nursing and midwifery - text

Infant feeding

  • In the UK and other resource rich settings the safest way to feed infants born to mothers is with formula milk, as this eliminates on-going risk of HIV exposure after birth.
  • Abstaining from breastfeeding can have financial and psychological consequences for women, requiring support from the MDT.
  • Women who have an undetectable VL with good adherence to ARV and who choose to breastfeed may be supported to do so, but should be informed about the low risk of transmission of HIV through breastfeeding in this situation.
  • If the woman chooses breastfeeding she should be advised to breastfeed for as short a time as possible, to exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months, and to cease breastfeeding if they have a breast infection/mastitis or if the baby has any GI symptoms. Mother and baby should be reviewed monthly together for HIV RNA viral load testing until they stop breastfeeding.

 Here Penny (Consultant obstetrician) talks about current UK guidelines in relation to infant feeding when the mother is HIV positive, and treatment for the baby....