For some Muslims, Ramadan began on the evening of July 19. The month-long Islamic holiday is a time of spiritual renewal for many Muslims who fast from food and drink during the daylight hours. It's difficult enough task for most Muslims, but even more so for women, particularly those who are pregnant and nursing.


Technically, women who are pregnant or nursing are exempt from Ramadan's month-long fast, as are young children, the elderly, and anyone who is ill. But many Muslim women want to fast and will try to participate in the tradition regardless.


If you are pregnant or nursing and fasting for Ramadan, please communicate with your doctor frequently throughout the month to make sure that your fasting is not affecting your baby. Make sure to slow down and rest frequently throughout the day and be sure to get the right nutrients and calories when you do break your fast each evening.


Islamic custom says that instead of fasting, women who are pregnant or nursing can pay to feed poor people to fulfill their Ramadan requirements. So you can bring food to nearby mosques or homeless shelters to help feed those who have no choice but to fast every day of their lives.


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