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Can You Do the Insanity Workout While Breastfeeding?

By Barbie Carpenter

New mothers looking to drop baby weight might struggle to find a workout that fits in with their new lifestyle, especially if they are breastfeeding. Fortunately, many workout programs work for breastfeeding mothers, including the high-intensity Insanity exercise program. This 10-level exercise regimen provides a balance of cardio, core and interval exercise, helping mothers get back in shape. Understanding the impact of exercise on breastfeeding is important before starting the Insanity program.

The Basics

Exercise does not limit a mother's ability to breastfeed. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, or ACOG, no known adverse effects have resulted from mothers returning to exercise in the postpartum period, as long as it is physically and medically safe. However, ACOG cautions that a gradual increase in exercise intensity is best. Before you start the Insanity workout, make sure you are fit enough to withstand the training intensity.

Timing

Breastfeeding mothers might find the Insanity workout difficult or even uncomfortable to do if their breasts are full. Thus, you should schedule your workout around feedings, completing the Insanity DVD after a feeding so that your breasts are less full. ACOG recommends nursing your baby right before your workout, because your breast milk may be acidic for a period of time after your exercise session due to lactic acid in your system. Because mothers can do the Insanity DVD in the comfort of their own home, they can follow a flexible workout schedule dictated by their baby's feedings.

Support

Wearing a support bra is important for breastfeeding mothers doing the Insanity workout. The high-impact cardio requires a lot of movement, and moms need to keep their breasts contained and well supported. A well-fitted sports bra will make the Insanity workout more comfortable, allowing mom to do that high-impact cardio and burn baby fat.

Post-Workout Tips

Some babies do not like to nurse after mom has been sweating, as the sweat makes the skin salty, according to Bonyata. Mothers who notice their babies rejecting their breasts after the Insanity workout should try taking a shower or washing the breasts with soap and water to eliminate the salty taste.

Staying hydrated is important for anyone after working out, but it is especially important for breastfeeding mothers, who need up to 0.8 gallons of water daily to replace fluids lost from breast milk the baby is drinking. The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity suggests that breastfeeding mothers drink water while they exercise, followed by one to two cups after their workout.

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