Sometimes people ask me why I do not breastfeed

Sometimes mothers can be worried that being seen to be bottle-feeding will identify them as HIV positive.

If you do not wish to tell anyone that you are breastfeeding because you are positive, your doctor or midwife can help you with reasons to explain why you are bottle feeding.

For example, you can say you have cracked nipples or that the milk didn’t come, both of which are common.

It is up to you whether or not you tell anyone that you are HIV positive.

There are many other reasons why HIV negative women do not breastfeed.

You are NOT a bad mother if you do not breastfeed.

How does the cost of formula milk for a year compare to the cost of HIV treatment for life?

As an HIV positive mother, I would never put my baby at even the slightest risk of contracting HIV through my breast milk as I live in the UK where I can access clean water and formula milk.

Mem, London

Last updated: 1 April 2019.