What is it about?

Ramadan during pregnancy is associated with adverse long-term health effects among the offspring. Based on a survey among 326 pregnant Muslims in Germany, we show that the maternal diet outside of fasting hours might have an impact on whether offspring health is affected: Fasting is associated with lower birth weights, but the negative effects disappear among women who switched to a high-fat diet during Ramadan.

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Why is it important?

Our study sheds light on how behaviors outside of fasting hours can influence the effects of Ramadan fasting during pregnancy on offspring health. It seems essential to ensure that women who do choose to fast have sufficient calorie intake to minimize negative impacts on birth weight. This is important information for healthcare providers, who play a critical role in supporting women who want to observe the Ramadan fast during pregnancy and ensuring their health and the health of their unborn child.


We conducted the Mainz Survey Study on Ramadan during Pregnancy in a highly motivated team, comprised of medical professionals and health economists. I hope that our study shows that culture-specific research is feasible and plays a crucial role in ensuring a healthy start to life for all children. It would be great to see follow-up studies from diverse communities around the world so that we can learn more about how behaviors outside of fasting hours influence how Ramadan fasting during pregnancy impacts offspring health.

Fabienne Pradella
Johannes Gutenberg Universitat Mainz

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Ramadan during pregnancy and neonatal health—Fasting, dietary composition and sleep patterns, PLoS ONE, February 2023, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0281051.
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