Can You Fast During Pregnancy?

 Lyndsay Hall Profile Photo
By Lyndsay Hall | Updated on Nov 28, 2023
Image for article Can You Fast During Pregnancy?

That depends—how long of a fast are we talking about?

Fasting can take many different forms and has been performed for centuries by various religious groups. Intermittent fasting in particular has become quite popular in media throughout recent years, mainly for its weight loss and blood sugar regulating effects. Although the research1  is there, there haven’t been many studies done to assess the effects of intermittent fasting specifically during pregnancy. From what we do know, fasting for prolonged periods of time can restrict your nutrient intake, which isn’t ideal when you’re growing a baby inside you.

To make sure you’re eating enough to support yourself and your baby’s development, listen to your body. It’s likely that if you were to even try intermittent fasting, your body would be screaming at you to eat before you ever got to 16 hours. The takeaway is to eat based on your hunger and satiety cues. That’s always the best option.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

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  1. National Institute on Aging"Research on intermittent fasting shows health benefits"Feb 27, 2020https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/research-intermittent-fasting-shows-health-benefits.


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Lyndsay Hall
Updated on Nov 28, 2023

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Can You Fast During Pregnancy?

 Lyndsay Hall Profile Photo
By Lyndsay Hall | Updated on Nov 28, 2023
Image for article Can You Fast During Pregnancy?

That depends—how long of a fast are we talking about?

Fasting can take many different forms and has been performed for centuries by various religious groups. Intermittent fasting in particular has become quite popular in media throughout recent years, mainly for its weight loss and blood sugar regulating effects. Although the research1  is there, there haven’t been many studies done to assess the effects of intermittent fasting specifically during pregnancy. From what we do know, fasting for prolonged periods of time can restrict your nutrient intake, which isn’t ideal when you’re growing a baby inside you.

To make sure you’re eating enough to support yourself and your baby’s development, listen to your body. It’s likely that if you were to even try intermittent fasting, your body would be screaming at you to eat before you ever got to 16 hours. The takeaway is to eat based on your hunger and satiety cues. That’s always the best option.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

Want evidence-based health & wellness advice for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum delivered to your inbox?

Your privacy is important to us. By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.

Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. National Institute on Aging"Research on intermittent fasting shows health benefits"Feb 27, 2020https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/research-intermittent-fasting-shows-health-benefits.


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