Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fasting while breastfeeding

I have been wanting to say something about this issue too many times already but I just bit my tongue. 

You see, I am a breastfeeding mummy. My babygirl is 16mo and I am still exclusively breastfeeding. And I don't fast. Yup. Nope, I am not ashamed.

I am not blessed with a lot of milk but I am blessed with enough milk and I am blessed with determination to continue breastfeeding my babygirl despite all the obstacles I faced during this breastfeeding-journey (ignorant boss who did not want to understand my need to pump during working hours, crazy back to back meetings that made my pumping schedule almost impossible, very little production on certain days of the month….).

So I work hard to produce sufficient milk for my babygirl. I eat a lot of milk booster. I drink tons of plain water. I pump on time. I don’t skip meals! Yes, I cannot skip meals. And by meals, I mean a full complete meal with lotsa carbs #whyihaventloseweight.

Which means, if I still want to be able to produce the same amount of milk (which is just enough for a day consumption), I cannot fast.

Now, people judge. Especially those who are very 'fond' of themselves of being 'the' good Muslim and feel that they know everything. Konon.

Sure, there's ruling on fasting for breastfeeding mummies. 

“If the woman is not affected by fasting, and fasting is not too difficult for her, and she does not fear for her child, then she is obliged to fast, and it is not permissible for her not to fast.”

“If the woman fears for herself or her child because of fasting, and fasting is difficult for her, then she is allowed not to fast, but she has to make up the days that she does not fast.”

In this situation it is better for her not to fast, and it is makrooh for her to fast. Some of the scholars stated that if she fears for her child, it is obligatory for her not to fast and it is haraam for her to fast. 

But, there are still people who keep preaching on how one must fast. No matter what the circumstances are. Must fast. 

“Just make sure you sahur. Drink a lot at night. Eat this and that. It is okay your baby should be fine with minimal milk. I breastfeed and I fast why can’t you? Eh just mix with formula why trouble yourself until need to skip fasting?”

You see, Islam is simple. And beautiful. (Our) People make it sound complicated. God exempts you from fasting if it is harmful for you and/or your baby, so don’t fast. Think, who are you trying to please and impress? God? Or your peers?

Simple math. Definitely not a rocket science.

Don't get me started on how judgemental people get when a Muslim woman eat during the day of Ramadhan month, for many reasons (menses is one of them). As if your iman is so thin, see people eat already tempted? Isn't fasting supposed to teach you some good values including to be patient and to learn to control your nafsu? Tsk tsk tsk. 

Disclaimer: We are expected to compensate for the missed fasting at a later time or pay some expiation for not fasting. There are a lot of fatwa on this. You can consult a scholar for better understanding, I am in no position to provide any religious advices (not yet at least). For now, you can refer to someone like this one.

Exemption for pregnant and breastfeeding mummies

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