Check Out These
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
See the List

The Fifth Trimester

  • Hardcover $25.95

    Apr 04, 2017 | 352 Pages

  • Ebook $12.99

    Apr 04, 2017 | 352 Pages

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Product Details

Get news about books and more from Penguin Random House

Praise

“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-author of 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 – Smith 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 Trimester is 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

“The practical and entertaining read covers everything from finding the right schedule to pump breast milk at the office, to effectively dealing with postpartum depression, to adjusting your postpartum work wardrobe….so much helpful advice.”
–Seattle Times

“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 addition to discussing solemn subjects like postpartum depression, Brody makes her readers laugh…Working moms will find a wealth of ideas to help navigate the challenging transition period in this friendly and practical guide.”
–Publishers Weekly 

Author Q&A

What is the Fifth Trimester?
It’s when the working mom is born. The first three trimesters are pregnancy, of course, and the fourth is the newborn haze/phase, but the Fifth Trimester is the transition back to work after maternity leave. The majority of new moms in the U.S. have to return to work several months before they’re physically and emotionally ready, so the transition is fraught and tricky. But with the right approach and support, it can set women up for lifelong career and family satisfaction.

How is this book different than other books about becoming a parent?
There’s so much information out there about pregnancy and babycare, and there are good work/life balance books too, but there’s nothing else that gives advice from the trenches about this specific, crucial time in a mom’s life in such a judgement-free way. Pump, don’t pump. Go back full time, part time, work at home. It’s all good! I interviewed waitresses, doctors, CEOs, police officers, and found a through-line of camaraderie and just great advice. Whatever works for your family is the right answer. My job is simply to give new moms the tools and options they need, to show them that they do have choices, and that new moms come back to work with incredibly applicable skills that they can be proud of.

What real life events inspired The Fifth Trimester movement, for you?
I was executive editor at Glamour magazine when I had my two boys (now 8 and 5), and it was a delightfully supportive environment. And yet, the transition back was brutally hard for me. I knew, even back then, that there was a book and a movement to be made to make things easier.  The book was born out of a desperation, but its message is one of optimism and teamwork. I wish I had had this book when I needed it!

Looking for More Great Reads?
Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now
Back to Top