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Monday, 17 Adar, 5781
  |  March 1, 2021

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Nursing Women Can Safely Fast on Yom Kippur

Lactation consultant Sara Chana Silverstein says it is generally safe for nursing women to fast for the duration of Yom Kippur and not be concerned there won't be enough milk to feed their infants. Full Story

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Mom
September 25, 2020 2:31 pm

That’s wonderful, the first time I fasted while nursing I crawled to get food afterwards. And no I don’t suffer from any medical conditions. From then on I got heter‘s . Once I stopped nursing, fasting has been fine.

blood
September 25, 2020 2:46 pm

Breast milk is primarily composed of water, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Each of these nutrients plays a role in contributing to infant growth and development.

Please prepare
September 25, 2020 3:10 pm

When I fasted with my first, I ran out of milk toward the end of the fast, my baby was starving. Bh I was able to get some formula. Please be prepared with expressed milk or formula, and speak to a rav about the shiurim in case you get to that point.

Baby won't suffer, mother will
September 25, 2020 6:28 pm

Basically, the baby won’t suffer during the fast, it will still get all the milk/nutrients it needs.
The pregnant/nursing mother, however, will suffer more than any other fasting person, because she is fasting and all her extra energy reserves are not going to herself (as they would any other fasting person), in her case, they are going to her baby first!
So take care of all pregnant/nursing women around you because the fast is very difficult for them!

Not convinced
September 26, 2020 2:58 pm

Not convinced about the effectiveness of this article. After nursing 7 children BH and fasting on YK and 9th Av whilst nursing the reality was extremely different to what this article proposes. Not to be taken lightly and yes speak to your rov beforehand for a heter instead of waiting till your fainting and baby is yelling hungry.

Dr Shyrla Pakula MD IBCLC
September 26, 2020 5:26 pm

Ms Silverstein does not address the very real problems that I often see after a fast and that is dehydration and mastitis in the mother. So I’m sorry to disagree with the idea that fasting is perfectly safe for lactating mothers. Certainly those with a history of mastitis should not fast but it’s common enough for me to recommend that all lactating mothers should drink at least 1.5 liters of fluids in small but frequent amounts over the day and rest in bed. (Im happy to discuss with any Rav.) As for supply, again, despite Ms Silverstein’s learned opinion, I… Read more »

Super irresponsible advice
September 26, 2020 9:41 pm

Sorry but the reality is that many women do run out and have starving babies screaming because no one told them to prepare formula or pumped milk before. It’s down right irresponsible to tell women they’ll be fine, every nursing mother should have backup formula or pumped milk if they prefer, especially on Yom Kippur when theyir husbands are in shul and you can’t pick up a phone or carry to get food for your baby.

Totally not convinced
September 26, 2020 11:12 pm

I have kah 11 kids who I nursed even whilst fasting for TSha BAAV & Yom Kippur. Firstly, as I know from personal experience my babies were hungry during the day as my milk which was coming in was not enough to sateate the baby. BH a week before the fast I stated pumping and freezing my milk so I had enough for my hungry baby. So now I tell all my nursing relatives to either pump or buy formula in advance …. Otherwise you might have a screaming, starving extremely unhappy baby on Yom Kippur!!

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