J Relig Health. 2023 Jan 23. doi: 10.1007/s10943-023-01744-4. Online ahead of print.
Ramadan, a one-month period in which eating and drinking are prohibited from sunrise to sunset, is considered sacred by Muslims. According to Islamic rules, fasting is obligatory for adults and healthy people, but patients and travelers are exempted from this rule. It is not clear whether pregnant women can fast during Ramadan. This cross-sectional case-control study included low-risk pregnant women at 32-37 weeks of gestation in Turkey. We examined healthy women in the last period of their pregnancy and found similar perinatal outcomes between the fasting and nonfasting participants. In the evaluation of fetal well-being, a decrease in the number of accelerations in the non-stress test (NST) and the need to repeat the test were found to be statistically significantly higher in fasting pregnant women. We consider that this may prolong the evaluation period and increase unnecessary hospitalizations due to nonreactive NST results. More randomized controlled trials are needed to conclude that fasting during pregnancy is safe.