Factors affecting HIV-infected Mothers' ability to adhere to antenatally intended infant feeding choices in Tshwane

Joan Nteboheleng Matji, Dankwart F Wittenberg, Jennifer D Makin, Una E MacIntyre, Bridget Jeffrey, Brian WC Forsyth


Objectives: To determine the factors influencing the ability of HIV infected mothers to adhere to antenatal feeding choices after routine PMTCT counselling.

Patients and methods:The postnatal feeding practices of 222 HIV infected mothers were compared with their prenatal intentions and with those of 53 uninfected mothers.

Results: Ninety-four percent of control mothers were breastfeeding their babies at age 6 weeks, while 69% of study mothers were formula feeding. Of those intending to formula feed prenatally, 25% changed their mind and breastfed, while 50% of 52 women planning to breastfeed switched to formula feeds.

Conclusion: Decision making on infant feeding is dependent on a women’s age, her ability to cope with her HIV status and most importantly her ability to disclose this, starting at the health facility level through to the household level. We show that women are influenced by circumstances within their homes and at the hospital to depart from their original feeding intent.

Authors' affiliations

Joan Nteboheleng Matji, University of Pretoria

Dankwart F Wittenberg, University of Pretoria

Jennifer D Makin, University of Pretoria

Una E MacIntyre, University of Limpopo, MEDUNSA campus

Bridget Jeffrey, University of Pretoria

Brian WC Forsyth, Yale University

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HIV and infant feeding

Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2009;3(1):20.

Article History

Date submitted: 2008-05-25
Date published: 2009-05-27

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