Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Maternity Leave

Maternity Leave

A Novel

Julie Halpern

Square Fish



Trade Paperback

Julie Halpern's Maternity Leave tells the profane, profound and just plain funny story of a professional woman who thinks she's ready for a baby but her maternity leave proves otherwise.

Thirty six year old Annie Schwartz-Jensen is a middle school teacher on maternity leave-a time she imagined as uninterrupted, blissful bonding with her baby. Instead she is dealing with her body leaking from every possible orifice, a baby who won't sleep, a husband who still wants to have sex with her (is he nuts??), single friends who are clueless, and a mother who picked now to take a vacation. The only people who REALLY understand Annie are the wonderful people she spends sleepless nights with on QVC: Keep those velveteen table runners and non-jiggle stretch pants coming!

As Annie navigates life with her new baby, she realizes that not all Mommies are created equal. But she is determined to find her way, love her baby, her husband, herself---even if she has to wear nipple protectors for the rest of her child-bearing life.


"I don't think I've seen that position before." I'm draped over the top half of an L-shaped hospital bed, kneeling spread-eagle and hugging the pillow for dear life. Every time a contraction ends, I'm so exhausted I could fall asleep. The wave...


Praise for Maternity Leave

“Those first few days after you’ve popped out your brand-new baby are epic, and author Julie Halpern depicts this roller coaster with wit, warmth, and authenticity in her novel Maternity Leave. Edgy yet still breezy, this novel flies by faster than those weeks on maternity leave. Read it with a baby on your boob for relatable belly laughs.” -PARENTS Magazine

“It is exactly what its title suggests: the story of a first maternity leave, of coming to grips with that all-consuming yet often maddening few weeks after the arrival of a baby. This is a book for readers who did not love their child's infancy; if that's you, expect flashbacks.” -New York Times's Motherlode

“The novel follows a 36-year-old middle school teacher who humorously attempts to navigate maternity leave, body issues, childless friends and late night QVC watching following the birth of her child” -The Chicago Tribune

“Hilarious and perceptive.” -Library Journal

“Maternity Leave is the laugh-out-loud funny novel you'll beg all your "mommy" friends to read, and also a keenly observed portrayal of the most challenging time of life, so complex and unpredictable that all the parenting how-to books in the world aren't enough to prep you for -the first three months of your child's life.” -Julia Fierro author of Cutting Teeth

Maternity Leave is a hilarious, poignant, almost painfully accurate look at the first few months of motherhood. . . . I loved this book!” -Maddie Dawson, author of The Opposite of Maybe

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Julie Halpern

Julie Halpern is the author of several young adult novels and one picture book for young readers. Maternity Leaveis her first novel for adults. Prior to her life as full-time mom and author, Julie was a school librarian. In her imaginary spare time, she enjoys traveling, watching television for grown-ups, and eating baked goods. Julie lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, author and illustrator Matthew Cordell, and their two children.

Julie Halpern

Kristina Hulliberger

From the Publisher

Square Fish

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