of milk again.
Doing all this will let all the nutrients reach to your baby and will not hamper his or her growth.
What you should expect
Although, unlike the usual Karva Chauth fast, this time you will be having milk and fruits in between, yet there are a few things you need to be aware and expectant of. Remember that pregnancy increases your normal eating urges. Because you are eating something or the other the entire day at regular intervals during your pregnancy, a diet consisting of just milk and fruits will seem like a fast to your body. So, you must be prepared to experience acidity, fatigue, a severe headache (mainly due to the acidity), nausea and dizziness. But do not panic as all these symptoms are due to the fasting. However, if your condition becomes unbearable and extremely severe, immediately break the fast and have something to eat and drink. Don’t lose heart in such a condition, instead, think- ‘at least I gave it my best shot!’
Distract your mind
And finally, try to keep yourself and your mind distracted. The more you think about the fast, hungrier you will feel. Instead, try to keep to your regular routine that you follow every day sans any strenuous physical work. Squeeze in a long nap in the afternoon. Look forward to getting ready for the evening puja and try to be chirpy and bright as much as possible.
All you expecting mothers should keep in mind that during this time your first and utmost priority is your baby’s health and well-being. Keeping that in mind, if you have strength, willpower and consent of your doctor then do go ahead and observe the fast keeping safety measures in mind. So, happy fasting, ladies!