NEW mums in the South may have unrealistic expectations of getting back to their pre-baby body shape quickly, according to a new survey.

The research found around 36 per cent of mums in the region wanted to achieve their pre-baby weight within a year, with a quarter of those surveyed hoping to achieve their goal within six months.

The 2,000 mums who took part in the survey, commissioned by David Lloyd Leisure, were also asked whose body they most admired, with Davina McCall top and Myleene Klass second.

Davina McCall’s athletic body was achieved quickly after her third child, using an exercise regime she developed into a DVD for pregnant women.

A host of courses and classes run across Hampshire to help shift baby weight and get back in shape after the birth, but the message is to take it slow and steady.

Among those classes on offer are the ones run at David Lloyd. Angela Rich is a personal trainer who specialises in pre-and post-natal care at the Southampton centre.

She said: “We run a course aimed at women in all stages of pregnancy.

“It is all about getting the balance right. Mums to be shouldn’t think they can’t do any exercise but at the same time they can’t do anything too strenuous that will raise the heart rate so as to put them or the baby at risk.

“Post-natally, there is plenty of exercise that can be done to get rid of baby weight but I always say it takes nine months to put on and at least nine months to get off. Not rushing it is very important, particularly if you are breastfeeding.

“As a general rule after your six or 12-week check you can start doing some sort of exercise. It is also important for mums to have some ‘me’ time so going to the gym or for a swim is a perfect way to do that.”

Rob Beale, group health and fitness manager at David Lloyd Leisure added: “It’s important young mums don’t aspire to lose weight quickly like celebrities – not only is it unrealistic but could be very damaging to a body that has gone through such a big change. New mums will be active enough in the first few weeks from dealing with their new baby, without rushing into exercise before they are ready.”

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