The moment when you meet your baby for the first time will never be matched by anything in your life, ever! It is possibly the most magical feeling in the world when you look down into the eyes of the thing that has been growing inside of you for the last 9 months and now you finally get to gaze upon the beautiful face, count all 10 fingers and toes and give your baby a much needed hug. However once the shock and awe of the birth experience has died down a little, all these thoughts can become a little overwhelming.
It can be very scary when you suddenly realise just how much everything has changed and that, even though you read all the books, watched all the films and went to all the classes, you actually have no idea what you are doing. Hormones are running wild after birth and this also contributes to the anxieties many new mums feel. There are many things that you can do to help with these feelings but it's important to remember that parenting is a learning curve and there is no way to know it all. You will make mistakes but this does not mean you have failed as a parent, nobody is perfect.
If you are feeling anxious or scared then try to stay in hospital for at least one night after you have had baby. Aside from the fact this will enable both you and your birthing partners to recover from the birth it also means you will have access to midwives, health visitors and lactation consultants as well as doctors and nurses so if there are any problems at all or anything you feel you need some help with there is always somebody there able to help. If your baby is particularly fussy at night the midwives will take them away for an hour or 2 so you can get some rest and then will bring baby back when they need feeding.
Eventually though, you will be discharged from hospital and will have to go back to normality and learn to do things by yourself. You will be discharged under the care of a community midwife who will visit on a daily basis if needed for up to 3 weeks after the birth and then you will be transferred to the care of a health visitor who will stay with you until your child is 5.