Fasting and Pregnancy Outcomes

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor, Department of Neonatology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ovulation Dysfunction Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Ph.D. Student of Reproductive Health, Islamic Azad University, Tonekabon Branch, Tonekabon, Iran.

4 M.Sc. of Neonatal Intensive Care, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: The effect of fasting on the health of pregnant women is an undeniable necessity.
Studies in this topic have had conflicting results, so this study was done to compare the pregnancy outcomes in fasting and non-fasting pregnant women.
Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted during 2009-2012 on 1000 pregnant women at Maternity ward of Ghaem hospital in Mashhad, Iran. Mothers were divided into two groups based on their history (mothers who have been fasting for at least 10 days during gestation=614 cases) and control group (not-fasting mothers=386). Mothers had no specificdisease during their pregnancy. The mothers’ characteristics and pregnancy outcomes between two groups have been compared. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 11.5, Pearson correlation coefficient, independent t-test, Mann Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests. P value less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: The two study groups in terms of maternal age (p=0.499), occupation (p=0.384), education (p=0.245), parity (p=0.094), prenatal care (p=0.222) were homogeneous. Cesarean section were performed in 194 mothers (50.8%) in controls and 252 mothers (41.8%) of case group (p=0.008). 46 mothers (15%) in control group and 28 mothers (17.2%) in cases had pregnancy infection during delivery (p=0.212). Mean of neonatal weight was 3000gr in control group and 3170gr in cases (p=0.065). Mean of maternal weight before pregnancy was 60.16 kg in cases and 58.58 kg in controls (p=0.053). Mean of weight in last month of pregnancy was 70.95 kg in cases and 70.77 kg in control group (p=0.443).
Conclusions: Fasting has no significant effects on pregnancy outcomes (pregnancy infection and intrapartum infection, pre-pregnancy weight and weight in the last month of pregnancy, prenatal care and premature birth)