Having the baby was a milestone. You may have looked forward to it as a time when you'd be able to put all the uncomfortable, embarrassing and inconvenient pregnancy stuff behind you, too. You know: the liquids, the small indignities and all the things that start out funny but get old after a while. The truth is that most of the body issues are relatively short-term inconveniences. A few weeks, a month or even a year after the baby's born, they're history, a side note in the baby book.
It's natural to feel discouraged at the tummy pooch and the stretch marks that aren't fading as fast as your mother promised they would. A new baby can be rewarding, frustrating, tiring -- very, very tiring -- exasperating, humbling and awe-inspiring. Your body made that baby possible. Think about that the next time you're confronted with a full length mirror, a sore spot you can't quite disregard or a sink full of hair that was attached to your head a few brief moments ago. Your outlook can't firm up those abdominal muscles, but it can make the cosmetic issues and body image disappointments less significant by putting them in perspective.