woman pinching stomachWhile it may seem like every Sunset-Strip-starlet turned Malibu-mama dropped all her baby weight by the time she made it home from the hospital, she didn’t. (Have you heard of Photoshop?).

And even if she did, she’s got an entourage of help. (“Hey, have you met everyone? This is my personal chef, my trainer, my nutritionist, my stylist, my hairdresser, my make-up artist, my yoga teacher, my shiatsu practitioner… and, oh yeah, my low-fat smoothie maker.”)

So where does that leave you? Luckily, it turns out you don’t need your own entourage to start getting in shape again.

We’ve got some tips—and postpartum exercises—to get you started:

Consider starting off with some postpartum exercises. There are lots of postpartum exercises for your abs and core, your back and arms and, yes, your butt, that you can do with your baby by your side, and without joining the gym.

Walking is still one of the best forms of exercise. And, it’s a free and easy way to incorporate exercise into your everyday activities and give your baby a bit of fresh air. (And, yes, walking at the mall works just as well.)

Also make sure you’re eating right. It might be true that you need some extra calories if you’re breastfeeding, but those extra breastfeeding calories shouldn’t necessarily come from Ding Dongs and Doritos. And no matter how you’re feeding your baby, keep healthy snacks for yourself within easy reach (some precut veggies, whole grain crackers or nuts, for example). It’s easy to get so caught up in parenthood that you end up stuffing yourself with unhealthy foods at any convenient time, and being prepared to eat well can be a huge help in getting your pre-baby body back.

Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. Even if that skinny young thing at the park had a baby the same age as yours, it doesn’t mean you’ll never get your pre-baby body back. Hate her for a minute, if you must, but try to focus on your own postpartum goals.