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The Fifth Trimester is your new best friend: a brilliant no-BS guide that helps moms cope with the demands of the real world after the baby arrives

The first three trimesters (and the fourth—those blurry newborn days) are for the baby, but the Fifth Trimester is when the working mom is born. No matter what the job or how you define work, you’re going to have a lot of questions.

(click cover to read the mother of all checklists)

(click cover to read the mother of all checklists)

When will I go back? How should I manage that initial “I want to quit” attack? Flex-time or full-time? How can I achieve 50/50 at home with my partner? What’s the best option for childcare? Is it possible to look like I slept for eight hours instead of three? And . . . why is there never a convenient space to pump?

Whether you’re in the final stages of pregnancy or hitting the panic button on your last day of leave, The Fifth Trimester is your one-stop shop for the honest, funny, and comforting tips, to-do lists, and take-charge strategies you’ll need to embrace your new identity as a working parent and set yourself up for success.

Based on interviews and input from 700+ candidly speaking moms in wildly varied fields, along with expert advice and real science, The Fifth Trimester tackles every personal and professional detail with the wit, warmth, and inspiration you need to...

  • Decide on the best type of childcare, and help you feel comfortable leaving your newborn.

  • Manage your new sense of identity at work.

  • Get to 50/50 at home with your partner.

  • Ask for and get: flex time, different job duties, help with post-partum mood issues, better space for pumping breastmilk—everything you need now.

  • Figure out if you should start your own (!) business.

  • Feel great in your post-pregnancy body (and closet).

And no judgments along the way! Whether you've got six days or six months of maternity leave; whether you want to "lean in" ambitiously, or tap the brakes for the moment and try just hard enough, The Fifth Trimester will help you change your workplace culture now.

Because it's all good. Move up the ladder and improve parental policies at your workplace—or just bring your whole new-mom self to work so you can proudly prove: Getting through your Fifth Trimester sets you up for lifelong work and family success. 


“This is not a book you should read – it’s a book you MUST read if you are returning to work after the birth of a child.  Lauren Smith Brody provides real news that you cannot only immediately use, but that also will help you to maintain your sanity during The Fifth Trimester!  I loved it and you will too.”  
–Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., author of New York Times bestselling Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office and co-authorof Nice Girls Just Don’t Get It

“Motherhood can be joyful, exhausting, confusing, wondrous and isolating all at the same time. Now try going back to work. That’s where Lauren Smith Brody’s The Fifth Trimester is an invaluable guide. Filled with practical advice and the stories of hundreds of women – informative, hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking – Brody makes the case that the absolute lack of public policy to support working families makes an already tough situation worse. And while we need to work to change that, in the meantime, she makes clear: you’re not alone, you’re not crazy, and she’s got your back.”
 —Brigid Schulte, author of the New York Times bestselling Overwhelmed: Work, Love & Play When No One has the Time and director of The Better Life Lab at New America

“Returning to work can be challenging, but Lauren is a friendly and reassuring guide with a simple message: You can do this. It will get better. Packed with helpful tips and inspiring stories, The Fifth Trimesteris the manual new moms need for succeeding on the job and in life.” 
–Laura Vanderkam, author of I Know How She Does It and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

"Brody writes nimbly and wisely about a subject she is well versed in: the conflicts, struggles, and triumphs of returning to work after having a baby... In 12 solution-packed chapters, Brody covers (among many other topics) childcare, sleep deprivation, wardrobe, breast-pumping, and dad’s involvement, basing her advice not only on her own experiences but on input from more than 700 survey respondents. In addition to discussing solemn subjects such as postpartum depression, Brody makes her readers laugh...The meatiest chapter is the last, in which Brody provides tips for communicating with employers. Working moms will find a wealth of ideas to help navigate the challenging transition period."
–Publishers Weekly

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