This is Why I Write About Postpartum Depression

Ever wonder how I came to write about postpartum depression and act as an advocate for maternal mental health?

For the past couple of years, I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with women suffering from all kinds of mental health issues after giving birth.  It’s for those women that I write about postpartum depression.  I spend my days creating resources, infographics and researching, all the while wishing I had access to this same information when I was heavily battling postpartum depression.

Recently, someone asked me how and why I decided to write about postpartum depression.  It got me thinking about my journey to becoming a maternal mental health blogger and advocate. 

And so, in keeping with the Running in Triangles tradition, here is my story.
Why I Write About Postpartum Depression
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid 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.

I always wanted to be a writer.

From a young age, I knew that writing was one of my strengths.  Not only did it come naturally to me, but I loved doing it.  Having the ability to tell an entire story just from words felt like a superpower.  The English language gets a lot of criticism for it’s wide array of spellings, meanings, synonyms and slang words.  But I think having so many different words to express a single emotion is one thing that makes it great.

Throughout my life, I struggled to find the right path for my writing.  Books, journals, diaries, poems, short stories… all started and forgotten about.  I knew I wanted to write, I just didn’t know what I wanted to say.

My first mom blog.

In my late teens and early 20’s I took to the internet to showcase my writing on sites such as My Space (and other infamous ones that no longer exist).   I enjoyed having a space to write knowing that someone else other than myself might actually read it.  

I started my first, real, mom blog in 2013.  At the time, I was in the thick of postpartum depression and needed an outlet for my emotions.  But I didn’t write about postpartum depression.  I wrote about recipes and crafts and funny things my kids did because that’s what all the other mom bloggers were doing.
10 Mothers Who Lost the Battle to Postpartum Depression

The story that changed my life.

A few months after starting my fluffy mom blog, a news story from my hometown hit headlines – two young children found drowned in a bathtub and the mother had gone missing.  They suspected postpartum depression (or psychosis).  I became obsessed with the story and constantly checked for updates to see if she had been found.  The online comments were filled with things like “I hope she’s dead” or “what kind of monster does that” and “she doesn’t deserve to be a mother.”

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t think about anything else other than poor Lisa Gibson and her two babies.  I still cry at the mere thought of it.  Yes, it’s tragic and heartbreaking, but that’s not the only reason I cry. I cry because it could have been me.  At 4 months postpartum, I was fighting suicidal thoughts on a regular basis and imagining drowning my colicky baby in the bathtub.  But I was not a terrible mother, I was just sick.

Two days later, Lisa Gibson’s body was found floating in the river.  It was a tragic ending but I felt relieved for her.  She was finally free of the mental anguish she was likely consumed by.  Would she have even wanted to live after finding out what happened?  The story tormented me for weeks, and the public reaction was even worse.  No matter what I did, I could not silence the voice in my head that kept saying, “do something about this.”

The first time I spoke up.

I couldn’t just sit by and spectate anymore.  I knew why people said the things they did… they didn’t understand it.  I couldn’t be mad at the online commentators because postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders are NEVER talked about.  And unfortunately, Lisa Gibson would never get the chance to tell her side of the story.

But I could tell mine.

And that’s what I did.  I sat down at my computer and just wrote.  Tears streamed down my face as I choked on the giant lump in my throat.  I would write something truthful and then immediately delete it.  What would people think of me?  What would others say?  Would they take my kids away if they read this?  I would imagine Lisa Gibson floating in the river and I would write it all over again.

Nearly every single sentence had me second guessing the decision to share my story.  And every time, I would picture Lisa Gibson or repeat the hateful online comments and push onward.  Finally, it was finished but I was struggling to publish it.  Once I hit that button – everyone will know.  Will people treat me differently?  Will I get hateful comments too?  I felt sick to my stomach as I hit the “publish” button, but it was done.  There was no going back now.

Prenatal & Postpartum Depression - Vanessa's Story
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The reaction to my story.

Once my story went live, I thought I would feel better.  But it was the opposite.  I was consumed by anxiety.  I couldn’t sleep.  Was this a mistake?  Is it too late to take it down?  I waited for the mean comments, for the misunderstandings and the judgement.

I got nothing but love.

Those who knew me reached out with complete empathy and the sincerest praise.  Friends that I saw in person told me how moved they were by my story.  I started to get comments and emails from women who experienced something similar.  They all said one in thing in common… “me too.”

Fast forward 5 years later.

After sharing my story, I finally felt fulfilled and stopped writing for a while.  I couldn’t go back to blogging about nothing when I had just said so much.  I decided to take control of my postpartum depression and began treatment.  I even had another baby without experiencing a postpartum depression relapse

Five years after hitting the publish button on my postpartum depression story, I found myself as a stay at home mom looking for a side hustle.  Mom blogs had not disappeared, in fact they seemed to be taking over the internet.  Moms were replacing their full time jobs running their own blogs from home.  Could a blog be a way for me to turn my writing into a full time career?  I had to give it a try.

How to Start Blogging about Postpartum Depression
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The Early Days of Running in Triangles

Running in Triangles was initially targeted towards moms of three kids (hence the name).  I had learned that, in order to be a successful mom blog, I should write posts that were helpful.  So I started by sharing my best advice for sleep training and breastfeeding.  They quickly became popular and are still some of my top articles. 

I desperately wanted to write more about postpartum depression, but I was still afraid to say exactly what I wanted to.  Out of that fear came the post, 9 Reasons Why Moms Don’t Speak Up About Postpartum Depression.  It was the blog post that changed the entire direction of Running in Triangles.

Since the blog was now seeing a steady amount of traffic worldwide, I was able to reach a lot more moms with postpartum depression.  They started emailing me and commenting about how they related 100% to what I wrote in that post.  They said they wanted to speak up about postpartum depression but were too afraid and didn’t know how to begin.  So I launched The Postpartum Depression Guest Post Series, making it possible for moms from any background to share their stories in a safe place.  The following year, I featured 10 Questions About Postpartum Depression in order to allow even more women to open up about their experience.

Mothers Answer 10 Questions About Postpartum Depression
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The Reason Why I Write About Postpartum Depression

Throughout this journey, I have finally discovered the true path for my writing.  I write about postpartum depression to help educate others on what it’s like living with this mental illness.  I write for all those mothers who are unable to find the words to say it themselves. I write for those who can’t tell their stories anymore, like Lisa Gibson and countless other women who lost the battle to postpartum depression

I write about postpartum depression because not enough people do.  It needs to be talked about more, to be included in regular conversation.  It’s not a bad word or something to be ashamed of.  I write for future generations, in the hopes that they will take the time to learn about it and put an end to the stigma of it. 

I write about postpartum depression in order to empower women.  New mothers should be able to access facts and information, find resources and support groups and know their treatment options.  But too often, the medical system fails them.  There’s not much I can do to change that, but I can give mothers the tools they need to take their mental health into their own hands. 

And at the end of the day, if I’ve saved even one mother from drowning in the river, then it’s completely worth it.
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A Year in Review and What’s Happening in 2019

Running in Triangles Year in Review


Happy New Year!

I’m not normally the type of person to make New Year’s resolutions but there is just something about a new year that makes me feel inspired.  It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to change your life and that’s exactly what the Running in Triangles blog has been for me.

This month marks the two year anniversary of Running in Triangles and it has been quite a journey.  When I first started, I knew that I wanted to talk openly about postpartum depression and help raise awareness about maternal mental health.  But I had no idea what an impact it would make on my life and the lives of others.

In 2017, I wrote about all kinds of things I learned while raising my three kids, from sleep training and breastfeeding to party planning.  But it was my posts about postpartum depression that gained the most popularity, and the ones I felt most inspired to publish.

9 Reasons Why Mothers Don't Speak Up About Having Postpartum Depression
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Posts like 9 Reasons Why Mothers Don’t Speak Up About Postpartum Depression and 14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression were easy to write because they were the things that I’ve always wanted to say.  Two years later, they are still some of the most popular posts on the blog and have inspired many women to speak up and seek help.

I didn’t know it at the time, but those two posts have become the cornerstone content of Running in Triangles.   The fact that women don’t talk about postpartum depression was something that needed to change and a big part of the problem is the lack of support.

Their popularity confirmed what I already knew: women with postpartum depression wanted to speak up and their loved ones wanted to help them, but no one knew how or where to begin.

This discovery led to last year’s Postpartum Depression Guest Post Series It was my way of giving these women a safe space to tell their stories without worrying about being judged or criticized.  I accepted and published every single guest post that was submitted, no matter who it was from.

Of course, I led by example and shared my own postpartum depression story, which was not at all easy to do.  I also tackled tougher topics such as intrusive thoughts, postpartum rage and feeling suicidal.  As difficult as it was to research and write about these topics, I knew that mothers needed to be better informed about them.


This past year, I spent a lot of time reading postpartum depression stories, participating in online support groups and watching YouTube videos of women trying to explain what it’s like, and their stories were all so unique.

I read about women who spent thousands of dollars on fertility treatments to conceive, and others who ended up pregnant unexpectedly. 

I heard from women who had incredibly supportive spouses, and those who suffered from divorce and separation at the hand of postpartum depression.

I watched some women struggle openly and others do everything in their power to hide what they were feeling.

But one thing was the same… their pain.

Knowing that thousands of other women, from all around the world, were dealing with the same pain, no matter their backgrounds, made me feel incredibly empowered;  as if I had an army of women behind me who could  validate my feelings.


To help put it into perspective, I chose ten questions about postpartum depression and decided to ask as many women as possible to answer them.

I am excited to see how the answers will compare and my hope is that they will prove to other women who might feel isolated and afraid of speaking up that they are not, in fact, alone.

My goal for 2019 is to get at least 200 women with postpartum depression to answer these 10 questions.

If you, or someone you know, has postpartum depression, please click below to submit your answers and help me share this questionnaire so that it can reach women from all around the world.

Mothers Answer 10 Questions About Postpartum Depression
Please note that by submitting this form and providing your e-mail address, you will be subscribed to the Postpartum Depression Survival Guide Newsletter and agree to be contacted via e-mail.  Your e-mail address will never be published on Running in Triangles and you may unsubscribe at any time.

In addition to this exciting challenge,  I hope to continue providing more information about postpartum depression and maternal mental health this year.  They say knowledge is power and it couldn’t be more true when it comes to mental health.  Being misunderstood, judged and stigmatized are some of the biggest barriers for a woman with postpartum depression and it’s my mission to change that.

Thank you so much to all of my supporters, readers, contributors and of course, to my fellow postpartum depression survivors who inspire me to keep going.
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