Former Strictly dancer Kristina Rihanoff has revealed she found the first month of motherhood “really challenging”.

The professional dancer said it took “six or seven weeks” until she started feeling like herself after giving birth to Mila in June.

Writing in her Hello! blog, she said: “That first month of motherhood as a first-time mum was really challenging to be honest. It wasn’t an easy first month at all. I started feeling myself after about six or seven weeks.

“I can openly say that some days are amazing but some days I felt a little down. You feel like you can’t even get up and cook something or walk around because you don’t have the energy.”

(Rui Viera/AP)

Rihanoff praised her mother and husband Ben Cohen for their support.

She wrote: “I’m so happy that I had my mum and Ben next to me. They were so supportive and helpful and I cannot imagine doing it on my own. I take my hat off to mothers who are doing it without any help!”

(Rui Viera/AP)

She also said she was determined to get back in shape and started exercising again six weeks after giving birth.

She wrote: “So many people told me I was going to bounce back and get my dancer’s body back. But your body just goes through a crazy transformation during pregnancy and after labour. It took me a while to get used to exercising but once I got back into it I felt okay. It was after about six weeks.

“I started doing walking again and light exercises. I would take Mila for a walk in the park and that would be my time to exercise. Everyone said you will have no time to do anything and it’s true. But I thought I had to do some kind of exercise so I’ve been using my pram like a ballet bar!

“You have to be clever with your time, sometimes you only have 20 or 30 minutes but it’s better than nothing. At the beginning I felt a little bit bad because I would always exercise for about an hour but as a mum, you really don’t have that luxury of time. To all the mums in the same position as me I say give yourselves a break, you’re doing great!”