Research suggests that getting enough sleep could help new mums regain their figures.
An extra two hours a night can make a major difference, say researchers at Harvard Medical School. They discovered that a lack of sleep triggers hormonal changes, which make women hungrier.
The study of 1,000 new mums found those who got seven hours of sleep when their baby was six months old were three times more likely to be 11lb lighter by their baby's first birthday than those coping on five hours.
Erica Gunderson, who led the research, says, 'This study shows even two hours more sleep may be as important as a healthy diet and exercise for mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight.'
Rachel Waddilove, maternity nurse and author of The Baby Book, advises, 'Most new mums need no encouragement to get more sleep.
'Leave the chores and sleep when the baby sleeps, or nap after a feed, as the hormone released while breastfeeding induces sleep.
'Otherwise, plenty of fresh air and a good walk will help you nod off.'