Feeding a newborn is tough, especially if it’s your first child and you’re second-guessing everything. That’s why we are hugely excited to have Helen Borg on hand to help our Island Bébé mums in our upcoming infant feeding series full of advice and reassurance.
So, who is Helen and why do you need her in your life?
A few days after my son was born, I was already on the verge of giving up trying to breastfeed. I had SEVEN blisters on one nipple and breast engorgement that made Dolly Parton look modest. I was crying from the pain and felt like I had somehow failed one of my first tasks as a mother.
Enter Helen Borg, an infant feeding specialist midwife who has prevented countless nervous breakdowns and no doubt saved many a traumatized nipple. Helen heads up the breastfeeding clinic at Mater Dei, a free, drop-in centre where you can go to get your baby weighed and checked during the few weeks after birth. But I soon found out it is so much more than that.
Helen showed me to the clinic, gave me a cup of tea and sat me down in the secluded, cushion-filled, breastfeeding area. After hooking me up to a very large pump in order to empty my apocalyptic boobs, the midwives explained what was happening to my body and how I can relieve it. They also recognised that the blisters I had were caused by the breast pump I was using at home and gave me a better one to take home and try, which worked a treat. I left there in a lot less pain, and with a lot more confidence – and I managed to breastfeed successfully thereafter.
The effect Helen’s work has had on women all over the island can be found everywhere. When we met up with her to create this series over a coffee, a woman came bounding over to our table, squealing with delight. I thought she was going to ask Helen for her autograph. Turns out Helen had delivered the woman’s now 17-year-old son and she was over-flowing with gratitude, showing us a picture of her son and explaining how Helen was the best “delivery mama” in the world.
It’s clear that, to Helen, her job is more than just midwifery. It’s about teaching and empowering women to be able to get through the early weeks of parenthood comfortably and safely, allowing them to spend less time worrying and more time enjoying those beautiful first moments with their babies.
Help me, Helen! Is a regular infant feeding series that aims to address the main issues that can arise when feeding your newborn. If you find yourself struggling or looking for additional advice, don’t hesitate to contact the breastfeeding clinic at Mater Dei hospital.