HIV Statistics and Breastfeeding

HIV & Breastfeeding

Can a breastfeeding HIV positive mother infect her baby by breastfeeding?

Yes, and NO, some people believe that about one-third of all HIV positive children in the world have been infected through HIV and breastfeeding! Others say there is just not enough evidence to prove HIV transmission through breast milk.

Statistics HIV and children breastfeeding 

~ Interesting fact ~
Many people believe that there is no actual proof that HIV can exist in breast milk and that telling mothers to stop breastfeeding can actually cause more problems than solving them.

Can an HIV positive mother reduce the risk of transferring the disease through HIV breastfeeding?

Some say that no method is effective enough to stop the transfer of the virus and that mothers should use formula.

The sad truth though is that in most parts of the world many mothers are faced with few options, breastfeed the baby and transfer the virus or he will starve, as they don’t have the financial resources for formula and do not even have a clean water supply. Therefore in the developing countries breastfeeding is not an everyday choice, but is actually the difference between life and death.

So Should you be Breastfeeding while HIV Positive?

breastfeeding with HIV, HIV breast milk

If you have the finances to buy formula every month and have access to a clean water supply, it is recommended to refrain from breastfeeding, it is better to be safe than to be sorry later.

Get your child tested and if he/she is also positive, it is best then to breastfeed, as breastfeeding will help keep your baby healthy and strengthen his immune system.

HIV positive mothers can also get donated breast milk from a milk bank or get a wet nurse to nurse her baby, if possible.

Statistics HIV and children breastfeeding 

~ Interesting fact ~
Breastfeeding with HIV has been found to help slow the progression of HIV in babies who are born positive. With a lack of medical attention and testing in some areas, most mothers would not know whether their child is already positive or not.

Those Breastfeeding and HIV Positive Moms that have HIV Negative Babies…

  • These mothers that are nursing with HIV must never mix feeds but should breastfeed exclusively, as adding other things like water can increase the baby’s chance of becoming infected.
  • Having cracked nipples, mastitis or open sores on the breast can increase the chance of infecting the baby, so care should be taken during these times.
  • Join an “AIDS and breastfeeding” support group if possible.
  • Early weaning or weaning at six months is recommended if possible.

Join us facebook breastfeeding page