56 minutes | Dec 4th 2019

The Fifth Trimester with Lauren Smith Brody

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What if moms were granted the kind of parental leave they really needed to heal from childbirth, care for baby, and return to work? Lauren Smith Brody thinks it would completely change the lives of new parents—and everyone around them.

Most parents have to go back to work months before they’re emotionally and physically ready, missing out on an important developmental phase. When Lauren had her first child, she realized that phase needed a name, and a movement—so she launched The Fifth Trimester to help parents and businesses transform workplace culture together.

It shouldn’t be on women necessarily, and it shouldn’t be on moms necessarily, to have to make these big cultural corrections just because they’re the ones who need it in this moment. It's really on all of us.
—Lauren Smith Brody, author and founder of The Fifth Trimester

We talk about:

  • Why openly talking about being a parent at work is so critical. “Coming back to work as a new mother was my first day on the job all over again in many, many ways...I didn't know how to do my job and be a mom at the same time. I felt like a newbie and I just decided to expose that all over the place as much as I could and make it ok.”
  • How asking for what you need as a new parent can actually help everyone in your workplace. “Try to remember that this is not something that you are asking for for you, your family, in this moment. This is a plan for how you will get your job done. But also, any flexibility that you're able to win is really a win for everybody around you.”
  • Why reckoning with our racist and capitalist past is the only way we can fundamentally change the system. “Racism so clearly impacts the access to support and even just obviously simple good health and the right to good health that American workers have. ...So very often you'll see that a company has gotten headlines for providing, you know, so-and-so is going to now have, you know, 12 paid weeks of family leave. Great. Who actually has access to that?”

Plus: committing to becoming better advocates for people who have kids and digging a little deeper into the very real impact slavery’s history still has on our country today.

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