Bloggers & Tweeters Stand Up Against PPD Stigma From AOL News

I am now going to take a moment to thank EACH and EVERY person (that I'm aware of, anyway) who spoke up on behalf of women with postpartum depression and spoke out against the AOL News story today, either on Twitter (by retweeting "Hey @aolnews You suck. And we're not letting you off the hook. Fix this NOW. #AOLhurtsmomswithPPD"), Facebook, or on their blogs, or at the very minimum shared the stories on Postpartum Progress, Her Bad Mother, BlogHer, PhDinParenting and elsewherewith others.

You are all a true treasure. It warms my heart to see so many who care about the emotional health of mothers and are willing to use your voices against the stigma that still exists. It's because of you that AOL took the horrible quote off of its website — a quote that NEVER should have been published in the first place. Thank you.

For anyone who thought I was somehow misreading or misunderstanding the meaning behind Pat Brown's quote, here is her response to Amy at Pretty Babies about the uproar:

"Generally speaking, I don't buy the chemical imbalance theory for any depression; I believe people just don't want to deal with real life issues and the fact that sometimes life is simply depressing and damn difficult. It isn't about chemical imbalance but tough times and our own issues.

Pat Brown
Investigative Criminal Profiler"

AOL should have offered a different opinion, or done some fact checking and perhaps never quoted Pat Brown at all. Postpartum depression is not always caused solely by chemical imbalance, to be sure. There are other risk factors that are social in nature, like domestic abuse for instance. But it's not because moms "don't want to deal with real life issues". Stuff it, Pat. And AOL, please take more care in publishing stories on this topic.

Also, may I say that this is why blogging and being on Twitter and Facebook is important. Because regular people like us have the power to make change. So awesome.

Also aBIG thank you to BlogHer for giving me such a wonderful additional outlet for this story, as they have so much wider reach than PP does. And aspecial thank you to Catherine and Annie, who also have much wider audiences than I, for helping make this viral.

Also a BIG thank you to all the commenters on my post and all the people on the Postpartum Progress Facebook Fan Page who spoke out against this as well.

Also, if you want to see a news organization handle this story with responsibility, stop in on Time magazine's interview with Diane Sanford. (Perhaps our influence on them last year made a difference!)

Also,Mom 101commented on my blog today. Just had to point that out. 😉


Catherine Connors, @herbadmother, Her Bad Mother (read her piece on this)

Erika Krull, Psych Central (read her piece on this)

Pretty Babies (read her piece on this, complete with a response from Pat Brown, the woman who was quoted in the AOL article)

Annie, @phdinparenting, PhD in Parenting (read her post on this)

Sara, Urban Moms DIY(read her post on this)

Sarah, @goonsquadsarah, Sara and the Goon Squad

Ceri K., @womenwantwhat

Julia H., @lynchmama

Amber, @atlantamom, Beyond Postpartum (read her post on this)

Joanne, Mixed Bag of Rant

Melissa A., @melissaforpeace

Ninotchka, @ninotchkab,

Denise T., @dtanton, Flamingo House Happenings

Bobbie C., @mymamaruns, My Mama Runs

Lisa, @workoutmommy, Workout Mommy

Julie H., @momslant, The Mom Slant

Jim T., @genuine,

"MommyGeek", @mommygeekology, Mommy Geekology 2.0

Matt, @dcurbandad

Denise, @dtanton

Roxane B., @roxane_bock, Roxane's Days

Brandi Weikle, @bweikle, Parent Central


Laura F., @lozzi84

Lindsay G., @linzlovesyou, Birdsiviews

Ashlee, @shleemama, Everything About Shlee

Torrie, @torrie, Shifting Life

Corin Zander, @corinzander

Kat, @mrslltkings, LivingLike the Kings

Melissa D., @refashionista, Refashionista

Amy B., @amyrhoda

Ashley H., @ashhan123, Confessions Of a First-Time Mom

Walker K., @allbelly, All Belly Birth Services

A E Summers, @ausummers, Kusali to Pray

Maria, @amotherworld, A Mother World

Sally, @bluekstudio, The Blue Kimono

@barelymommy, Barely Mommy

Alena, @alena29, Charmingly Chandler (read her post on this)

Kimberly M., @momgosomething, All Work & No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something (read her post on this)

Ivy, @ivyshihleung, Ivy's PPD Blog (read her post on this)

Miranda, @notsuperjustmom, Not Super Just Mom (read her post on this)

Lauren H., @unxpctdblessing, My Postpartum Voice (read her post on this)

Sera, @chaoticmama, Laughing Through the Chaos

Andi S., @judgmntlhippy, Confessions of a Judgmental Hippy

Ariel S., @arielsandifer, Nothing Witty

Erica W., @momsurvival, The Survival Guide for Rookie Moms

Schwandy, @schwandy, It's Not Me It's You

Pualani S., @puasaurusrex, Dino Momma

Sidnie, @greenenough4me, Green Enough For Me

Melissa, @PBinmyhair, Peanut Butter In My Hair

Sarah S., @schubie71, Mama Sarahndipity

"Gardenmom", @gardenmom29, Garden Mom

Christina D., @mz_duck

Emily E., @designhermomma, DesignHER Momma

Maria M., @mariamelee, Mommy Melee

Growing Your Baby, @growingyourbaby

Samantha H., @shines

Sam, @temptingmama, Temporarily Me

John Grohol, @docjohng, @psychcentral

Heather H., @skinnysushi, Skinny Sushi

Iva T., @iva_tanackovic

Catherine, @daydreamymama, Daydream Parenting

Jamee, @517butterfly, A New Kind of Normal

@themommymarch, The Mommy March Blog

Greta B., @gretablau, Middle Aged Jock

Victoria M., @veamason, The Mummy Chronicles(she's in LABOR and took the time to use her voice!)

Vinajoy B., @mamavina, A Nourishing Home

Liz, @ehiwv, Perilous Domesticity

Heather, @heada,

A, @thebluemoongirl, One Foot Stuck

Rachel B., @boldrach4x, Not Just A

Lisa C., @lisacurcio, Our Happy Nut House

Aurelia C., @aureliacotta, No Matter How Small

@themommymarch, The Mommy March


Kim, @kimworld, The World According to Kim

Tammy P.. @rntammyp, Nurse's Notes

@thefeministbreeder, The Feminist Breeder

Arwyn, @raisingboychick


@JLYoungsma, The Doe or the Deer

Paig, @vpbaker, Prone to Wander

Tamara, @unexperiencedmom, Blog Conference Newbie

Mandy M., @mandymooreblogr, The Real Mandy Moore

Sara E., @smola04, The Covered Wagon (read her post on this)

Kristen L., @kristenliberty

Joia F., @joiafarmer

Katie F., @kfoutz

Andrea, @goodgirlgonered

Cassaundra B., @radicaLactivist

Adrienne, @nostylepoints, No Points For Style

Kim, @glitterandgray, The Glitter and the Gray

Deb, @misssueburbia, Missives From Suburbia

Kate, @beantownkate

Jen, @theremotejen

Amie B., @zurimama, Izzie and the Beast

Kathy M., @kathyamorelli

Emily, @theEmily_B, Aprons & Heels

Chris, @tessasdad, Stay At Home Dad in Lansing

St. Louis Smart Mama

Lori, @icangrowpeople, I Can Grow People

Katie, @ksluiter, Sluiter Nation

Rachel, Racheous

If I left you out, it's not on purpose. It's just that my Tweetdeck was a bit overloaded today.And if you wrote a post, I can link directly to it if you send me the link. Thanks.

Have I said thanks?

About Katherine Stone

is the founder of Postpartum Progress. She has been named a WebMD Health Hero, one of the fiercest women in America by More magazine, and one of the top 20 Social Media Moms by Working Mother magazine. She is a survivor of postpartum OCD.

Tell Us What You Think


  1. Happens often when I read things on your blog, but again, I've got goosebumps reading this. Just AMAZING the outpouring of support and outrage over the story. Thank you for taking such a huge role in spearheading it. I was just in awe of all the women who were tweeting and blogging. It's been a crazy day around here today, but my plan during the munchkin's nap time tomorrow is to blog about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such a strong voice for awareness for PPD.

  2. I've been tweeting but haven't blogged yet. Twitter was not nice to me today and I'm coming up dry with a post but am hoping for inspiration tomorrow morning, after sleep. Thank YOU for spearheading the fight today and getting them to remove that horrid quote! You rock.

  3. interested in the di says:

    Thanks Katherine for being on top of all this. I am abroad and haven't had access to the internet til today. I would have joined in if I could, but glad that we have so many warrior moms out there who did add their voices to yours.
    I kind of feel like AOL solicited the most ignorant opinion they could on this one. Shame on them.

  4. Kathy Morelli says:

    I am indignant about Pat Brown's misinformation. As a mental health professional, there is a body of research that indicates that depression indeed has mutlfactorial etiology, however it is a biologically-based illness. Diabetes can have a mutlifactorial etiology, yet it is a biologically-based illness as well. Yet depression still carries a stigma, even though it is an illness that has well-known treatment protocols.

  5. Lori @ I Can Grow Pe says:

    I haven't been tweeting or blogging much lately, but I did take the time to link to your post from the I Can Grow People Facebook page. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

  6. I've been tweeting too. You are right…we have the power to change people's perspectives. I've always felt that if I didn't at least try to instill change–whatever the cause–I was being an irresponsible citizen.
    After battling the disease and suffering the stigma, I could never sit quietly and let others misjudge all those mommas out there–OR stay quiet and not get the proper help.

  7. Goosebumps here, too. Amazing to see what happens when women band together to turn a wrong into a right. I was not aware of this happening yesterday (ignorance is bliss, right?) but am so thankful to all of you who took a stand. Bravo!

  8. What a beautiful long list of beautiful, thoughtful people united in such a noble cause. And, you, the beautiful leader. I'm ever proud, Katherine. Truly. So glad you do what you do. 🙂

  9. Laura Finch says:

    I am one of the names listed above.
    I am British & live in the UK.
    PPD or PND (post natal depression) is something I have just survived.
    Pat Browns comments made me feel sick.
    PPD is something that affects 1in 10 women in the UK.
    How dare she suggest we are all "crocks".
    I will stand up proudly in defence of PPD sufferers against uneducated, misinformed, over opinionated, so called 'experts' like Pat Brown.
    Laura Finch (lozzi84)

  10. & thank YOU <3
    We need a voice. We need to be LOUD. We need to stop the ignorance.
    P.S. You missed me = @racheous but I forgive you 😛

  11. Katherine,
    You are most certainly welcome. The whole thing was gag-inducing and inspiring all at the same time. Pat Brown's snarky disrespectful exchange on her Facebook page (I found on Pretty Babies) was the rotting cherry on top of the disgusting sundae.
    She may have a little set of groupies that think she's really clever, but being a jerk only takes you so far. Genuine passion and compassion about others only brings you abundance in life. And I think we all got a great big scoopful of that yesterday 🙂

  12. Katherine Stone/Post says:

    Added you to the list Lori!

  13. Katherine Stone/Post says:

    Added you to the list Katie!

  14. Katherine Stone/Post says:

    Thanks Laura!

  15. Katherine Stone/Post says:

    Oops! Adding you to the list!

  16. Katherine Stone/Post says:

    Thank you, NB!!

  17. Katherine Stone/Post says:

    Isn't it just amazing? Thankfully there are some people with a big audience who are willing to stand up against stigma. I just love that.

  18. Katherine Stone/Post says:

    Thanks IITD. Hope you are dong something fun abroad!

  19. I am really proud of what we did yesterday.
    Adding you to my feed reader. Wish I'd known about your site 5 years ago!
    I'm @prettybabies on Twitter, by the way, and the author of

  20. Katherine Stone/Post says:

    Hi Amy! Your email exchange with Pat Brown yesterday was great and really added to the discussion. Thank you so much for being part of this! Adding you as well!

  21. I have a blog and I will be writing about this soon. I did post the initial link to my Facebook page but I didn't have time to do a full blog entry yesterday. Check out Pat Brown's Facebook page and her snarky comments. My feeling is that she's too far gone for us to change her mind, but that we can get the message out and maybe other people can get educated. Ms. Brown is a lost cause, I think.

  22. Teresa Twomey says:

    Hi Katherine:
    Also have it on my Facebook page: Understanding Postpartum Psychosis.
    BTW: Pat's replies remind me that some people seem to think that having an opinion qualifies them as an expert.

  23. Thank you, thank you, thank YOU for providing this space in the first place.
    I'd actually been doing a post about my own followup the day before (because it was a year to the day that I'd hauled my depressed self into my doctor's office for PPD) – and so I hung on to it when I caught wind of this and updated.
    Here it is:
    Twitter: @Nicole013

  24. welcome, mama. i survived 2 rounds of PPD in silence. no one who suffers through this should be told, in essence, that they're weak, or full of it. they need support. period.

  25. It is so good to see so many people standing up and not letting people get away with such an offense. It was unacceptable.
    Katherine- you are changing lives here. Know that.

  26. I'd like to add my blog post from the other day to your list please:
    The more voices raised, the better. Thanks for what you've done.