If, however, you are simply feeling less happy than you could be, there could be a lot of explanations. Becoming a new mom can mean losing sleep, losing a sense of spontaneity, losing some independence, losing exclusivity in an intimate relationship. Having a child changes the dynamics in a relationship. Often, women are caregivers for their partners in many ways, and partners lose that exclusive attention they were receiving which can create conflict. Many women idealize what being a mom will be like, and reality can be quite a shock. Comparing ourselves to others often makes us feel inadequate, as we tend to compare ourselves only to people who have what we want. It is certainly possible that other moms are not quite as happy as they seem, but they may want to display a positive outlook on their lives via social media.
Remember to be good to yourself. It is important to take a break. If you are lucky enough to have trusted caregivers, have them watch your child so you can reconnect with yourself without having to be needed for everything.
A major depressive episode or clinical depression is defined as a 2 week or more period of time in which a person's mood is sad with loss if interest or pleasure and several associated symptoms such as problems with appetite, sleep, excessive guilt, poor concentration, memory problems, feeling slowed down or restless, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, low self esteem, low energy, low motivation, and even suicidal thoughts. These symptoms impair a person's functioning at home, at work, or in social situations. If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, please contact your doctor's office for an evaluation.
There are different types of therapy and different types of therapists with differing amounts and types of education and experience, so sometimes it is helpful to obtain a referral to try to help connect you to an appropriate therapist.
It is important to ensure your bedtime environment is optimal for proper sleep. Avoid caffeine after 1 pm. Avoid watching or listening to TV in the bedroom or right before bed. Make sure the bedroom is cool and dark. If there are noises keeping you awake, try wearing ear plugs. Bright screens before bed can be too stimulating and cause more difficulty falling asleep. Avoid alcohol because alcohol can inhibit deep, restorative sleep and lead to multiple awakenings. Keep a regular sleep schedule, going to sleep and waking about the same time every day.
Relaxation exercises such as deep breathing can be helpful for sleep initiation. While deep breathing, try to allow your worries to gently flow by without trying to fight them. You can visualize this happening as if a worry is drifting on water, in one ear and out the other. You can shift your focus to a soothing word such as "peace."
Another helpful strategy is to write down the thoughts that are bothering you. Do the worries seem as important when you read them? Are any solutions coming to mind that you would like to remember? Write that down too. Some people find it helpful to write down the things they feel grateful for, shifting their focus to the positive aspects of their daily lives.
If these strategies are not enough, and the worrying and trouble falling asleep are associated with muscle tension, restless energy, irritable mood, excessive worry throughout the day, and trouble with daily functioning due to these symptoms, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder that may be identified and treated by your primary care physician or a psychiatrist.