Who is that in the mirror? Oh, that's me.

After nine months of being stretched from without and kicked from within, moms are undoubtedly ready to get their bodies back. But if it took 9 months to gain the 20, 30 even 65 pounds, you can’t expect the weight to just melt right off. Can you?

It’s pretty miraculous how celebrities look as good as new within a few short weeks of delivery. Just look at Megan Fox this week! Fashion magazines and blogs alike show the before and after pictures of celeb new moms, leaving most of us regular folk mystified about their weight loss after pregnancy.

“How’d she lose 35 pounds in 4 weeks?”

“Why does she look like she was never pregnant!?!”

Ever find yourself asking these or similar questions? You have to remember that part of every star’s job is to always look fit. They can afford to hire the best personal trainers, chefs and other experts to whip them into shape quickly.  Hollywood acting gigs don’t wait for a new mom to lose her baby weight naturally.

So when you find yourself standing and staring at your completely nude body in the mirror, you should try not to scowl at the newfound stretch marks, love handles and other extra pouches that you didn’t have before you became a mom. These are your battle scars.

To say you should wear them with pride may be pushing it a bit. But you can certainly try to be more forgiving to the woman in the mirror.

I found the hardest part of looking at my post-baby figure was getting used to the C-section scar. I could handle the extra softness around the middle (it’s amazing what you can disguise with Spanx and stylish nursing tops/pumping shirts) but the tender red line with its newly formed muffin top wasn’t a beautiful sight to say the least. And it was so uncomfortable. It was slightly numb and tingly to the touch. It was also a permanent change – one I hadn’t ever planned on having.

Breastfeeding really did wonders in helping me shed the 60 pounds of extra weight I’d gained with my pregnancy. And soon I began to fit into pre-pregnancy clothes. I even started to look better than I had prior to getting pregnant in the first place…in clothes. Standing naked in front of that mirror was a whole different story.

I’ve now come to terms with the fact that tankinis will likely forever replace the bikinis in my bathing suit wardrobe. I know that it’s risky to buy low-rise jeans because skin will undoubtedly seep out the top in an unflattering manner. I accept that my breasts will not have the bounce and fullness they once did. Thank you gravity.

And I’m okay with it all because I have my child.

Sure, it’s sounds cliché. But every parent knows that their world will be forever changed when they have kids. Alterations to a mom’s body are just part of that change.

I’m not saying you have to love your love handles. In fact, why the heck are they called love handles anyway? There’s nothing about them to love. But what I am suggesting is that you cut yourself some slack. You just created a miracle and gave birth to a baby. Give yourself a pat on the back (or tummy) for a job well done.

The information contained on this site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant.