5 Common New-Mom Challenges

You Feel Fat

Turn on the TV or walk by any newsstand and you'll be bombarded by images of celebrity moms -- Halle, Christina, Julia -- each skinnier than the next. The result? New moms assume that squeezing into their pre-baby, size 6 jeans will be a piece of (rice) cake. Unfortunately, if you don't happen to have a full-time nanny and a personal trainer, it can take a while for your body to seem like your own again. "Mothers who lose the weight right away are in the minority," says Spiegel. "Most women take at least a year to get back to their pre-pregnancy size."

Even those who shed the pounds quickly may be shocked to discover that their body has morphed in other ways. "Childbirth comes with war wounds," says Kunhardt. "Suddenly, you've got varicose veins, your hips are wider, and your hair is falling out -- you may even be suffering from the baby blues."

How to cope: Remind yourself that the extra padding serves an important purpose: It helps store the energy and fat you need to successfully breastfeed. And while it's good to squeeze some exercise into your schedule when you can, try not to hyper-focus on losing weight. "Walking with your baby in the stroller is a great way to fit in exercise and relieve stress," says Spiegel. Finally, give your husband a little credit. "He probably won't even notice -- or care -- about those extra pounds or stretch marks," says Spiegel. "He just wants you two to reconnect as a couple."

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