Physicians’ attitudes and views regarding religious fasting during pregnancy and review of the literature

Chana Adler-Lazarovits, Adi Y. Weintraub

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many patients worldwide seek medical advice regarding safety of fasting during pregnancy. This issue lacks high quality evidence, which makes giving medical advice challenging. To aid decision making on this subject we performed an internet mediated survey to determine the expert opinion on this issue. The survey was answered by one hundred and eight obstetricians and gynecologists (OB/GYN). The questions were aimed at the content of the medical advice given to pregnant patients on Ramadan (for Muslim patients) and Yom Kippur (for Jewish patients) fasts. For both fasts, most physicians recommended against fasting on the second or third trimester, while fasting on the first trimester was controversial. Differences were found between medical advices provided by physicians according to their demographical characteristics. Regarding Ramadan fast, senior specialists were more lenient about fasting than younger specialists (62% and 35%, respectively, p = 0.01). As to Yom Kippur fast, religious and traditional physicians were more likely to permit fasting compared to their secular colleagues (53% and 25%, respectively, p = 0.01). Additionally, a comprehensive literature review was conducted revealing possible adverse maternal and fetal outcomes of fasting; however the risk for long term clinical complications is yet to be defined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-80
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Volume233
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Complications
  • Fasting
  • Pregnancy
  • Ramadan
  • Religious fast
  • Yom Kippur

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