How to Prepare for Another Baby after Postpartum Depression

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression

Many women are afraid of suffering from postpartum depression after the birth of a child, but none more than a mother who has already experienced it before.  

It goes without saying that any mother who has suffered from postpartum depression would never willingly want to put themselves through that kind of torture again.

But while the idea of having another baby after postpartum depression feels like a suicide mission, a significant amount of women go on to have more children after being diagnosed.

This means that, while it might seem preposterous at the time, there is hope for a full and bright future filled with all the children we dreamed of having.


Read my full story here

With my first child, I experienced a mild case of the baby blues, followed by full blown postpartum depression with my second child.

But upon the birth of my third child – despite experiencing months of bed rest and hospitalization due to hyperemesis gravidarum just as I had with the first two – I was spared from any postpartum mood disorder whatsoever.

At the time, I was certain I was just “lucky” or perhaps I had suffered enough and deserved a break for a change.  But in hindsight, I realize that there were a few significant things that changed in my lifestyle and way of thinking that contributed to the fact that I did not suffer from postpartum depression with my third baby.

Here is my best advice for how to Prepare for Another Baby after Postpartum Depression

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression
*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


Seek Treatment

If you don’t already have an established treatment plan for your postpartum depression, then this is the first step.

[Related post Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression]

Once your treatment plan is in place, don’t deviate from it – even if you start to feel better.

If you never initially sought treatment for your postpartum depression but feel like it is under control – it is still worth seeing a doctor, therapist, counselor or other health professional to discuss your options should you experience a relapse of symptoms.

Is your treatment plan safe for pregnancy and/or breastfeeding?

Many women avoid pharmaceutical treatments because they want to continue breastfeeding (myself included) and most women avoid pharmaceuticals during pregnancy due to the lack of testing.

[Read about how I chose to breastfeed instead of starting anti-depressants.]

So if your normal treatment plan includes anti-depressants then you may need to create a back-up plan.

There are many other safe and natural treatment options available can help to reduce some of the guilt that so often affects mothers who give up breastfeeding in order to take anti-depressants.


End Your Depression Book

The End Your Depression E-Book discusses treatment plans that can help you battle postpartum depression without the use of anti-depressants. 

Click here to get more info on how it can help you: www.runningintriangles.com/endyourdepression


Eliminate Triggers

In the post How to Avoid a Postpartum Depression Relapse I list off some common triggers and how they cause symptoms to reappear long after treatment has begun.

Before adding a new baby to the family, it’s worth considering what triggers your postpartum depression symptoms and trying your best to eliminate them ahead of time.

Financial or marital problems should be worked out in order to avoid added stress.  Illnesses, chronic pain, nutrient deficiencies and the overall state of your health should be addressed.

While many triggers will be unavoidable, if you can be in top mental and physical shape prior to getting pregnant again, then you will be more prepared should postpartum depression strike again.

Read the full list of triggers here

Document Your Feelings

Writing down everything you’ve gone through can help you to remember what your experience was like at a later date.  Sometimes the things we feel in the heat in the moment can easily be sorted out when our mind is clearer.

If you wrote down any of your thoughts or feelings in a journal of some sort during your first round of postpartum depression, then you should take some time to re-read those entries prior to have another baby and see if they give you some insight.

If you do end up struggling with postpartum depression again after another baby, then document your feelings again so that you can compare both experiences and see if there is a common factor or trigger that you can work on.

You can download this free printable PDF to help you document your journey:

Click to download!

If you’d prefer something that gives you an outlet for more expression, then this bullet journal bundle from Blitsy is a great option to get started.
blitsy.com

[Get free shipping! http://runningintriangles.com/bulletjournalbundle]


Speak Up

Can you relate to these reasons?

I know, I know, I’m always talking about how women need to speak up about postpartum depression… but it really makes all the difference!

There are so many reasons why we keep silent about postpartum depression but if we stand any chance of defeating it and avoiding it again, then people need to KNOW about it.

The more we talk about it, the less taboo it becomes.  We need to stop living in the shadow of postpartum depression – it’s the only way we can eliminate it’s power over us.

If you’re thinking about having another baby after postpartum depression, then everyone in your life should already know about your previous battle with postpartum depression.  It shouldn’t be a shameful secret, but rather a badge of honor.

Tell them what you need

In addition to your loved ones, your doctor or midwife should know that you suffered from postpartum depression with a previous baby if they don’t already.

Knowing that you have a support system already in place in the event that you suffer the same unfortunate fate again, will help you to prepare for having another baby after postpartum depression.

Make sure you are specific about the kind of help you will need.  See this list if you need help figuring it out [14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression]


Make Sure You’re Ready

Why do you want another baby?  Is it because you’ve always dreamed of having more?  Do you feel like you need to provide a sibling for your child to grow up with?  Does your spouse or partner want another baby?  Do you feel your biological clock ticking?

I’m not saying that any of these reasons are wrong reasons to have a child, as long as it’s what you really want.

If you feel pressured in any way to have another baby, it might be time to do a little soul searching and think carefully if the time is right.

I can give you thousands of tips on how to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression, but unless you are ready – none of them will help.

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression
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Become a Warrior

Speaking up is only the first step to battling postpartum depression.  If it has affected your life – don’t let it get away so easily.  The best way to fight against postpartum depression is to take a stand and help destroy the stigma that surrounds it.

Research postpartum depression and other maternal mental health conditions:

Postpartum Support International

WebMD Postpartum Depression Health Center

Reference.com Postpartum Depression Articles 

Donate to Postpartum Support International 

Participate in this free Postpartum Depression Research Study to help determine the genetic link.

Join postpartum depression support groups on Facebook or an online forum

Tell your postpartum depression story

The more you know about, and are involved with, the postpartum depression community, the better you will be at defeating at.


The truth is, if you’ve suffered from postpartum depression before, the chances of suffering from it again are high.  While you may not be able to avoid postpartum depression the second time around, being prepared and educated will help you handle the symptoms and know when and where to turn for help.

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression

How to Prepare for Another Baby After Postpartum Depression

Kara’s Postpartum Depression Story

Here is a heartfelt and emotional postpartum depression story by Kara Wellman of Moms Gone Outdoors.

Kara’s struggle will resonate with a lot of young mothers who never expected postpartum depression to happen to them.  She didn’t start getting better until she decided to take control and put effort into her treatment, finally finding something that worked for her.

Accepting and acknowledging postpartum depression is the first step on a long road to recovery.

I hope you are inspired by Kara’s story…

A guest post by Kara Wellman of www.momsgoneoutdoors.com

*This post may contain affiliate links* *This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of www.runningintriangles.com. Due to the nature of the topic, this post may contain graphic details that some may find disturbing.


My story of postpartum depression started in a quiet hospital room, early on a Thursday afternoon in May. I was twenty years old and had just finished my last final of the semester the morning before. It was 2:24 pm when they handed her soft, tiny body up to me. I had barely felt the labor, and I barely felt anything as she rested on my chest.

I remember thinking that I should be crying, like all the beautiful women captured in the first moments of motherhood by birth photographers. I didn’t have one those. I just had my husband to one side, my mother to the other, and my 17-year-old sister hiding behind her iPad since attending the birth was just barely better than a day stuck in school.

It’s not to say that I didn’t love her then. I mean, she pooped all over my hand and I didn’t even care. If you knew me, you’d understand how big of a deal that is. I loved her, but I was young. I was still trying to fathom the gravity of what just happened.

As all my friends were gearing up for a summer of secret night-drinking and lazy river-beach days, I was learning how to breast feed and budgeting diapers out of our paychecks. They had their lives in front of them, and I had my daughter’s in front of me.

The PPD was something that snuck up.

I didn’t have a history of mental illness, and that fact made it very difficult to recognize the symptoms. The first time I talked to a doctor was when she was six months old. I had what I thought was a panic attack during our road-trip to see my husband’s family in Montana. I was given an anti-anxiety med to take as I needed. I think I only ever took three pills from that bottle.

Later, I’d find out that what I experienced then, was nothing compared to what I’d let myself go through in the future.

As life moved on and my beautiful little girl grew, so much of my life crashed down around me. I’m a perfectionist by nature, which I fully believe was one of the biggest contributing factors.

I felt I needed to be super-human, super-mom, super-student, super-everything.

At one point, I maintained a 4.0 in college as an English major, worked three part-time jobs, did all the cooking and cleaning, and raised my daughter.

But, my credit score was plummeting as I charged my over-expensive organic grocery bills and filled my closet with clothes just because getting a package in the mail gave me a joyous rush.

My weight jumped up and down as I’d binge for a few weeks, then starve myself for others.

My marriage started to crumble, as my husband didn’t understand why I was so upset all the time and was preoccupied with the recent death of his mother.  I even told him I didn’t love him anymore. I realized later that it wasn’t that I didn’t love him, but that I didn’t feel anything anymore.

we often push away the ones we need the most

I went to the doctor on and off. I went to a counselor on and off. I took different medications. I tried different forms of birth control. Nothing changed. I’d have high-functioning anxiety during the semester and crash into depression during every break.

It got to the point where I held a knife blade to my wrists after one grueling week of work, and bills, and papers due. I pressed lightly as tears streamed down my face, chest heaving. It was the lowest I had ever felt. It was about 3:45 in the afternoon. I had to pick up my daughter from daycare at 4. It was the only thing that made me fold the knife back, and set it on the table.
I held her extra close that night. I knew I needed to do something to help myself. If not for me at that point, then for her.



I went to a new doctor and was given another brand of medication. I also started to put effort into researching different options. I didn’t want to be on a daily medication forever, so I started a yoga practice and promised myself I would get outside to walk more.

I didn’t feel much of a change until we went on another road trip the following summer— this time to the Oregon coast and through Montana on our way home. We hiked every day, by the ocean, through tall pine forests, and to waterfalls hidden in the mountains.

I was exhausted the end of every day, but I felt happy. It was a genuine happiness that I hadn’t felt in years. I knew I had found my saving grace.

The mountains, rivers, plains, and trees. They were what I needed. Each step I took on those days brought me closer to the point of healing. While I will never assume what worked for me will work for everyone, nor that getting outside is all that is needed to heal a major depressive disorder, I know it can help. And I think it can help everyone. Bathing in the glory of nature can help start the healing processes.

I’m 24 now. In September, I gave birth to my second daughter. I’m still young, but this labor, I felt everything—every moment, every pain, every burn. I cried as she laid her head on my chest, with her dark eyes looking up at me.

I have every second since I decided to put that knife down to thank for that quiet, beautiful moment with her. I can’t say that PPD won’t recur this time around, but never again will I let it try to take my life. My girls, my husband, and I have too many trails left to see.

[Read more from Kara at www.momsgoneoutdoors.com]


If you have a postpartum depression story to share, Running in Triangles wants to help.

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
Click here for more information

How to Avoid a Postpartum Depression Relapse

Postpartum depression isn’t a matter solely for mothers of newborn babies.  It’s a lifelong struggle.  Even with treatment, a postpartum depression relapse can happen years after the sleep deprivation and breastfeeding days are over.

The best way to describe it is to imagine that a depression gene is lurking somewhere within you.  In some people, it is never triggered and lays dormant their entire life.  In others, it’s triggered during childhood or puberty, from a traumatic event, or by pregnancy and childbirth.

The problem is, once it’s triggered, it’s more likely to keep happening.

Treatment can manage the symptoms and controlling specific triggers can help to avoid relapses.  But it’s not something that is ever cured, and it will never go away because it was always there to begin with.  It can only be controlled.

[This article from Harvard Health goes into great detail about what causes depression and relapses.]

Here are some tips to help you avoid a postpartum depression relapse.

how to avoid a postpartum depression relapse
*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


How to avoid a postpartum depression relapse How to avoid a postpartum depression relapse

Identify your triggers

Find out what factors tend to make you feel more depressed.  Keeping a journal can help with this.  On days when you are feeling extra sad or anxious – write down things you’ve done recently, how you were feeling, conversations you had, medications you’ve been taking, what the weather was like, etc.  Postpartum depression triggers are different for everyone.

10 common triggers:

  1. Pain/Illness
  2. Stress
  3. Guilt
  4. Sleep Deprivation
  5. Hormonal Imbalances
  6. Grief/Loss
  7. Change
  8. Anniversaries/Birthdays/Special Events
  9. Marriage problems
  10. Bad Memories

You can download this free printable postpartum depression workbook which has a section to document specific triggers.

click to download

Eliminate the problem

I know, it’s easier said than done.  If we could all get rid of pain and stress, then the world would be a better place.  But once you’ve identified your specific trigger(s), your next goal will be to work at ways to fix that issue in your life.


Take care of yourself

Mothers are infamous for not taking proper care of themselves.  Self care is not just a suggestion, it plays a huge role in avoiding a postpartum depression relapse.  Taking time to relieve stress, get enough sleep, eat properly, exercise and meditate will ensure that you stay one step ahead.

Self Care Tips

Stick to your treatment plan

Of course you’re going to be feeling great after starting a round of anti-depressants or therapy, but that doesn’t mean it’s done it’s job and now you can stop.  Any changes to your treatment plan should always be discussed with your doctor, don’t assume that you no longer need treatment just because you’ve been free of postpartum depression symptoms for months.

End Your Depression Book
The End Your Depression E-Book is a treatment plan that can help you battle postpartum depression without the use of anti-depressants.

Click here to get more info and decide if it’s the right treatment plan for you: www.runningintriangles.com/endyourdepression


Find someone to confide in

If you didn’t tell anyone you had postpartum depression the first time it happened, then it’s likely you will also choose to suffer silently in the event of a relapse.  Find someone that you can talk to about your feelings.  It can be someone close to you, a complete stranger or a support group, as long as they will encourage you to speak up and seek help.

It’s important to speak up about PPD

Be proactive

As much as you might try to eliminate stress and other triggers, life still happens and much of it is out of our control.  Try your best to plan ahead for situations that overwhelm you.  If being locked inside the house during the winter months makes you feel dreary, plan a vacation.  If you’re dreading the stress of juggling all the kids during summer vacation, hire someone to help you.  Being prepared for a postpartum depression relapse may even be enough to make you feel like you can handle it, should it hit.


Don’t be discouraged

Sometimes, having a postpartum depression relapse is unavoidable.  It doesn’t mean that you have failed or that you will never get better.  While you may suffer more relapses in the future, each one will be easier to get through as long as you don’t let it get the best of you.


A compilation of posts from bloggers who have bravely told their postpartum depression story
Read stories from other women who have been there

Take away it’s power

As long as your postpartum depression is a secret – it controls you.  If you’re constantly afraid of a relapse happening, then it has power over you.  The only way to take away it’s power is by accepting and acknowledging it.  Tell everyone that you have postpartum depression and that there’s a chance you could suffer a relapse.  Then you won’t have it hanging over your head, and you won’t have to suffer alone.

Find out how I can help you tell your postpartum depression story to the world and take away the power it holds over you.

Remember that it’s not about them

If you didn’t know that a postpartum depression relapse was even possible, then chances are, neither did they.  “They” being your loved ones, your spouse, family or friends – even your own children.  Once you start feeling better, others will assume that you’re cured.  And if you suffer a relapse, you will be reluctant to tell them for fear of disappointing them.  But it’s not about them, it’s about you and your health, and that’s far more important.

So before you even suffer from a relapse, tell your loved ones that it’s possible this could happen.  Ask them to help you eliminate your triggers and watch for symptoms that your postpartum depression is returning.

Don’t feel guilty or selfish because this is your life.  It might be in a mother’s nature to put others before themselves, but when it comes to postpartum depression – you come first.

Vanessa’s Postpartum Depression Story

My postpartum depression story begins with the pregnancy of my second child.  I had a mild case of the baby blues with my first and, at the time, I was very worried about my mental state.   Little did I know, it was nothing compared to the dark path that is postpartum depression…

*This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


The pregnancy test came back positive shortly after my only sister got engaged.  I was devastated.  Now, I was going to have to stuff my postpartum body into a breastfeeding-friendly bridesmaid dress.  I wouldn’t get to drink and party all night.  It sounds selfish and it was.  But I really wanted that one last hurrah before becoming a mother of two.

I should have been thrilled that I was pregnant again because before conceiving my first child, I miscarried twice.  I grieved for those babies and would have given anything to meet them.  And if I had gotten pregnant after my sister’s wedding, then I would have been thrilled, but…

the timing could not have been worse.

I contemplated terminating the pregnancy but just couldn’t do it.  So I secretly hoped that I would miscarry instead.

For a while, I ignored the pregnancy.  I didn’t count weeks or read books like I had done with my first.  I, once again, suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, which made me resent the pregnancy even more.  Being so sick meant that I couldn’t take care of my toddler son or cook for my husband.  The guilt started to pile up.  At the end of my first trimester, the baby was thriving and I was sick, dehydrated and depressed.


I sought help for what my doctor described as prenatal depression(depression during pregnancy).   I saw a therapist once a week, but I don’t feel like I got much out of our sessions.  If anything, it was just a safe place to cry for an hour.  When my doctor asked if the sessions helped, I lied and said yes because I didn’t want to be difficult.

Why did I lie?

Somehow I managed to fake smile through the 9 long months.  I chose to deliver at a birth center with a midwife.  I never told them about the prenatal depression.  They were mothers themselves and they thought of birth as beautiful and natural – I didn’t want to be that one pessimistic mother with mental health issues.

My daughter was born in 2 hours and 4 minutes from the start of the first contraction.  I barely made it to the birth center, in fact I was certain I would deliver in the car on the way there.  It was the single, most traumatic experience of my entire life.

Read more about it here.

The first few months after she was born were similar to the 9 months of pregnancy…

I didn’t think too much about it.  I didn’t feel too much about it.  I fed her and changed her and did all the things for her that I needed to do but I didn’t connect with her nor did I feel any desire to. I made sure to keep busy so that I didn’t have to spend too much time with her.  I played with my son while I nursed her and rarely made eye contact with her.

I wasn’t sad, but I wasn’t happy either.  I felt zero emotions when I was with her.


My sister’s wedding came and went and I fake smiled and showed off my beautiful baby girl and put my hand over my heart when everyone told me how blessed I was.

And then, I wasn’t so busy anymore.  And all of the emotions that were locked up over the past few months wanted out.  Instead of feeling nothing – I felt everything – as though I was carrying the world on my shoulders and I couldn’t bear it.

My three month old refused to sleep.

She refused to be put down.

She refused to drink from a bottle.

She cried if anyone touched her, smiled at her or looked in her direction.

She and I were just two miserable beings who cried all day long.

Except when people came to visit.  Then she was fine, and I was fine, and everything was fine.  At least, that’s what we told them…

But when no one else was around, when it was just her and I, crying together… those were the moments I feared the most.  In my exhausted state, my mind would take over think things like:

I should have gone through with that abortion.

Things would be so much better if she never existed.

Would she stop crying if I just threw her out the window?

Maybe I will run away and never came back!

And then I would punish myself for being such a terrible mother. 

I didn’t know that it was postpartum depression.  I truly believed that I was just a bad person.

My husband, who had been there supporting me through all of it, (and feeling helpless I’m sure) finally told me that something wasn’t right.

I couldn’t have done it alone

I spoke to my doctor.  He agreed that it was postpartum depression and advised me that if I was to start anti-depressants, it meant that I would have to stop breastfeeding. [The fact that he gave me a choice in the matter meant he truly had no idea how bad it really was.  If I had actually told him all the things that were going through my mind, he would have demanded that I start anti-depressants immediately.] 

But I had already convinced myself that I was a terrible mother, and stopping breastfeeding just to take some pills was something a terrible mother would do.  So, in an effort to try to do right by my daughter, I chose to keep breastfeeding instead.

When my daughter was 6 months old, my husband and I decided to move 9 hours away from our hometown.  In my right mind, I would never have agreed to the move because I needed the support of our families more than ever.  But in my postpartum depression mind, I wanted to be far away from anyone and everyone.

That was 5 years ago and my battle with postpartum depression is ongoing.
How to avoid a postpartum depression relapse
Find out more

Over the years it has gone from very, very bad to non-existent and I don’t know if it will ever completely go away.  I try my hardest to maintain a good self-care routine but there are still things that make it better and things that make it worse.

Pain is the biggest trigger for me, so my recent struggle with endometriosis caused one of the largest relapses I’ve experienced in a long time.

I still take anti-depressants daily and while I hope that it won’t be forever, I realize that I will never be the same person I was before postpartum depression.


End Your Depression Book

I recently started the End Your Depression treatment plan as an alternative to taking anti-depressants.  

Click here to get more info and decide if it’s the right course of treatment for you: www.runningintriangles.com/endyourdepression

Believe it or not, I am thankful for the struggle.

I look at my gorgeous, brilliant, 5 year old daughter and I am thankful that a greater power guided me to keep her.

I am thankful that I am not haunted by the dark memories of the worst days.

I am thankful that my husband and I were given “bad times” to get through together.

And mostly, I am thankful that my struggle inspired me to help others.


Thank you for reading my postpartum depression story.

If it inspired you in any way, then I am glad to have written it, as hard as it was to do.   You can read more inspiring stories about postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders here

A compilation of posts from bloggers who have bravely told their postpartum depression story
A compilation of postpartum depression posts from other talented bloggers

For more information on how I can help you tell your story, please click here.

The Ultimate Collection of Postpartum Depression Stories

I am a huge believer in speaking out about postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders such as perinatal depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD and postpartum psychosis.

Mothers should not have to suffer alone, yet so many women do because they are ashamed of speaking up due to the stigma that surrounds these disorders. [Related post: 9 Reasons Why Mothers Don’t Speak Up About Having Postpartum Depression]

It’s time to change that…

It has become my mission to collect and share the stories of women who have battled mental health disorders along their journey through motherhood.

Many of those women are talented mom bloggers who know how important it is to speak out, and I’ve shared their stories below as inspiration.

But so many of them are not and have no idea where or how to begin speaking out about their pain.

If you are interested in sharing your story about a postpartum mood disorder, I want to help.  Please click here for more information.


Here you will find a constantly updated list of posts from other brave bloggers who have decided not to keep silent about their battle with postpartum depression and other mood disorders. 

I hope these will inspire you to write your own story and know that you are not alone in this.

A compilation of posts from bloggers who have bravely told their postpartum depression story
* This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

** Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

A compilation of posts from bloggers sharing their postpartum depression story.

You can access all of Running in Triangle’s postpartum depression posts HERE.
Kara’s Postpartum Depression Story  *NEW*

The first postpartum depression guest post submission on Running in Triangles.  Kara from Moms Gone Outdoors tells her emotional tale of battling the pressures of school while trying to raise a baby at a young age.

Vanessa’s Postpartum Depression Story  *NEW*

The first in a series of posts offered on Running in Triangles – this is my own personal story.  Even after dealing with prenatal depression while pregnant with my second child, I did not expect actual, full blown postpartum depression.  

Postpartum Depression in India is Real – I have experienced it, have you?

Anjana from Mommy Republic talks about how she suffered from postpartum depression despite having a supporting husband and plenty of help during her first few months postpartum.

How to Overcome Fear & Worry: My Journey Through Post-Partum Depression

Lauren from Lil’ Olive Tree shares a powerful story of how her faith helped her get through a dark time in her life. 

Postpartum Depression – Adventures with Zoloft

Bailey from Simply Mom Bailey expresses a concern many other mothers have during their battle with postpartum depression – whether or not to start taking antidepressants.

When the Baby Blues Don’t Go Away

Shawna from MishMash Mommy can relate to many other mothers out there who put off seeking help because they’re waiting for the baby blues to pass.  

This is My Postpartum Anxiety

Alaina from Mom Eh! shares her story of battling postpartum anxiety, which is different than postpartum depression and gets even less awareness.

Dear Overwhelmed Mom, You Are Not Alone

Jessica from Life of a Cherry Wife was like most women who assume postpartum depression will never happen to them.  In this post, she offers words of support to women who feel completely overwhelmed by motherhood.  

Postpartum Depression is a Con Artist (Among Other Things)

Lisa from Step Back and Breathe writes a lot about her struggle with postpartum depression, but this post is by far my favorite (especially the part where she gives her PPD a name and describes her as a “vicious skank” ).  [Read more of her posts about maternal mental health here.]

The Truth About Postpartum Depression

Jen from Modest House, Extraordinary Home does a great job of explaining all the different ways postpartum depression affected her.

Postpartum Depression: Signs and Treatment

Aubree from A Mother’s Field Guide wrote this awesome post packed with information about postpartum depression, followed by her own journey.  She, like many women, battled with depression prior to getting pregnant.

My Struggle with Post Natal Anxiety

Taylah from The Tired Mumma Blog did not suffer from postpartum depression at all, but her postnatal (postpartum) anxiety caused an entirely different level of stress in her life.

PPD: Real Stories; Real Sadness; Real Life

Kristin from This Wife and Mommy Life put together this compilation of postpartum depression stories from women of all walks of life. 

The Secret Struggles of Postpartum

Erica Fraser from Mom Break shares her story in a video as well as a post and speaks about the pain that’s often hidden behind closed doors.

This list will be constantly updated, so be sure to check back often for more inspiring stories!


End Your Depression Book


If you are a blogger and would like your existing post to be featured, please e-mail vanessa@runningintriangles.com

To submit a new postpartum depression story, please click here: postpartum depression guest post submission


Ready to tell your own story?  Download this free workbook to get started!
Click to download!

9 Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression

Having kids at Christmas allows parents to re-live their youth and experience the magic all over again.  The Christmas parties and family gatherings and food all bring happy memories and warm hearts.

But for mothers who are battling postpartum depression it can be a very different experience…

Here are 9 gifts that you can give to a mother with postpartum depression, in the hopes of making her holiday season extra special despite the darkness happening inside of her.


*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.


1. Personalized Necklace

MenuetDesigns on Etsy

There are so many different options for personalized jewelry on Etsy.  A necklace with her children’s names engraved on it will remind her of who she’s doing all of this for in the first place.

But the kids aren’t the only things keeping her going.  I especially like this lovebirds necklace from MenuetDesigns on Etsy because it speaks volumes of how important a strong support system is.

Remind her that she’s not raising those kids alone.

[For more ways to offer support, read: 14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression]


2. Cozy Blanket

Chapters Indigo Faux Fur Throw
Indigo.ca

When you have postpartum depression -all you want to do is curl up in a warm blanket and nothing else.

You can find a cozy blanket or throw anywhere during the winter months but at Chapters Indigo until December 24th, this faux fur blanket is only $25 when you spend $50 or more (regular $80!) so it’s the best deal available for this kind of luxury.  (It also comes in a bunch of different styles)


3. Coffee Mug & Wine Glass Set

Chapters Indigo Mug and Wine Glass Set
Indigo.ca

What gets her through the day? If it’s a cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of wine in the evening, then this gorgeous set from Chapters Indigo will make sure that she gets her daily dose of “motherhood juice” to fuel and finish her day.

Bonus points for getting her favorite wine and/or coffee to go with it!


4. Oh She Glows Cookbook

Chapters Indigo Oh She Glows Boxed Set
Indigo.ca

You don’t have to be a vegan to love Angela Liddon’s plant based recipes.  Many women suffering from postpartum depression will often experiment with their diet and nutrition habits in order to find a balance that works best for them.  Some cut out gluten or sugar, others switch to organic or vegetarian based diets.

No matter what you add or subtract from your diet, vegetables will always be front and center and SO important for maintaining the health a mother needs to battle postpartum depression.

Check out Angela’s blog – www.ohsheglows.com for more inspiration!


5. Subscription Box


For a mother with postpartum depression, monthly subscription boxes can be a godsend.  Chances are, she doesn’t want to go out and shop for herself.  Even some of the basic necessities she needs become less of a priority for her.  Having something delivered to her door is a wonderful surprise that she can look forward to each month.

Here are a few that I would recommend for a mother with postpartum depression:

The Mommy Mailbox – a box full of things designed specifically to brighten up a mom’s day!

Elleboxa.k.a. the period box.  (This one might be a little personal, depending on your relationship.)  Mothers with postpartum depression can dread “that time of the month” especially because they haven’t had to deal with it during their pregnancy (and possibly longer if they were breastfeeding) so it becomes just one more thing they need to handle.  The addition of the mood swings and cramping can become overbearing for someone who’s already suffering so much.  Take the stress out of it with this monthly subscription box. [Get Your First Ellebox for 50% off! Code: HALFOFF]

Stitch Fix – There are a lot of fashion subscription boxes available for women but what I love about Stitch Fix is that you’re not charged for anything unless you actually want it.  You’re sent a box of items each month to try, you buy what you like and then send the rest back.  It is the perfect solution for a mother with postpartum depression who would rather sample clothes in the comfort of her own home than head to the crowded mall.

Hello Fresh – My favorite subscription box for a mother with postpartum depression.  A FOOD box!  Fresh, healthy, ready to make meals that take all the work out of preparing a family meal.  [Get three free plates just to give it a try, I promise you’ll be hooked!]


6. Aromatherapy Spa Set

ALifeofOils on Etsy

Here’s another gift idea that comes in so many different options of scents, and combinations.  For a mother with postpartum depression, self care is so important for her recovery and soaking in a hot bath can be a great way to relieve some of the tension.

This set from ALifeofOil on Etsy comes in a variety of different scents – so you can choose her favorite.  I would recommend this peppermint and eucalyptus one if she’s prone to head or body aches, the lavender scented one to help her relax or the lemon scented gift set to help boost her energy levels.

No matter which one you choose, look for something that contains Epsom salts, whether in a bath bomb or salt scrub.  The magnesium can greatly help reduce the symptoms of postpartum depression.

[For more information, read: Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression]


7. Essential Oil Diffuser

Amazon.com

Essential oils and aromatherapy can have a big impact on a mother with postpartum depression.  One of the best ways to purify her entire environment is buy using oils in a diffuser like this one from Viva Naturals.  It also offers mood lighting to turn an ordinary room into a tranquil space.

Another option would be some diffuser jewelry – check out this line from GaiaGypsyStrands.com 


8. Alexa

Amazon.com

You know what mothers with postpartum depression REALLY want for Christmas?  A personal assistant…

The Amazon Echo 2nd Generation is about to be released and with it you can connect to “Alexa” a voice-based, in-home personal assistant.

Alexa can look things up online, keep notes and reminders, play music and make phone calls or send texts – all completely hands free.  It’s the perfect gift for that mother who’s suffering from a severe case of foggy brain.

To read more about all the features the Echo has to offer and take advantage of a special introductory price – click here!


9. Bullet Journal Bundle

blitsy.com

Bullet journaling is the latest trend in keeping organized and putting thoughts on paper, and this bundle from Blitsy.com has everything a person needs to start their own epic bullet journal.

Writing things down can help mothers with postpartum depression get their thoughts out in the open so they can deal with them.  Whether they just need a place to jot down important things they don’t want to forget, or they want to document their journey with this debilitating condition – a bullet journal is the perfect outlet.

Include this free printable workbook to help a mother with postpartum depression tell her story.
Click to download

 


Remember: The best gift you can give to a mother with postpartum depression is your love, support and understanding…
.

9 Reasons why Mothers Don’t Speak Up about Chronic Pain

You wouldn’t know by looking at me, but I have suffered from chronic pain for over 5 years.

I was recently diagnosed with a medical condition called endometriosis It took over a year, five different doctors, several ER visits, countless tests and a long list of medications to finally get an answer.  In the end, it was too late anyway and I lost the majority of my reproductive organs.

And while I want to blame the medical system for failing me, I can’t deny the fact that I ignored the pain for FOUR YEARS before deciding to do something about it.

As a mother, there are so many reasons why I didn’t feel my pain was a priority.  Prior to having children to take care of, I’m sure it would have been a major concern and perhaps I would have gotten a diagnosis sooner rather than later.   Here are some reasons why mothers don’t speak up about chronic pain.

9 Reasons Why Mothers Don't Speak Up about Chronic Pain

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


1. we put others first

One of the most distinguishable characteristics of a mother is that they put others before themselves.  The more people we have to take care of, the more our own needs get bumped to the bottom of the list.  And some most days that list never gets completed.  So while we might have every intention of taking care of ourselves, there just aren’t enough hours left over at the end of the day after taking care of everyone else.


2. we don’t want to scare our children

I will never forget the fear in my daughter’s eyes when she came to visit me in the hospital, hooked up to machines and IV’s and unable to move.  In an attempt to protect my children from seeing their mother in such a vulnerable state, I kept quiet about my pain around them.  When they think back on their childhood, I wouldn’t want them to remember me in constant pain and not able to do anything fun with them.


3. we hate to let people down

We want to be supermom, as unattainable as it might be.  We want to be there for our kids and our spouses, our families and friends.  We want to bake the perfect cupcakes for the bake sale and volunteer at every charitable event.  We want to cheer our kids on from the sidelines and chase after them at the playground.  Dealing with chronic pains means we probably won’t get to do all of those things and so we push through it just to avoid disappointing anyone.


4. nothing compares to childbirth

Sure, you’re in pain, but it’s not as bad as childbirth.  It’s worse if you’ve given birth without any drugs because then you’re expected to be able to handle anything.  But chronic pain and labor pain are two entirely different things.

Labor pain is a right of passage with an amazing reward at the end.  All mothers have had a chance to experience it in some way or another, it’s just part of life.

Chronic pain means something is wrong.  It is not a welcome pain, and there is no end in sight.  Add in the psychological trauma that comes along with wondering WHY you’re in pain and it’s a whole different monster.

My labor experience

5. it’s hard to ask for help

This rings true for most people, not just mothers suffering from chronic pain.  To ask for help means putting aside our pride, which is something most mothers have a very difficult time doing.  We are proud of the home we’ve kept and the children we’ve raised.  We’ve got a system and routine and we can’t expect just anyone to come in and take over.  If we admit that we need help, then we’re no longer in the running for supermom.


6. no one knows how to to do what we do

I’m not even sure what I do all day.  All I know is that no one else knows how to do it.   So if my husband asks me what needs to be done, I couldn’t tell him.  I just get up in the morning and do what I do.  I see something that needs to be done and I do it.  There is no master list.  There is no “how-to guide” to being a stay at home mom.  And even if I wrote out a to-do list, it would probably need to be changed at least 12 times because… toddlers.


we keep quiet about a lot of things…

7. we’re afraid to miss out

These kids grow up so fast.  We’re afraid to blink for fear of missing out on something and so taking time off to deal with our chronic pain is out of the question.  As much as we want alone time, we also want to be there to experience it all.  We want to see that excited expression on their faces when experiencing something new.  We want to hear their hysterical laughs while playing at the park or watching a funny movie.  We don’t want to miss out on our children’s childhood because of chronic pain.


8. we’ve tried all the home remedies

We are lucky to live in a world where we have so many choices when it comes to our health.  If you want to know what all of those options are, then all you need to do is mention to someone that you suffer from chronic pain.  Product recommendations, home remedies, naturopathic solutions, essential oils, vitamins, etc., are all wonderful and often welcome suggestions… at first.  And we get that people want to help but, after a while, we’re tired of being targeted by those selling some type of miracle product that promises to cure all that ails us.

Chronic Pain: Cost Effective and Quick Fix Methods to End Your Pain: Innovative Solutions to a Pain Free Life by [Longstaff, Nicole]
Amazon.ca

9. we hate being labeled

Complainers.  Hypochondriacs.  Unhealthy.  Drug addicts.  There are many people who use pain as an excuse.  Those people make things much harder for the rest of us who are in actual pain.  We don’t speak up about chronic pain because there are so many people who don’t understand it.  It’s not just about what others think of us, it’s about how we are treated.  For five years I suffered from chronic pain but was still able to do anything and everything and I often wonder if things would have been different if I was more vocal about my pain.


The cause of chronic pain is less important than how it affects your life.  Many people have no choice but to speak up about their chronic pain and ask for help.  But for some mothers, myself included, we are afraid to show weakness.  We don’t want to be a burden.  And so we keep it inside and go it alone. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re reading this and felt like I was talking to you, maybe it’s time to let your guard down.  Seek help and let those in your life know that you are suffering.  If they truly love you, they won’t think any less of you and will want to do whatever they can to ease your pain.


click here to learn more about

Chronic pain and endometriosis

Self-Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression

Taking time for themselves is something that all moms need to do but practicing a self-care routine is essential to treating postpartum depression.

Self-care doesn’t always need to consist of spa days or alone time.  While different things appeal to different women and personalities – there are some simple, basic, everyday tasks that can make a huge difference to one’s mood and patience level.

In the aftermath of postpartum depression, the key to keeping symptoms under control is to stay one step ahead of them, otherwise it’s very easy to drown in the shuffle of everyday motherhood.

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


What is self-care?

It’s all the things you need to do to take care of YOU.  Self-care is a huge topic among parents, especially SAHMs.  Because how the heck are you supposed to take care of yourself AND the tiny humans who demand so much of your attention?

The Ultimate Collection of Self Care Tips for Moms
fortheloveofmom.org

The nature of a parent is always to put their children first and therefore, self-care often gets bumped to the bottom of the priority list.  I’m quite guilty of it myself and sometimes life gets SO busy that I don’t even realize how long it’s been since I showered or blow-dried my hair.


When to do self-care

Start your own self care journey when you buy The Self Care Journey ebook & Journal and find some time for you in the chaos of motherhood!
Take the Self Care Journey from Mommy Takes 5

Trying to fit a self-care routine into an already packed day is impossible, I know.  There are never, nor will there ever be, enough minutes in the day to get everything accomplished.

This means you’re going to have to sacrifice something.  It could be sleep (sleep? what’s that?), it could be that extra time with your kids before bed, it could be the gourmet dinner you cook every night.

Or perhaps there is a way to work your self-care routine into your existing routine with the kids.  There’s no rule that says self-care must equal alone time so feel free to involve your kids or partner.

The Self Care Journey e-book from Mommy Takes 5 can help you figure out what routine works best for you! 

Whatever you need to do, do it and make time for you.

Why to do self-care

During my own battle with postpartum depression – I could never look at myself in the mirror.  I was embarrassed and ashamed of the pile of muck I had become.

I had a ghastly image of myself in my head and I feared that if I looked at myself in the mirror I would realize it had come true.  The few times I did make eye contact with myself, I immediately broke into tears because I absolutely hated myself and standing in front of the mirror meant coming face to face with my worst enemy.

This is what it felt like for me

But I wasn’t afraid to look at myself when I had a little makeup on.  When I was showered and my hair was done and I was in decent clothes – for a moment, I forgot about that pile of muck.  This was someone else I was looking at, talking to, admiring in the mirror.  That pile of muck was still there but I didn’t have to look at her.  I didn’t have to face her and all the sadness she brought with her.

So while some might consider self-care a type of vanity, I felt that it was the only way for me to escape the rut I was in.

Developing a good self-care routine is extremely important both during your battle with postpartum depression after you’ve started treatments to reduce the chance of a relapse.

How to avoid a postpartum depression relapse
Find out more

Start with the basics

Brush your teeth

So simple right?  Not when you’re awoken by the loud screams of children at 7 am.  You rush out of bed to see what’s happening and deal with whatever new fiasco they’ve created.  And then coffee is the first thought on your mind.  You’ll brush after coffee – that makes sense, right?  Then you won’t have coffee breath!  Smart woman!

Except you never, ever, finish that cup of coffee… 

It sits there getting cold.  Maybe you walk by once or twice and stick it in the microwave to heat it up and then forget about it there.  Before you know it the hubby is home from work and for some reason he’s not going in for that smooch…

Take the shower!

There are so many days when this feels like an impossible feat.  It takes more than a few minutes and we all know what kind of trouble kids can get into in that time.

But putting it off means you’re putting yourself off, and self-care is all about putting yourself FIRST!  So take the shower!

If it means putting on a tv show for them, or letting them use the tablet while they sit on the bathroom floor – then do it.  If all else fails – take them in with you!  I’ve brought my babies into the shower with me and sat them in the Bumbo chair… they loved it!

If the thought of taking a shower feels like the last thing you want to do after an extremely long day, then it’s what you need most.  Trust me and just TAKE THE SHOWER!!!

Change your clothes

Changing from flannel pajama pants into black leggings counts.  Don’t stay in your pajamas all day even if they’re the comfiest thing on earth and you’re not going anywhere anyway.  I’ve gone so far as to use the excuse that I don’t want to make more laundry for myself.

But even if you wear the same “daytime” clothes for a week – change out of your pajamas.  The act of changing your clothes – even if they are from one pair of sweatpants to another, is enough to trick your brain into thinking you’ve done something productive.

Do your hair & makeup

This one is more important to some than others.  I’ve never been a “full face makeup” type of person.  (I use three things makeup-wise everyday – concealer, bronzer & eyebrows). 

If you have a particular “problem area” that makes you self-conscious then take care of that so you can feel confident enough to face the world.

I also recently chopped my waist-length hair into a bob, something I had been considering dreading doing for years.  It’s much less maintenance now, which means I actually do it everyday, and the change in style has given me a renewed confidence.


End Your Depression Book


Add in some extras

Give yourself a pep talk

parenting mantras
Kate @ picklebums.com offers inspirational free printable posters

Every time I start to feel overwhelmed, a little “you can do this” under my breath reminds me that I need to stay positive.  It is SO easy to lose that motivation when you are battling postpartum depression because you are in a constant state of darkness.  Find some way to remind yourself to stay in the light. 

Write a positive message on your bathroom mirror in dry erase marker and change it up every few days/weeks.

Read a book on thinking positive.

Print off some motivational posters and hang them up all over your house.

 Download these free printable positive affirmation cards from Lauren at TheMilitaryWifeandMom.com 

Follow some of these Instagram accounts that share motivational messages so that when you’re scrolling away on social media you get a little pick me up!

@tinybuddhaofficial
@motivationalmama_
@thegoodquote

Take your vitamins

Sufferers of postpartum depression are infamous for their terrible eating habits – either not enough or too much.  And because of that, we often end up with all kinds of vitamin deficiencies which can have a huge effect on our mental health.  So if you’re not able to eat as healthy as you should, you should be taking supplements in order to get your levels back up to where they should be.

Magnesium is what worked wonders for me.  I recommend this drink, or this supplement and I recently came across this DIY recipe for magnesium body butter that would fit perfectly into a self-care routine.

Vitamin D – get outside in the sun!  Not only does 20 minutes in the sunshine top up your Vitamin D levels but the fresh air does wonders for your soul.

Vitamin B Complex – to make sure you’re getting the right amount of nutrition despite your messed up appetite.

Here’s an article on www.livestrong.com that has more details on the best herbal and vitamin supplements to treat postpartum depression.

Essential Oils

essential oils for depression
essentialoilexperts.com

I am a very new user of essential oils but I am quickly becoming addicted.  I can’t say for certain that they “cure” anything but if you find a blend that you enjoy, it can have an extremely calming effect.

There are so many different ways to use essential oils and I plan to do much more research on them in the treatment of postpartum depression (which I will share, of course).  

What I can tell you right now is that quality makes all the difference so even though it might seem like splurge, you get what you pay for.

Get more info from the North American Essential Oil & Aromatherapy Experts.

An easy way to experience the benefits of essential oils all day long AND feel beautiful doing it is to use them on some diffuser jewelry.  
I absolutely LOVE this stylish diffuser jewelry line from Gaia Gypsy Strands

 [USE CODE RIT20 TO RECEIVE 20% YOUR ORDER!] 

Pin It!

Find ONE thing

And it doesn’t have to be a BIG thing.  A spa day is great but so is binge watching Netflix.  Everyone is different and so are the things that make us happy.

Focus on ONE extra activity that makes you feel happy and relaxed and ONE thing only.  As moms we spend most of our days multi-tasking, and there is so much pressure to become a mom who can bake and sew and do crafts and plan parties (thanks a lot, Pinterest) and it becomes overwhelming and exhausting.

Your self-care routine should consist of something that makes you feel happy and relaxed afterwards.  It doesn’t have to be productive and you don’t need to justify it.  You just need to do it.

Write it down

Keeping a journal of your thoughts can be hugely therapeutic for postpartum depression survivors in many different ways.  Not only is the act of writing out your thoughts and feelings a way to release them, but it also helps you keep track of whether they are getting better or worse.

Click HERE to get this free printable workbook that can help you document your journey through postpartum depression.
Click to download!


Whatever self-care routine you end up carving out for yourself, make sure that you stick to it in order to prevent relapses.

Communicate with your partner about how important these things are for your mental health so that they can support you. 

And don’t ever feel guilty about putting yourself first because if mom is happy, then the entire household is happy. 


Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
click here for more info

5 Things to Expect in the Aftermath of Postpartum Depression

It’s been 5 years since my battle with postpartum depression first began.  I consider myself a survivor now but living in the aftermath of postpartum depression is nothing like life was before it.

Postpartum depression treatment options are different for everyone but there are a few things to expect on your journey to recovery.

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


1. Expect it to never go away 100%

I had hyperemesis gravidarum with all three of my pregnancies and it was horrific.  But as soon as I pushed the baby out, the nausea went away instantly.  Postpartum depression is not like that.

With treatment, you will get better.  The days will be brighter and the fits of sadness and rage will become fewer and far between.  But it will always be there, deep down inside.  It will be hard to forget the dark days and there will be reminders of them everywhere.

You may go months, years even, living happily as a postpartum depression survivor and then suffer a relapse during a strenuous week of sleep regression or the flu.  My personal postpartum depression treatment requires a consistent self-care routine and I’ve noticed that symptoms tend to rear their ugly head if I don’t keep up with it.

Here are my best tips
I think of my postpartum depression like a wound.  It happened and it healed but the scar remains.  Most days I forget all about it but it is always there.


End Your Depression Book


2. Expect to feel guilty

Amazon.ca – This won’t get rid of your guilt but it will help take away some of the stress.

We know that postpartum depression is NOT OUR FAULT.  But accepting that fact is much harder to swallow.  As moms, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and we often feel guilty for something – our fault or not; we’re not spending enough time with our kids, we’re not giving them the best clothes, food, toys, education, etc. – you name it and a mom’s felt guilty for it.

But the guilt that a postpartum depression survivor feels is much worse than your average mom guilt.  The things we said or did while we were in the raw days of postpartum depression were not us.  We couldn’t control them, we couldn’t anticipate them and we didn’t mean a word of it.

But we remember all of it. And if there were witnesses around, (i.e. an older child or spouse) it’s likely they remember everything too.

So no matter how many times we tell ourselves that it’s not our fault – we can’t help but feel guilty for all the things we said or did during the battle.
It’s not easy to talk about

3. Expect to have different relationships

Postpartum depression changes you.  You can never go back to being the person you were before this.

Your relationship with your spouse or significant other will either be stronger or broken entirely.  They will also be a changed person because you can’t watch someone else go through something like postpartum depression and not feel anything about it afterwards.

You could try this 30 Day Relationship Challenge from To The Altar & After!

But if someone has loved you and stuck with you through the darkest of days then they are a keeper.  If they ran for the hills then you didn’t want them anyway…

The same could be said of your friendships except it’s unlikely they even knew you had postpartum depression.

If you alienated yourself from everyone while you were suffering but did not give an explanation why then you will probably need to do some damage control in the aftermath.

4. Expect to be a stronger woman than you were before

It goes without saying that postpartum depression survivors are some of the strongest women who exist.  (Ok, all “survivors” are strong – perhaps this one sounds cliché… but being forced to suffer from depression during a time in your life when you should be MOST happy is just plain cruel.) 

Once you’ve doubted every single decision you’ve made, questioned your reason for living and hurt people you love – there is not much left that will scare you.  You will reach a point where you think you just can’t handle it anymore – but then you do.

You learn that the limit to how much you can handle is much further than where you thought it was…

5. Expect to WANT to tell your story

While you may have felt ashamed or embarrassed about your condition at the time – afterwards you will be proud to say “I beat postpartum depression.”

You will recognize the all too familiar pain in other women and want to help them.  Since you are stronger now, you don’t care who judges you for what.

And while writing or talking about your experience will be hard and will likely stir up all the guilt you’ve been working so hard to abolish, the freedom you will gain from it is unlike any other.

Sometime in the aftermath of postpartum depression, you will WANT to tell your story, whether it’s to your closest friends and family or complete strangers.

And when you do, others will sympathize with you and relate to you and perhaps you’ll even save a life…

If and when you are ready to share your story – click here to find out how.


Want to tell your postpartum depression story but not sure where to start?  Download this FREE printable PDF workbook

Click to download!

The Baby Blues vs. Postpartum Depression vs. No Postpartum Mood Disorder

I’ve given birth to three kids, experienced three similar pregnancies,  laboured through three natural, drug-free births, but ended up with three very different postpartum recovery periods…

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


The Baby Blues

Shortly after the birth of my first child I experienced symptoms of what I believe were the “baby blues.”  They didn’t last long and they didn’t disrupt my life (much).

The dogs and kids get along great now!

The mood swings were my first indicator.  I remember watching my husband interact with the baby while our two dogs sat at his feet watching.  I thought about how the dogs had no idea how much life was changing and I instantly burst into tears.  I’m not usually a sensitive or emotional person so this was a sure sign to me that I was experiencing some type of hormonal imbalance. It was very similar to the mood swings I experienced during pregnancy.

The sleep deprivation added to my emotional state.  The way someone would feel after staying up partying all night long (which may or may not be a familiar feeling for me *wink wink*).  I felt irritable and edgy but sleep (when I could get it) was welcome and helped to alleviate the stress.

Indigo.ca

I blamed the extreme “mom brain” on the sleep deprivation as well.  It was probably one of the hardest symptoms for me to manage as someone who prides themselves on having a great memory.  Suddenly I couldn’t multi-task because I would forget what I was doing in the first place.  I wrote down absolutely everything in a log book, significant or not, in a vain attempt to remember when I last fed him.

I felt an overwhelming urge to protect him and I worried a lot about everything he did.  I worried about holding him too much, or not enough.  I worried about the way others were holding him.  I worried about his diaper being put on properly.  I worried about such small and insignificant things (in addition to all the normal motherhood worrying like how much he was eating, pooping and sleeping).

I didn’t bond with the baby as much as I thought I would.  I spent a lot of time talking to him but the lack of a response discouraged me.  I wasn’t absolutely head over heels in love with him the way motherhood is portrayed in the media.  While I didn’t have any negative feelings, I felt very indifferent towards him.

We didn’t get out of the house much at first.  I was extremely overprotective of him and convinced that he would contract bad germs from strangers.  Aside from worrying, I honestly just didn’t feel like leaving the comfort of my own home.

Carseat "No Touching" Sign
Wish I had one of these signs from NikkiDanielDesigns on Etsy.ca

It eventually went away on it’s own.  Similar to a really bad case of PMS, I started to feel “normal” again.  I didn’t cry at the mere thought of something sad and I couldn’t wait to get out of the house and socialize.  By the time he was 2 months old he was smiling, making eye contact and interacting and I did fall head over heels in love with him.


Postpartum Depression

After the birth of my second child, things felt a little bit different.  That first baby that I didn’t bond with?  Well he was two years old now and the absolute center of my world.  So for the first couple months, things were monotonous and scheduled and boring – as long as the baby was concerned, at least.

She had basic needs and I didn’t try too hard to bond with her.  I knew that would happen eventually so I didn’t put too much pressure on myself this time.  The first two months after her birth were extremely busy in my social life so I didn’t have time to stew over the fact that life as I knew it had completely changed.

But when the dust settled and I was left at home, alone, with a toddler and a newborn who wouldn’t stop crying – things changed…
Read my full story here

I was tired and emotional but this time I couldn’t sleep no matter how hard I tried.  Every time I closed my eyes I thought I heard the baby cry and got up to check on her.  Sometimes it was 15 times in an hour but I couldn’t stop myself because I knew the one time I didn’t check on her would be the time something bad happened.  If someone else offered to look after her while I took a nap, then I would lie in bed for 2 hours worrying if she was alright.

In hindsight, I should have taken the help

The mood swings were extreme and uncontrollable.  As the weeks went on, I started to despise her.  I blamed her for everything I was feeling.  She felt my negative feelings and cried harder and longer which made me dislike her even more.  But then I would think about how I’ve always wanted to have a daughter and I would suffocate her in love – until she started crying again.  The slightest things could send me into fits of rage and I got offended and jealous very easily.

I was terrified to leave the house with her.  I was certain she would cry and I wouldn’t be able to handle her and everyone would stare at me and think I was a horrible mother.  So I stayed in my house where no one could judge me.  I avoided contact with almost everyone.

It’s not easy to admit

And the worst part of all was that I lied about what I was feeling to everyone.  I felt humiliated and inadequate and worthless but I hid it the best I could.  I dressed the baby up in cute outfits and took cute pictures of her to post on social media.  I posted captions about how much I loved having a baby girl and how all of my dreams had come true but in reality I just wanted to rewind life to a time before she existed.

The more I tried to “fix” things, the worse they got.  Even when I tried to “snap out of it” the baby was still reacting to my negative energy and crying all day and night.  My brain was full of terrible ways I could get her to shut up but instead I locked myself in the bathroom and cried for what seemed like hours.  The guilt eventually built up huge walls that closed in on me.

For months I battled in silence, not knowing it was postpartum depression.  I kept waiting for this funk to pass, waiting for the “hormones to regulate” but they never did, not without help, that is.


End Your Depression Book

The End Your Depression E-Book is a treatment plan that can help you battle postpartum depression without the use of anti-depressants.

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No Postpartum Mood Disorder

Considering I went to hell and back with my last baby, I must have been absolutely crazy to have another one, right?  The postpartum depression was forefront in my mind but this time I felt more prepared.  I knew what to look for, and I knew that I needed to speak up if I felt something was even a little bit off.

Perhaps it was because I WAS prepared for it, that it never came.
always be the baby
Baby #3

The first time she was placed in my arms, I felt it.  That immediate love that legends were made of.  I couldn’t wait to hold her and I didn’t want to do anything else except just stare at her perfect face.

The early days with her were peaceful and calm – despite the sleepless nights.  The other two children often played with each other and so I had her all to myself.  The fact that she couldn’t talk back to me actually made me want to spend MORE time with her!

Trying to balance three children was definitely a challenge, and extremely overwhelming at times, but instead of being afraid and nervous and frustrated –  I felt excited and determined to make the best of it!

I felt like I could control my mood.  Even on days when she was extra fussy or I was extra tired, I always managed to stay calm and relaxed around her.  I never felt a sad or negative thought about her.  And she was a calm and relaxed baby because of it.

Initially I worried about how the older children would handle the new baby.  But they never once showed any signs of jealousy towards her and completely welcomed her into our family.  I cried more tears of joy in her first few months than I ever have in my life.

I worried about how much she ate, pooped and slept and whether she was hitting her milestones on time.  Mostly because I was always comparing her to the other children.  In an attempt to get things right this time, I asked a lot of questions, I sought a lot of help and I socialized as often as possible.

I took all three kids out as often as I could.  It was next to impossible to manage all of them in public (and it still is) but I sure didn’t want to get stuck inside the house with them!


I can’t say for certain what factors affected these different postpartum outcomes but this is the way it worked out for me.  After my battle with postpartum depression, having another baby was not in the plans but she surprised us all and I’m glad she did. 

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
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When I think about life with a newborn, I try my hardest to reflect on the happiness of my last one, but will never forget the darkness that came before.
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Here’s an example of the different emotional intensities!
The baby blues vs postpartum depression