The Fifth Trimester — 053

Apr 9

Today’s guest, Lauren Smith Brody is the Founder of The Fifth Trimester Movement and author of The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Success After Baby. She worked in the publicity industry for many years as an Editor for Glamour Magazine. During her first pregnancy, she found there to be a lack of resources for women who are transitioning back into their careers after having children. Determined to make a difference, she began to research ways to help companies better support women during their childbearing years.  “The Fifth Trimester” was born – focusing on the transitional and critical stage of going back to work.

Culturally, the United States falls short of what she considers to be the gold standard in maternity/paternity leave for a mother’s emotional health and a baby’s physical needs. Her foundation works to promote deep cultural shifts in corporations on the financial viability of retaining women in the workplace after childbirth.

As a woman who has experienced the transition twice and who consults with tech giants on the subject, she shares her tips for negotiating with employers, making self-care a priority and ways to create a cultural shift around motherhood.

Lauren gets vulnerable with us as she shares the struggles and joys of her own journey, what she did different the second time around, and how women don’t have to just accept the “way things are” even when change seems impossible.  

Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!

Banner photo by Nancy Borowick


In This Episode:

  • How we can better support ourselves and coworkers in the transition back to work

  • How organizations can retain working women after childbirth

  • Why paternity leave is as important as maternity leave

  • What to do if a workplace is not culturally parenthood adapted

  • The importance of working together to change cultural norms

  • The importance of valuing parenting as actual work

  • Why it’s a good idea to make friends with moms in other industries

  • What the gold standard for parental leave should be

  • How to negotiate creative ways to ease back into work

  • How intermittent leaves can ease the transition back to work

  • How new mothers can start the work day with less hassle

  • How to fit self-care into your daily commute

  • How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful


Show Notes:

Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members

The Fifth Trimester Website

The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Success After Baby, by Lauren Smith Brody






About Our Guest:

Photo by Nancy Borowick

Lauren Smith Brody is the author of The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Success After Baby (Doubleday/Anchor) and the founder of The Fifth Trimester consulting, which helps parents and businesses collaborate to create a more family-friendly workplace culture. The Fifth Trimester has been featured on Good Morning America,, Fast Company, and dozens more outlets, and Lauren has been a featured speaker at companies and organizations including Facebook, Fried Frank, The New York Times, Google, American Express, and more. A longtime leader in the women’s magazine industry, Lauren was most recently the executive editor of Glamour magazine, where she ran the editorial staff and produced the magazine’s annual Women of the Year awards, honoring luminaries like Dr. Maya Angelou and Hillary Clinton. Raised in Ohio, Texas, and Georgia, she now lives in New York City with her husband and two young sons.


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