Effect of Ramadan Fasting during Pregnancy on Neonatal Birth Weight

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Obstetrics Department, Kashan University of medical sciences, Kashan, I.R. Iran

2 Department of health promotion, school of health (Campus), Iran University of Medical Sciences ,Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the 9th lunar month. The duration of fasting varies from 13 to 18 hrs per day. Fasting individuals abstain from drinking liquids and eating foods. Manypregnant women and gynecologists are concerned about the possible complicationsassociated with fasting and effects on fetal health. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Ramadan fasting on neonatalbirth weight. Methods: The current historical cohort study was performed on pregnant women attending maternity hospitals in Kashan in 2008. Twofasting and non-fasting groups were compared. Multiple pregnancies and gestational age less than 37 weeks were considered as the exclusion criteria. In fasting and non-fasting groups, age, parity, gestational age, body mass index (BMI), mother's occupation, prenatal care attendance and intended or unintended pregnancy were matched. For the statistical analysis of the data, covariance analysis and SPSS v16.0 were used. Results: In this study, 293 cases were evaluated among whom 31.7% did notfast. In the two groups, the mean age, gestational age, parity and weight gain during pregnancy were not significantly different. The mean birth weight was 3338 g (±498 g) and 3343 g (± 339 g) in fasting and non-fasting groups respectively. The results showed that the mean birth weight of the neonates in fasting and non-fasting groups was not significantly different (p=0. 931). Conclusion: The results of this study indicated that there is no significant relationship between the neonatal birth weight and maternal fasting during pregnancy. Therefore we declare thatfasting for pregnant women who receive prenatal care has no effects on neonatal birth weight.


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