Fifth Trimester: Why This Whole New ‘Mom Thing’ Is Causing Stress To Many Moms

By Charlize Walters, Parent Herald March 23, 06:11 am
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The fifth trimester takes place when maternity leave ends and when the child is about 3-months-old.
(Photo : Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Have you ever heard about the fifth trimester in motherhood? The first, second and third trimesters are terms often used in pregnancy but there are also such things as fourth and fifth trimesters, which are currently the talk-of-the-town among many mothers.

The fourth trimester refers to the very challenging initial weeks of motherhood. The fifth trimester, on the other hand, takes place when maternity leave ends and when the child is about 3-months-old. But according to Romper, this phase also brings challenges to new moms.

Since the fifth trimester is a phase of transition and adjustments between one's new role as a mom and her responsibilities at work (for working moms), this parenting stage is also a "period of stress" for many mothers. The reason? The idea of balancing work or career and family can be difficult, leaving several moms feeling overworked and exhausted.

There are also other reasons why the fifth trimester is the hardest and Crazy Like A Mom sum it up by giving five reasons. Among the reasons cited are exhaustion, the feeling of being alone, the rapid, sudden and sometimes unbearable changes, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the thought that parenting never really gets easier.

New moms, however, should not fret or worry as they are not alone in their journey. Even though there are more hard times to come, moms can seek some advice through Lauren Smith Brody's upcoming book titled, "The Fifth Trimester," which will provide practical advises for working mothers who want to learn how to balance motherhood, work life and having a peace of mind all at the same time.

Aside from the book, Olivia Youngs also wrote an article via Romper about how moms should prepare for the fifth trimester. Youngs said learning the preparations for the said stage will guide moms to deal with it with ease.

So, to avoid having the messy moments in motherhood, Youngs suggested mothers to be prepared for mixed emotions. She also added that new moms should expect that their bodies keep on changing. But they should also get as much rest as they can, plan to prioritize time with the baby, ditch the feeling of guilt, always have a plan and lastly, expect daily routine changes.

Are you a mom who is currently experiencing the challenges of the fifth trimester? Please share your thoughts and experiences below.

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