Another virtue when it comes to shedding the baby weight? Patience. “ I always tell women 9 months on, 9 months off,” says Nancy Kraus. Women don’t gain their baby weight overnight, and they shouldn’t expect to lose it overnight either. The process can take time, and the last thing you want to do is put both mother and child in harm’s way by focusing on weight loss instead of the health, happiness, and general well-being of the family. Give your body credit for what it’s accomplished—for (approximately) nine months, you’ve helped a little human being thrive and grow, and you’ve ushered that little being into the world. It’s nothing short of a miracle, and you and your body deserve all of the praise in the world.

*The names in this article have been changed.