The Fifth Trimester: Asking for What You Need — Episode #004 with Lauren Smith Brody

by Oct 8, 2017Entrepreneurship, Podcast, Returning to Work

Most new moms head back to work about 12 weeks after giving birth.

The problem is that this is often several months before women are physically and emotionally ready.

Scientific data and anecdotal evidence point to the six-month mark as the time when moms start to feel adept again (and for some women, it takes longer). The United States is one of the worst countries in the world (it’s in the bottom three, in fact), offering zero paid maternity leave for new parents. This often puts women, partners, and children in tricky to dire situations that don’t help with those early days of recovery and new life.

But return to work we do. Lauren Smith Brody, the founder of The Fifth Trimester movement and former editor of Glamour magazine, dubbed those sleep-deprived transition months after the newborn days the “Fifth Trimester.” Or: the period when the working mom is born.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, SpotifyStitcherCastboxGoogle Podcasts, PocketCasts, Overcast, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Ask for What You Need: The Fifth Trimester

The Startup PARENT Podcast — Episode #004

So how do we navigate this ‘fifth trimester’ when we’re still in the newborn haze?

By asking for the things we need.

When Lauren Smith Brody returned to work after having her first son, she was very transparent about what she was going through. As the executive editor of a prestigious magazine, she wanted to mentor younger colleagues and change the perception of parenthood in the workplace.

And after having her second son, Lauren was inspired to take her mentorship to the next level, making the shift from publishing to entrepreneurship. She wrote The Fifth Trimester, a book to help new and expectant mothers prepare for working motherhood. Today, Lauren shares her advice for new moms returning to work and her vision of ideal workplace culture. I ask her about the impetus for writing The Fifth Trimester, the shift from publishing to entrepreneurship, and what she would say to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Listen to learn what friends and family can do to support new moms, the concept of self-soothing for parents, and your most important job as a woman and a new mother: getting really good at asking for what you need—both at home and at the office.

 

Quotes from the episode:

LAUREN SMITH BRODY
  • “We are living in a time of amazing opportunity, but also in a time when expectations for working parents are just so out of line with reality.”
  • “It’s upsetting to know that in America, women are back at work before they are physically and emotionally ready to be there.”
  • “[Gender parity] has a trickle effect that affects everything at home and at work.”
  • “The only way we will shake out of the traditional pattern is if [men and women] take equal leave.”
Lauren Smith Brody - The Fifth Trimester

About Lauren Smith Brody:

Lauren Smith Brody had a 16-year career in publishing culminating in the role of Executive Editor for Glamour magazine. After becoming a mom, Lauren conceived of the Fifth Trimester Movement to help parents and businesses revolutionize workplace culture. Her bestseller, The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby was released in April 2017.

Resources:

 

Sponsor: Taskerly

Thank you to the sponsor of this episode: Taskerly! They’re a virtual assistant company that helps busy parents and entrepreneurs get more done at work by doing the things you can outsource of don’t have time for. Check them out at www.taskerly.co and mention the Startup Parent Podcast to get 10% off of your first three months working with them.

ABOUT THE STARTUP PARENT PODCAST

We're a weekly show that releases new episodes most Mondays at 5:30 A.M. Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or whenever you listen to podcasts. If you'd like to get new episodes delivered to you by email, sign up for the weekly newsletter with insights, strategies, and new ideas for working parents. If you'd like to sponsor the podcast, feel free to reach out.  Lastly, if you like what you hear definitely leave us a review on iTunes. 

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:

"Startup Parent's take on motherhood, work, and rejecting hustle culture is everything I need in my life right now."

"One of the only newsletters I always read."

"If I hear one more meaningless "productivity tip" I might scream. Your newsletter is always refreshing and honest."

ONLINE PARENT GROUPS 

Our private Startup Parent Facebook Community is for working moms navigating all things parenting, business, career, and children. We also have a brand-new Linked In Parenting Group for folks of all genders to join and share resources on parenting and business. Join us in one or both groups.

THE WISE WOMEN'S COUNCIL

Every year, we gather a group of women together to talk about pregnancy, parenting, marriage, partnership, work, business, children, and all the things that come up during this challenging season of life. Applications are now open. 

 

ASK SARAH — BONUS EPISODES AND FIRESIDE CHATS

If you’re a fan of this podcast, you’ll love the private, ask-me-anything conversations with Sarah. When you become a Patreon backer, you'll get a brand-new episode every single month. Click here to become a back and get immediate access to the episodes.

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY

How Brands Mess Up Marketing To Women — Episode #183 with Amber Anderson

How Brands Mess Up Marketing To Women — Episode #183 with Amber Anderson

Creative dynamo Amber Anderson is the founder of Tote & Pears, a branding and marketing agency with a female focus. For her, becoming an entrepreneur was about more than the business. It was about creating possibilities for her family, establishing a set of core values for her family, and aligning her business values and family needs holistically. We first interviewed Amber on Episode #029 all about the birth of her son and her business. We invite her back to talk about what marketing to women looks like, how brands and agencies can better understand their target audience, and how to build a business that works for you and your family. Tune in to this episode to hear returning guest Amber describe how she aligns family values with work values, the rebranding of her marketing to become female-focused, and why she is committed to keeping work and home life intertwined (while keeping her work weeks around 40-50 hours).

read more
Is The Pandemic Messing Up Our Kids? — Episode #182 with Dr. Courtney Bolton

Is The Pandemic Messing Up Our Kids? — Episode #182 with Dr. Courtney Bolton

How badly is this year, this pandemic, messing up our kids and us, as parents? After more than a year of living through social distancing, virtual school and blended schools, and highly restricted business activities, parents and children are suffering tremendously. We still don’t know what the long-term damage looks like, so I reached out to a parenting and children’s psychologist, Dr. Courtney Bolton, to ask her about how parents and kids will fare through all of this. Here’s what a psychologist says about the well being of parents and children in a pandemic, and how to help them (and yourself) through it.

read more
Raising Them: Gender Creative Parenting — Episode #174 with Dr. Kyl Myers

Raising Them: Gender Creative Parenting — Episode #174 with Dr. Kyl Myers

Dr. Kyl Myers holds a PhD in sociology and gender studies, and is an award-winning educator and a globally recognized advocate for gender creative parenting. Since 2016, Kyl has been speaking and writing about gender creative parenting and using their own parenting story to help the world learn about and embrace a new type of childhood. Dr. Myers is the author of Raising Them: Our Adventure In Gender Creative Parenting. Join us for a fascinating conversation about parenting, gender, and what we can do as parents to help reduce gender violence, oppression against women and men, and create a more playful world.

read more
Consistency, Batching, and Productivity: Why I Take An August Sabbatical

Consistency, Batching, and Productivity: Why I Take An August Sabbatical

A few years ago, when we first had children, my husband talked to his workplace about parental leave. He knew that while he’d like to be home during the first few weeks during and after the birth, he was also interested in being able to be around with his kids while they grew up. So, the summer after our first kid was born, he shifted his schedule to work from 8am to 4pm. From there, he advocated for taking a four-week leave every summer to spend time with his kids. We’re not taking a full sabbatical this year because of the pandemic, but we will still push pause on a few things where we can.

read more

Sarah K Peck

Founder, Startup Parent

Sarah Peck is a writer, startup advisor, and yoga teacher based in New York City. She’s the founder and executive director of Startup Parent, a media company documenting the stories of women’s leadership across work and family. She hosts the weekly Startup Parent Podcast and Let's Talk, her second podcast. Previously, she worked at Y Combinator backed One Month, Inc, a company that teaches people to code in 30 days, and before that she was a writing and communications consultant.

She’s a 20-time All-American swimmer who successfully swam the Escape from Alcatraz nine separate times, once wearing only a swim cap and goggles to raise $33k for charity: water. She’s written for more than 75 different web publications and and has delivered speeches and workshops at Penn, UVA, Berkeley, Harvard, Craft & Commerce, WDS, and more.