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Does Fasting Affect Milk Supply for Breastfeeding Women?

Mirna Sabbagh, nutritionist , dietitian, and IBCLC at myPediaclinic in Dubai Health Care City answers whether fasting affects milk supply for breastfeeding women and the right nutrition during Ramadan. Below is a video describing quickly if the mother can fast or not and how, and under it is an article discussing it.

Does fasting affect the milk supply for the breastfeeding mother?


Fasting does not affect the milk supply of the mother as long as she meets the following 4 conditions:

1. Drink 2 Liters of water between Iftar and Suhoor

2. Get all the nutrients and minerals needed between Iftar and Suhoor

3. Not lose more than 3 kilograms during the whole month

4. The mom has a fully established milk supply and the baby is more than 6 weeks old

Even if all the above conditions are met, keep an eye on your child’s behavior and notice any signs of dehydration as seen below. If you suspect your baby may be dehydrated then contact your pediatrician immediately.

How would I know do my milk supply has been affected?

The first sign would be the baby being fussier than usual and perhaps urinating less than usual.

Other equally important signs would be the baby being constipated, the baby being sleepy, the baby having dry skin or dry eyes or dry mouth, and the baby losing weight or not gaining weight at the right pace.

What should a mother do if her milk supply has been affected?

Stop fasting immediately and breastfeed as frequently as possible. If milk supply does not improve within 2-3 days, contact a lactation consultant near you to work on methods to bring back milk supply.

What should a mother do if she suspects the baby is dehydrated?

If you suspect your milk supply has dropped drastically and the baby is dehydrated, contact your pediatrician immediately and discuss with a lactation consultant how to increase your milk supply.

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