Bear in mind that your body took nine months to change and develop your child for you. It will take about the same amount of time to return to its former size and shape – depending on personal circumstances, lifestyle and genetic factors. Even then, some things that will never be the same again.
Changes that are permanent may include the following; wider hips, thicker waist, rounder bottom and almost certainly a change in the consistency and shape of your breasts. These changes aren't too much to adjust to; you may have to go up one size in certain clothing items only. For the first few weeks after pregnancy, you will find that your maternity clothing from the fourth or fifth month fits you comfortably. Otherwise, you may find that regular loose-fitting clothing is better for your post-pregnancy body.
The only healthy course of action you can follow to return your body to its original size and weight is to eat correctly and do regular exercise. Following an eating plan may be tricky, due to time constraints, but there are healthy foods you can prepare quickly, as long as you stock up on ingredients ahead of time. Finding time to exercise is more difficult than following a diet or eating plan. Any physical activity you do at home, that raises your heart, is better than none at all. Many fitness clubs and gyms offer special post natal exercise classes. You will be able to meet other moms in the same situation you are in. This kind of contact and support will help keep you on track to regaining your former figure. Some classes even offer low-impact exercises that can be done with your baby present.
Your hospital or clinic should have information available to you for exercise classes in your area. Having some exercise DVD's on hand at home is a good idea, in case you cannot keep class appointments.
All women respond to and recover from pregnancy and childbirth differently, and at different rates. Your recovery might take longer in some respects, and you may never have the same body shape again. You might even be lucky and bounce back after a few months. Some mothers end up weighing less than before, due to the intense demands of pregnancy.
You need to realise that your body is constantly changing due to age, the environment and your lifestyle. The changes your body goes through from pregnancy are natural and to be expected. Your child is worth any sacrifice you have made in terms of altered looks and possible weight gain.