New parents, particularly first-timers, may experience a fear of not being able to pick their baby up properly. Babies need to be supported at the head and lower body as their muscle tone is not developed enough to support themselves. The same principle applies to cradling the baby, holding baby upright over the shoulder or sitting them on your lap. They can sense if they are well supported and they are more robust than you think. Your confidence will soon grow with experience. Once you have been shown the technique by your midwife, you may feel you would like to practice without being watched.
See: Kitzinger, S. (2003) The new pregnancy and childbirth: choices and challenges. Dorling, Kindersley.