You spent nine glorious months snacking on everything from peanut butter and pickle sandwiches to an entire rack of ribs. But not all the weight came from what you ate鈥 you did have a little human growing inside of you, after all. Even though it took three trimesters to gain the weight, you were kind of hoping that it would just melt away (like it seems to with Victoria鈥檚 Secret models). Well, it didn鈥檛 quite work out that way, and now you鈥檙e terrified that the weight is here to stay. Don鈥檛 worry. Here are five tips for how to relax and lose the weight in a totally healthy, stress-free way.

pregnant woman eating apple

1. Start with your doc. It鈥檚 tempting to jump right back into pilates or start a dramatic diet, but that鈥檚 not always the healthiest way to go. 鈥淣ew moms should first check with their doctor before starting to exercise or change eating habits, especially if they are breastfeeding and/or experienced a C-section,鈥 advises Kimberly A. Tessmer, RDN, LD.

2. Be inclusive. 鈥淚ncluding all food groups is essential,鈥 Kimberly says. This means making sure that you get enough fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats and seafood, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Even though you might want to skip a meal (or an entire food group) here or there, this won鈥檛 necessarily help you drop the baby weight 鈥 at least, not in a safe way.

3. Give yourself time. The thought of stepping onto the scale at your post-partum appointment kind of freaks you out. It鈥檚 only been six weeks, but you鈥檙e still not satisfied with how your weight loss is going. Celebs make it look so easy. They seem to pop back into shape within days of having their babies. But remember this: Everyone鈥檚 body is different. Do what feels right for you. 鈥淚f you were at a healthy weight before pregnancy, give your body time to get back to that healthy weight,鈥 Kimberly says. 鈥淭here is no need to rush it and put extra stress on your body.鈥

4. Take time for yourself. Yeah, yeah, we get it 鈥 easier said than done. But losing baby weight in a healthy way means that there are no shortcuts and no excuses. Starving yourself won鈥檛 get you to where you want to go and giving up isn鈥檛 an option. Even though you鈥檙e a crazy busy new mom, you can still squeeze in time to eat the right way. 鈥淯se the time when your baby is sleeping to prepare meals so that you have good nutritious meals and snacks on hand, and you don鈥檛 tend to snack on unhealthy foods,鈥 says Kimberly.

5. Stop comparing yourself to others. The always stylish, seemingly perfect mom down the street was back into her pre-baby jeans within weeks of giving birth, and you wish you could be like her. It鈥檚 time to put the negative thinking aside and get real. The truth is you really don鈥檛 know how she lost the weight. Maybe she went on a crash diet. (Kimberly recommends staying away from this type of extreme method, BTW.) Who knows, and really, who really cares? You鈥檙e not her. Stop comparing yourself to any other post-pregnancy body and start concentrating on how you can help yourself. You鈥檒l lose the weight in your own way and in your own time.

What鈥檚 your biggest post-pregnancy body fear? Share yours and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)