Having a baby can be one of the most extreme changes your body experiences as it adapts to becoming home to a new life for nine months.

However, while this is completely natural, many women struggle to regain their figure after giving birth.

To get back in shape and concentrate on losing those extra pounds, Dr Joanna Helcke, pregnancy and postnatal fitness specialist and founder of Zest4lifeUK, has recommended a few tips.

These include:

Focussing on nutrition

Healthy living is a key aspect of pregnancy, however once the baby is born this doesn't mean you should pay any less attention to your nutritional intake.

Eating a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and nutrients will be essential in giving you enough energy to tackle motherhood, and according to Dr Helcke it's likely you "will start to lose the baby weight at a steady and healthy rate within a matter of weeks, and without any notion of 'going on diet'".

Nutritional supplements can be useful aids in boosting vitamin levels, although fresh fruit and vegetables are every bit as important.

Introducing low impact exercise

"In terms of appropriate exercise for losing the baby weight, I tend to suggest walking as the number one option because it is something that new mums can easily do with their baby in a buggy," Dr Helcke said.

As you begin to regain your strength it's essential to incorporate body weight resistance work, "so as to build muscle mass which will, in turn, increase the metabolism," she explained.

This is especially useful in the abdominal area, due to the loss of tone and weakening which can take place during pregnancy.

Why not try rebuilding tone using Pilates or Yoga classes to gradually sculpt your body?

Combating stress

Stress has been proved to prevent weight loss, causing excess fat to reside around the stomach area.

Finding ways to relax when around a newborn can be difficult, however taking it in turns to wake up in the night or ascertaining ways to unwind are important during this stressful time.

Posted by Freya Harper