With the way celebs in the media seem to just snap back immediately to their pre-baby weight, with washboard abs, flat stomachs and all, you could be forgiven for thinking that you're a failure if you're struggling to lose those post-pregnancy pounds. But we don't all have nutritionists, chefs and a personal trainer on hand to get us back into shape, so instead of feeling down about those extra pounds, here's how you can see the back of them, quickly! 1. Move it on up If you're reading this when you haven't had any decent sleep for weeks, you're wondering how you'll ever have time to wash your hair again, and 'overwhelm' has become your new middle name, you're likely to want to throw something heavy at us and go for a much-needed nap. But hear us out. When you've first given birth, it's likely you won't be up to any intense exercise for around six weeks, and if you've had a Caesarean section, it could be even longer, so we're not suggesting you start running marathons out of the gate, but gentle, slow exercise whenever you can fit it in, can have you and your baby feeling good. Try a short walk with your baby in the stroller, just around the block. If you're OK with that and it doesn't cause you any problems, then build up your distance slowly. You could even do exercises with your baby, playing with them and interacting to bond with them at the same time. Here's a very cute video from YouTube with a range of exercises you could try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_x6Ph_Du_M. Everyone say 'awww'. While sex is unlikely to be on your mind when you've just given birth, it is a brilliant form of exercise and great for burning calories, when (and only when) you're ready. And Kegel exercises can help you tone your pelvic floor muscles so when you do want to indulge, you'll find you have a more pleasurable experience. 2. Breastfeeding While not every woman can do this easily or comfortably, if you can, then it's likely to help you lose your post-pregnancy weight, just because while breastfeeding, you actually burn between 600 and 800 calories each day. When you start to introduce solid foods and certainly when you stop breastfeeding altogether, you will need to reduce your calorie intake and get some exercise, or you could find you put back on some of those pounds you've lost. 3. Weight lifting for the win! Many women avoid using weights because they worry they'll look like Arnie in The Terminator and not like themselves, but weight training won't do that to you at all. What weight training will do is tone you up and increase your metabolism, speeding up how many calories you burn. We've already talked about incorporating baby into your exercise routine, and why not use them as a weight so you burn more calories? You'd be holding them anyway, so instead of buying hand weights, unless you really want them, see how many exercises you can do while safely giving your baby a cuddle. If you have the budget and you're not sure how to safely do these exercises, you could hire a personal trainer who specializes in post-pregnancy fitness. Check out Annie's amazing transformation - Click here 4. Eat healthily While you really shouldn't diet immediately after birth as you need calories for breastfeeding, for energy, and for your body to recover from childbirth, healthy eating is always a good idea. Enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, poultry and fish and you should find you eat very well indeed, feel good and lose weight naturally. Try to avoid too much salt and sugar, as too much salt can cause high blood pressure, and too much sugar can have your blood-sugar levels spiking. Basically, eat what's good for you, but there's nothing stopping you from allowing yourself the occasional treat. If you feel like you're on a diet, and there's a whole long list of things you can't have, you'll just crave them anyway, and you're less likely to stick to eating well. 5. Nap whenever you can Sleep is good for you, with time for your brain to process the day's events, and time for your body to heal and repair, but lack of sleep can affect your metabolism and make it easy for excess weight to stick around. It seems highly unfair that just when you need sleep the most, you're likely to have plenty of broken nights with feeds at all hours. The only thing you can do to catch up is sleep when your baby does, and it does help, so never mind anything else that's going on, who cares about that layer of dust on the TV? just sleep when you can and reap the benefits. 6. Meet up with other new mums You'll find support, understanding and possibly even a new group of friends to exercise with. Who better to know what you're going through and understand the changes your body has been through than other new mums? The all important support network of friends or a community that can help you build an exercise routine that works and make sure you stick to it is a really valuable tool to have. The more people you can rely on to keep you motivated and stay on track, the more likely you are to reach your goals!