Ramadan – How to stay healthy during pregnancy in the UAE

Let’s dive into some practical guidance and nurturing practices that will help you maintain your health during the fasts of Ramadan when you are pregnant in the UAE
Pilates pregnancy personal training in the UAE - The Benefits

Nurturing Two Hearts: Coach Chiara's Guide to Staying Healthy During Pregnancy in Ramadan

Article Contributor: Chiara

Hello, moms-to-be! It’s Coach Chiara here, and it’s my absolute pleasure to guide and support you through a journey that intertwines the sanctity of Ramadan with the miracle of pregnancy in Abu Dhabi.

As we navigate this special time together, we’ll focus on nurturing not just one, but two hearts beating within. By embracing thoughtful care and attention, you can experience the blessings of this holy month while ensuring optimal health for both yourself and the little one growing inside you.

Let’s dive into some practical guidance and nurturing practices that will help you maintain your health during the fasts of Ramadan.

Table Of Contents

Balanced Nutrition for Two:

Maintaining a balanced diet is of utmost importance when you are eating for two. This becomes especially significant during the month of Ramadan in the UAE, where observing fasts can present unique challenges to your nutritional intake. It is essential to provide your body, and by extension, your precious baby, with the comprehensive nutrition required for sustained health, vitality, and optimal growth.

As you navigate through the Holy month in Abu Dhabi, it’s imperative to ensure that you’re ingesting a plethora of nutrients that furnish you both with an abundance of essential vitamins and minerals. During the fasts of Ramadan, your focus on nutrient-dense foods should intensify, as the window for nourishment is limited. This makes the quality of the food you eat during this period even more crucial.

Strategic meal planning is key in achieving a well-balanced diet. Ensure that your pre-dawn meal, known as Suhoor, lays a strong nutritional foundation to sustain you through the day. This meal should be thoughtfully composed to include complex carbohydrates for long-lasting energy, proteins for muscle maintenance and repair, healthy fats for hormone production and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and a rich variety of fruits and vegetables to provide necessary fibers and micronutrients.

Similarly, your meal at sunset, called Iftar, must continue this theme of balance. Breaking your fast with dates and water is traditional and provides a quick source of energy and hydration. Following this, a diverse spread encompassing all the food groups will help replenish your body and support your baby’s development. Including whole grains, lean meats or alternatives, dairy or dairy substitutes, legumes, and an array of colorful fruits and veggies is beneficial.

It is crucial not only to consider what you eat but also how much and when. Striking the right balance between portion size and food quality will optimize absorption and prevent discomfort. With thoughtful choices and informed meal planning, you and your developing child can experience a nourishing Ramadan, full of spiritual reflection and physical well-being.

Nutrient-Rich Pregnancy-Friendly Meals:

  • Suhoor Smoothie: Begin your day in the pre-dawn hours with a refreshing and delightful blend of mixed fruits, such as bananas, berries, and mangoes, all brimming with essential vitamins. Add to this a scoop of protein-packed Greek yogurt for sustained energy release, and sprinkle a handful of nuts like almonds or walnuts over the top for that extra nutrient-powered beginning. The combination is not only delicious but also packed with fiber, which is crucial for digestive health during pregnancy.

  • Iftar Protein Plate: As dusk settles and it’s time to break your fast, opt for a balanced plate that puts emphasis on lean proteins, an important building block for you and your growing baby. Choose from options like grilled chicken breast or baked fish, seasoned with herbs and spices for an enticing flavor without excess salt. Accompany your protein choice with a serving of whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice to provide the complex carbohydrates your body needs for energy.

  • Don’t forget to include a vibrant variety of vegetables; think bell peppers, spinach, and carrots, which are loaded with vitamins and minerals to replenish your body and nourish your baby. This well-rounded meal ensures that you’re getting a broad spectrum of nutrients essential for both your wellbeing and that of your unborn child.

Hydration for Two: More Crucial Than Ever

Maintaining proper hydration levels becomes doubly important when you’re not just caring for your health but also nurturing a life within you. Pregnancy already places significant demands on your body, and these demands are heightened during the holy month of Ramadan when you observe fasts. It is imperative to make the most of the non-fasting hours to replenish your body’s water content. Strategically plan to drink ample amounts of water consistently throughout the evening and pre-dawn hours to ensure you remain well-hydrated.

In addition to frequent water intake, it’s advantageous to integrate a variety of hydrating foods into your Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and Iftar (meal to break the fast). These foods can notably assist in maintaining your hydration levels throughout the day. Lip-smacking options such as coconut water provide a natural isotonic beverage packed with electrolytes, making it an excellent choice for hydration. Including an assortment of juicy fruits like watermelons, oranges, and berries in your meals not only tantalizes your taste buds but also offers additional fluid intake, which is highly beneficial and helps in keeping your hydration at an optimum level.

Hydration Tips for Pregnant Women During Ramadan:

  • Fruit-Infused Water: The simple act of drinking water can be transformed into a delightful experience during Ramadan. Elevate your hydration by infusing your water with slices of citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, or oranges, or even consider succulent berries like strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries to add a naturally sweet flavor that will tantalize your taste buds and encourage you to drink more. This not only enhances your drinking experience but also adds a refreshing twist that can be especially appealing after a day of fasting.

  • Herbal Teas: Instead of reaching for caffeinated beverages that could potentially dehydrate you, opt for warming, caffeine-free herbal teas which are great alternatives. Varieties such as soothing ginger, which can aid digestion, or refreshing peppermint, which is known for its calming properties, can keep your hydration levels up while providing a comforting ritual to look forward to during Suhoor or Iftar. Sip slowly and savor the moment, allowing yourself a serene break with these aromatic infusions.

  • Coconut Water: In many cultures, coconut water is hailed as a rejuvenating drink, and for good reason. Embrace the hydrating properties of coconut water, a natural beverage that’s packed with electrolytes and can help replenish fluids in a deliciously effective manner. It’s a fantastic alternative to plain water and can serve as a nutritional supplement, providing you with additional vitamins and minerals essential during pregnancy. Consider incorporating this tropical delight into your Ramadan hydration routine for an exotic and healthy twist.
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Balancing Rest and Activity:

During the wondrous journey of pregnancy, women often experience a myriad of changes in their energy levels. There can be days filled with an abundance of vitality followed by moments where fatigue seems to take over every ounce of your being. It’s essential to listen attentively to what your body is communicating to you. When it asks for repose, allow yourself the space and time to rest adequately.

Simultaneously, while embracing these ebbs and flows of energy, preserving an optimal level of physical exertion is fundamental for both your health and that of your growing baby. Incorporating exercises that are considerate of your current state is vital. Opt for activities that have been crafted with the unique needs of pregnant individuals in mind—a gentle swim or perhaps a light cardio routine specifically tailored for expectant mothers.

Embarking on activities like a peaceful evening stroll under the blanket of stars or engaging in restorative prenatal yoga classes can not only aid in maintaining your fitness but also enhance your emotional well-being. These practices foster a deeper connection between you and your baby, while also providing the serenity and strength needed during this transformative period.

In essence, finding a harmonious balance between necessary rest and beneficial activity will serve you immensely as you navigate through the beautiful, albeit sometimes challenging, months of pregnancy. Always remember to consult your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise regimen to ensure the utmost safety for you and your little one.

Pregnancy-Safe Exercise Ideas:

  • Prenatal Yoga: Engage in prenatal yoga classes that emphasize gentle stretches and poses tailored to accommodate your evolving physique. These classes often focus on breathing techniques and meditation, promoting relaxation and mindfulness which are incredibly beneficial during pregnancy. Participating in a community of expecting mothers can also provide support and camaraderie.

  • Swimming: Immerse yourself in the buoyant, low-impact environment of swimming, offering a revitalizing form of exercise that keeps you cool, especially beneficial in the later stages of pregnancy. The water supports your weight, allowing for a full-body workout that reduces the risk of overheating, without putting pressure on your joints and ligaments.

  • Walking: Share tranquil evening strolls with a companion, enjoying the benefits of staying mobile while avoiding excessive strain on your body. Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise, requiring no special equipment other than a good pair of shoes, and can be easily adjusted to your energy level and schedule. It’s an excellent way to maintain cardiovascular health and can be a delightful social activity if joined by friends or loved ones.

Prioritizing Prenatal Supplements:

Maintaining proper nutrition during pregnancy is not simply important; it’s absolutely critical for the health and well-being of both mother and child. The body undergoes drastic changes and the demand for certain nutrients increases significantly. Given this heightened need, it becomes even more crucial to ensure that you are receiving an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals.

Regular consultations with your healthcare provider become especially indispensable to closely monitor your nutritional intake, making sure it aligns with the recommended dietary allowances tailored for pregnant individuals. This is particularly true during periods like Ramadan, when fasting can alter regular eating patterns and potentially affect nutrient intake.

Prenatal vitamins and other nutritional supplements step in to fill any gaps that may be present in your diet. For instance, folic acid is known for its importance in preventing neural tube defects, while iron supports the development of the placenta and fetus and prevents anemia. Calcium and vitamin D are pivotal for the formation of strong bones and teeth, and omega-3 fatty acids support brain development.

These prenatal vitamins and supplements serve as a vital complement to your daily meals, offering an additional layer of health support for you and your growing baby. They are designed to provide targeted nutrition that ensures the best possible outcomes for your pregnancy.

However, it is essential to remember that these supplements are not a substitute for a healthy diet. Instead, they work in conjunction with a well-rounded diet to maximize the health benefits for both you and your child. It’s important to approach supplementation under professional guidance, as excessive intake of certain vitamins or minerals can be harmful.

Always discuss with your healthcare provider before introducing any new supplement to your regimen. They can guide you on the appropriate types and amounts based on your specific needs, medical history, and the unique requirements of your pregnancy journey. By doing so, you’ll not only be taking proactive steps towards safeguarding your health but also actively contributing to the optimal growth and development of your baby.

Gym fitness coaching in Abu Dhabi with PT Chiara

Abu Dhabi Female Training Specialist - Chiara

Specializing in pre and postnatal fitness training in Abu Dhabi is just one of the ways Chiara can assist you. She is also an expert in general fitness, offering services such as weight loss, body toning, slimming, and fat loss training.

 Chiara works with both men and women in Abu Dhabi to help them achieve their individual fitness goals. With over 14 years of experience, 

Chiara is a seasoned professional who has successfully trained numerous clients in Abu Dhabi and beyond. 

She incorporates both new and advanced training methods as well as proven techniques that have consistently delivered results.

 If you are looking for a results-driven female personal trainer in Abu Dhabi, Chiara is an excellent choice.

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