Q and A


I’ve HIV and just had a baby, should I use formula?

hi. I’m hiv positive and have given birth 5days ago. I’m currently on tribuss and undetectable. My family is too judgemental so i have not told anyone about my status. I’m feeding my baby formula but the problem is she has not pooped for 2days now and my family keeps on saying its because of formula i should breastfeed. I want to know if it is still safe for me to breastfeed even if i started by giving formula.


Congratulations on the birth of your child.

I appreciate that it can be hard to tell people about your status. You may also feel under more pressure because of having a baby. Because you are on treatment, how you choose to feed your child is your decision. The following though may help:


With regards to your baby pooing, this is normal in newborns. If however, you are concerned please talk to a doctor.

Good luck.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Dee,

    In the UK were i-base are based, we introduce solid foods once a baby is 6 months old. Babies under 6 months don’t really need anything other than milk.
    With regards to going back to 100% milk, you could do this. If you can I’d talk to a health care professional.

    Feeding guidelines for babies born to positive mothers vary depending on where a person lives. In the UK we use formula. If you live in a country where breastfeeding is recommended, then yes you can breastfeed.

  2. Dee

    My baby is 4 months old, hiv exposed n I started giving her solids. My viral load is lower than detectable, I am starting to feel bad about it and it has been 2 weeks can I go back to breastfeeding only

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Mimi,

    First, congratulations on the birth of your newborn son.

    But please talk to your doctor about why he’s stopped pooping. It’s a good idea to ask your doctor to give him a check up for this.

  4. Mimi

    Does nevirapine makes newborn not to poop cause since i started giving it to my baby he stopped to poop

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Khanyi,

    First, congratulations on the news of the birth of your baby.

    However, please talk to your doctor or nurse about the best way to feed your baby. The recommendations for feeding babies born to HIV positive mothers are different in different countries. But mix feeding with both breastmilk and formula is not recommended.

    How is your HIV treatment going? Please let us know what HIV meds you’re taking. If you have access to your CD4 count and viral load results, please tell us what they are.

  6. Khanyi

    Hi my baby is 1 month m breastfeeding him and it’s like he is not getting full with breast milk. When can I start giving him soft food like cream of maize?

  7. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Siya,

    Babies born to positive mothers should be given either breast milk or formula, they shouldn’t be given both. If you’ve issues with your breast milk then the best thing to do is to switch to formula. With regards to solid food, these can be introduced from 6 months.

  8. Siya

    Hi I’m HIV positive
    I would like to ask about breastfeeding and using formula to my negative child is it dangerous because I have a small milk to make her full stomach and using a Purity Maize is a problem

  9. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Sharon,

    First, congratulations on the news of your 6 months old baby. It’s great that you’re undetectable. It sounds like you’re doing all you can.

    But please talk to your doctor or nurse about the best way to feed your baby. They can give you the best advice on this.

    Please see this Q&A on the safest way to feed your baby http://i-base.info/qa/6656

  10. Sharon

    Am HIV an undetectable am breastfeeding and my baby is 6 months. Am using formula milk to cook porridge. Is this risky coz breastmilk is not enough to cook?


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