The Breastfeeding Walk-In Clinic is not only about breastfeeding. It’s about infant feeding and providing support to mothers. This is the first thing that Practice Midwife Helen Borg , who runs this clinic at Mater Dei Hospital highlights when we sit down with her.
“Our main aim is to make sure that babies are happy by providing help and support to mothers when taking care of their babies, whether they are feeding them breast milk, formula milk or weaning them.”
She explains what the procedure is after mother and child are discharged from hospital:
- 1 day after being discharged from hospital: The day after they are discharged, new mothers are visited by a discharge liasion midwife (DLM) from Mater Dei Hospital.
- 48 to 72 hours after discharge (this might be earlier if circumstances dictate so), an appointment will be given for the mother and baby to visit the Breastfeeding Walk-in Clinic
- 10 days after discharge: new mothers will receive a visit from the Health-mark midwife (previously referred to as MMDNA).
What to expect inside the breastfeeding clinic?
The clinic comprises of a room with two areas:
- Area 1: Here the baby is measured and weighed (babies are completely undressed so it is recommended to put on something comfortable which can be taken off and put back on easily)
- Area 2: Here the baby is breast or bottle fed. Most babies will want to feed after being undressed and weighed so they can relax again. Fathers are not allowed in this area and have to wait outside, so women breastfeed comfortably. New dads sometimes use this as an opportunity to talk amongst themselves.
“The procedure here is that we check the weight of the baby, the length and the head circumference. Then we speak with the parents to see if there are any feeding issues – whichever way the baby is fed (whether breast-fed or bottle-fed) and we can also assist with any other concerns the parents may have about the well-being of mother and baby.
“Then there are the follow-up appointments. There are babies who need to be followed up regularly and others that don’t. Follow up depends on how well the baby is doing and how confident the mum is, some mothers feel a little anxious about milk quantity so seeing the baby growing helps them,” explained the midwife.
She mentioned that the clinic also serves as a referral system. Mothers or babies can be referred to different health professionals if this is deemed necessary.
How to contact the breastfeeding clinic
The clinic opens everyday except for Saturday. One can still call the clinic on 2545 4445 when the clinic is not open. If there is not a midwife on duty, one can leave a message on the answering machine and will receive a call as soon as one of the midwives is on duty. For an emergency, when the clinic is closed, one can call the Obstetrics Ward (where they have given birth) Obs 1 on 2545 5140 or Obs 3 on 2545 5100.
Opening Hours of the Breastfeeding Walk-in Clinic
Monday 08:00 – 13:00
Tuesday 08:00 – 13:00, 15:30 – 18:00
Wednesday 08:00 – 13:00
Thursday 08:00 – 13:00, 15:30 – 18:00
Friday 08:00 – 13:00
Saturday call on 2545 4445
Sunday 08:00 – 13:00