For most mothers, finding the energy to do even the simplest of tasks can be hard enough after bringing a newborn baby home.
But Nichola Porter had big plans for her maternity leave - and she wasn't going to let her depleted energy levels get in the way.
The size 24 mother, who weighed 21 stone, decided to overturn her unhealthy lifestyle and use her valuable time off work to slim down.
In the 12 months she spent off work, Porter, 30, managed to lose an impressive nine stone while caring for her newborn daughter, Zara.
When she returned to work a year later, some of her colleagues didn't even recognise her.
The 30-year-old from Bury, Greater Manchester, said she'd attempted to lose weight before but had always failed to stick to a regime. However her maternity leave provided her with the free time she needed to shed the pounds.
Porter, who works as a pensions officer, said that her pregnancy was classed as "high-risk" because she had a BMI of 46.
After Zara was born, something clicked inside the new mum and she knew she had to lose weight to become healthier.
"I had a year off work, so if I couldn't do it then, when would I? I just cracked on with it," she said, according to the Mail Online.
In four months, Porter lost four stone just by adopting a healthier eating plan. She then began exercising too, and the weight continued to fall off.
"By the time I went back to work last October I was doing five classes a week and one of my colleagues actually asked if I was new to the company. I've worked there for six years," she added.
Porter has managed to drop six dress sizes by swapping takeaway meals, beer and bacon sandwiches for lean meat, fish and vegetables. She now weighs 12st 3lb.
Four months into her maternity leave, the new mother began to incorporate exercise into her weight loss programme by taking her newborn daughter for mile-long walks in her stroller.
It wasn't long before she'd plucked up the courage to attend exercise classes, too.
Porter said that her dramatic weight loss has since transformed her life and made motherhood "so much easier", particularly as she's now able to play with her 22-month-old daughter without getting exhausted.
She added: "I'm back at work part-time now, which still allows me to have lots of time with Zara. But I always make sure I can fit in my five exercise classes. I'm never going to give them up."