It used to be said that with each baby a woman lost a tooth and gained a stone in weight. Now the expectation is rather that all mothers will parade their new slimline figure within a few months of giving birth.
It can be difficult to organise exercise when you have a new baby, but many new mothers find it's definitely worth it. Not only will you feel better, but you'll also actually increase the amount of energy you have to do other things.
Dancing in your own front room is one thing you can fit into your day, as Jess, mother of twins, found: "I line them both up in their baby chairs in the sitting room and dance to the tape in front of them. I don't know what they think is going on but it keeps me happy!"
• Going for a walk is good - check out local parks for good paths where you can push the pram - or carry the baby in a sling.
• Swimming - some pools have crèche facilities that allow parents to swim in peace. Even a length or two once or twice a week will help.
• Join a gym - but check with an instructor to make sure that exercises are suitable for the postnatal period.
• Ask your child health clinic about postnatal exercise classes.
You need to eat well as a new mother and it is possible to lose weight if you want to, while sticking to sustaining snacks if this is easier than cooking a meal.
Think of any of your favourites that are quick and easy to prepare, or you could try:
• A carton of vegetable soup and a wholemeal roll;
• Some hummus eaten with breadsticks or sliced raw vegetables;
• Baked beans on toast;
• Scrambled eggs;
• Tuna sandwiches.
Keep up your intake of milk and dairy foods to boost your calcium levels and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.