October & November is packed with festivals! Few weeks back Navratri & Dusshera were celebrated and today we have the Karwa Chauth ( fourth day of the Karthik moon as per the Hindu calendar). Karwa ( which means earthen oil lamp) Chauth (which means four) is a traditional affair observed in India, where a married woman fasts for the long life and prosperity of her husband.
It is a bit unlike the other fasts in which you are not allowed to even have a glass of water!! All this is doable in normal situations, but when you are pregnant it is a whole different issue altogether!
So, when is it right to observe Karva Chauth when pregnant?
Well, there are certain things you must consider beforehand itself:
- Consent from your doctor: You can observe this fast, only after the approval of your doctor. If your health/pregnancy status does not allow you to fast, we recommend that you do not go ahead with it. Women who are diabetic, hypertensive, overweight or have a difficult pregnancy should best avoid doing the fast.
- Have a healthy Sargi : A “Sargi” is a thali which had foods like sweets, dry fruits, coconut along with some new clothes &/or ornaments as gifts. It would be best to have a high-fiber and low sweet sargi. You can have dry fruits like almonds, walnuts etc., that help you manage the day. Also, have coconut water instead of tea/coffee as this helps reduce the acidity!
- Speak to your elders: If you do need to fast, speak to the elderly women of your house or phone them and ask them for practical advice and some tips to troubleshoot.
- Have a bowl of fruit salad in handy: You can modify your fast when pregnant by having a bowl of cut fruits (without any additives) handy and munch on them whenever you feel giddy or the acidity rising.
- Break the fast if it is gets too much for your body: The fact that you have tried to observe the fast for your husband itself is a big thing, don’t push yourself beyond what your body and health permits you.
- Break your fast lightly: If you have successfully completed your fast, offered prayers to the moon and finished all the rituals; it would then be advisable to break your fast with milk and a small fruit. Then after a while you can have your dinner. Try to eat light and something that is easy on your stomach.
Karva Chauth is no doubt a important festival for most women. It is the day when they fast and ask the Lord for blessings for their husband’s health, welfare and longevity. That being said, one should approach the rituals and cultural practices from a practical and sensible viewpoint.
Pregnancy is a time when your health is of the utmost importance as you have a growing baby to worry about; and fasting for long hours may lead to you feeling nauseous or light headed. This may in few cases prove to be damaging to your health or your baby’s.
So, religious sentiments aside, please do what is best for your health and body. If you do intend to observe the fast the whole day, be mindful and rest whenever possible. If your health does not permit you to observe the fast or you break the fast mid way – worry not! In the future, when you are not pregnant, you can observe Karva Chauth in full swing!!
Happy Karva Chauth – 2018!!!!