By Lucy Notarantonio
A mum has launched her own signage brand called ‘don’t touch the baby’ in a bid to stop strangers touching newborns.
Helen Baker, 40, suffered with post-natal depression and decided to set up ‘don’t touch the baby’ to stop people voluntarily touching her babies and passing on unwanted germs.
She struggled with infertility for six years and the only way for her to start a family was with IVF – which finally worked on her ninth round in 2011.
Property landlord, Helen, used the same batch of embryos as her first-born Hugo, now eight, for her two miracle twins Coco and Monty, now 10 months.
Helen, from Southampton, says her experiences when Hugo was a newborn has inspired her to create a sequence of tags to help new mums who are anxious.
These tags can be attached to prams to prevent strangers from assuming they can touch the baby.
Helen said: “When I was pregnant with the twins last summer in 2018, I was thinking back to when Hugo was a new-born and I hated it when people would grab his cheeks.
“It isn’t acceptable to go up to an adult and randomly touch them so why should it be any different with babies?
“I have been through so much to get my children here; my mental health went from bad to worse during my infertility struggle.
“I had two miscarriages, both Fallopian tubes removed, an ectopic pregnancy and ten cycles of IVF and only two were successful.
“My husband, Oliver, 38 and I sold our house, car and used our wedding funds to pay over £15,000 for the treatment.
“It was a dream come true when I was finally pregnant with Hugo and now I have the twins our dream family is complete.
“I used to get anxiety when people would touch Hugo and invade my personal space and I wasn’t willing to go through this again with the twins.
“I very vividly remember returning home from a shopping trip in floods of tears after a stranger had lent into his pram and touched his face.
“I felt bad as I know she had meant no harm, nevertheless the situation left me feeling out of control and slightly violated.
“While I was pregnant with the twins, I vowed I would design a polite sign made to hang on their pram.
“I created these child-friendly tags for the mums out there who were suffering like me and for the premature or sick babies who can’t be exposed to germs.”
Helen launched ‘Don’t touch the baby’ in February 2019 – the tags are available in pink, blue and grey for under £6.
She adds: “The polite signs are to put parents at ease, it is within every parents right to say ‘don’t touch the baby’ – but sometimes it’s awkward to do so and atleast this way, the signs do the talking.
“I am now never put in an awful situation where someone who may not of washed their hands are touching my new precious babies.
“I have received mixed reviews; some mums have thanked me as they now have the confidence to go out with their babies without the fear of having an awkward conversation with a stranger.
“Others have said ‘it is over the top’ as everybody needs germs but I have explained that not some babies, especially premature could do without.
“I feel empowered with the tags on the pram and I want other mums to feel the same too.”
To see more; www.donttouchthebaby.co.uk