Having a baby is a life-changing and rewarding experience, but it does come with its challenges. One thing many women struggle with after pregnancy is loving themselves again, especially when it comes to self-image—myself included.

When my daughter was born, the love I felt for her was indescribable, but the love I felt for myself when I looked in the mirror was almost nonexistent. I was not happy with the way I looked.

And the unhappier I got with my self-image, the more I struggled to lose weight. So there I was more than a year later, having lost only five pounds of the weight I’d gained while I was pregnant.

Then I started a new Bible study at my church and one lesson really stuck with me. It talked about confidence, and I felt like God was trying to tell me something.

The verse we focused on was, “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (Songs of Songs 4:7). This passage echoed in my mind, and gave me the motivation I needed to continue working out consistently, challenge myself to adopt a healthier lifestyle, and do things that bring me joy and confidence.

While I know that I still have a long way to go to meet my fitness goals, I’ve learned to celebrate each pound lost, embrace the journey and love myself for the effort I’m putting into getting there.

The journey to self-love after pregnancy is not easy and can be long, but here are some things to remember along the way:

Each stretch mark and pound gained is worth it.

Whenever I get discouraged, I look at my daughter. When she smiles at me, I remember that she is worth every pound I gained and every stretch mark that appeared. She loves me, and deserves a mom who loves herself, too.

Hopefully in seeing us practice self-love, our kids will always remember to do the same, no matter what life throws in their way.

God loves you and is with you every step of the way.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

When you are struggling with self-image, reflect on this verse and the sacrifice the Lord made. He loved us so much, and wants us to do the same.

It’s also important to remember that we are not alone on the path to self-love and confidence.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). The Lord is always there.

You are enough.

Even on challenging parenting days, know that you are a good mother. No matter the weight on the scale or what you see in the mirror, remember that you are beautiful. When you are doubting your self-worth, know that you are enough.