Lauren Smith Brody is, first and foremost, an eternal optimist. As a seasoned writer, producer, consultant, public speaker and mother extraordinaire, Lauren makes it a point to spread positivity daily, in everything she does. Doing so makes the inevitable hustle and bustle of the day so much more pleasant, and yields greater results in all tasks.
Like many other women juggling a busy household, hectic work schedule, and social life (in heels, mind you), Lauren initially struggled with returning back to work after maternity leave. She was lucky to have the assistance and support of friends and family, but wished for a thoughtful guide to help her navigate that important transitional period.
This epiphany would eventually lead to the creation of The Fifth Trimester, as well as the accompanying book: The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby. The book is brimming with helpful advice, tips, and anecdotes to help working mothers navigate their new lives.
I got the chance to talk business and motherhood with Lauren, and tapped her to share the wisdom she’s picked up along the way.
Tell us about how The Fifth Trimester came to fruition:
My own expectations for new motherhood, and new working motherhood specifically, were sky high—and I ended up having a real crisis of emotion and identity coming back to work as an executive at a big media company. Ultimately, I made it through, thanks to my supportive colleagues, husband, and friends, but I wished I’d had a guide. This book, which is packed with data from 700+ women, 100 more deep interviews, and dozens of scientific studies, is exactly that. It delivers science and strategies, but also a lot of camaraderie and humor and hope. I wanted to support women in all kinds of family and career circumstances, giving guidance about how to change policies from within your own workplace, but also giving permission to those women who might not feel like leaning in at this challenging transitional moment. I wanted them to know that, hey, look, even just being transparent about the challenges and triumphs of new working parenthood DOES move the needle on workplace culture. One mom at a time, we can make things better for everyone.