There seems to be a general assumption, likely created (in part) by the highly inaccurate way the media portrays motherhood and childbirth, that new moms are supposed to feel a certain way once they have a baby. Here's the thing; if you're wondering how to feel after giving birth, know that there's actually no "right" answer. The feelings and thoughts that go through a new mom's head after she gives birth are as unique as mothers themselves, and you shouldn't be putting any additional pressure on yourself to be a certain way or act a certain way or feel a certain way or look a certain way, especially after everything you will have been through.
I thought I was supposed to cry with joy and relief when my kids were born, and I think that was 100 percent because that's what I had seen women do on television or in the movies. Seriously, how could I be disappointed in myself because I didn't cry? That is exactly what happened though. Instead, I felt anxious when my baby wasn't placed immediately in my arms (the first time, because my daughter had passed meconium and they needed to make sure her airways were clear and vitals were strong, and the second time was because my son took just a little too long to start breathing, so the midwives brought him to the resuscitation station). I would consider both situations more than worthy of anxiety (not that I need an excuse to feel whatever it is I was feeling) but, still, I found myself feeling guilty.
It's really important for new moms to be forgiving of themselves, right from the get go. We are faced with so much judgement and scrutiny for everything we do as parents as it is, that to place tan extra burden on ourselves is not only exhausting, it's cruel. In fact, it can be downright destructive. So, if you can, just allow yourself to be in the moment when you finally give birth, and take a look at these seven things new moms think they have to feel after giving birth, but really don't: