So you’re breastfeeding and it’s Ramadhan. Based on your interpretation of the scriptures, you opt to fast because you can handle the challenge or you opt out because you’re worried about your baby’s milk supply. If you’ve been following me, you know that I just finished paying for my last Ramadhan as I was pregnant last year. My mind raced before I decided to fast. Of course it did. I was worried about the well-being of my child. Is he going to lose weight? Is he going to be attached to me like in the past? Is he etc? etc…
In order to keep my milk supply at a comfortable level, I watched and did the following:
I waited for the baby to be about six months before I could start repaying my last Ramadhan. At that age, he was ready to start eating some solids like sweet mashed potatoes, peas, mashed fruits, oatmeal, etc.
- My diet
Because fasting hours are longer from spring to summer in the USA and that waking up for suhoor is a challenge after fasting 15+ hours, I made sure to eat better at iftar. I’m not saying I pigged out at iftar. I ate good carbs, a lot of proteins, and fruits so that I could stay fuller longer. If I happen to wake up in the middle of the night to check on the baby or if he wakes me up, I kill two birds with one stone by observing suhoor before the time is up. It’s usually something light and a full glass of water and I’m good.
- Breast pump
During the day, I used my breast pumping machine. If your baby is like mine, he loves fresh milk. Don’t even try to feed him a-four-day old milk of or frozen milk for that matter.
So twice a day, I pumped the milk he would drink for eight hours the next day. I can only get away with a three-day-old milk. He won’t drink it if it’s more than that. I have a-two-weeks supply of milk in the freezer from November he won’t touch. He knows the smell! It smells different. And I can’t bring myself to waste it. It’s precious! I worked hard to produce it! Lol! Plus, I’m really big on non-waste. Sometimes I think, ‘Is that how Allah feels when his creation waste?’
Anyways, when he’s bit older, I can probably reason with him and have him drink it with cereal. Lactation specialists say it’s good for a year so fingers crossed! Haha!
Going back to serious issues, asides from the eight hours where I don’t breastfeed him, I breastfeed in the morning and during the evening. My milk supply decreased by a few ounces but the solids I introduced helped. Pumping also gave me a good momentum.
I’m sure there are other ways to keep your milk supply from depleting to worrisome levels but this is what worked for me. I hope you can find them helpful and resourceful!
Ramadhan Kareem to you and may Allah accepts our acts of ibadat during this month and beyond! Ameen!