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. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Xoli,

    Please talk to your doctor or nurse about this. It’s good that your baby is taking nevirapine. All babies born to HIV positive mothers need to take a short course of HIV treatment when they are born.

    But please do not give your baby any medication or supplements without talking to your doctor first.

    If you live in South Africa you can contact the Treatment Action Campaign local support.

  2. Xoli

    Hi there,
    My question is it safe enough to give baby other mediction while taking nevirapine. By other medication, I mean to say antibiotics and or hyospasmol.

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Maggie,

    If you’re asking if it’s OK for your baby to use formula, then the answer is yes. With formula there’s no risk. There’s more about this here: http://i-base.info/guides/pregnancy

  4. Maggie

    Hy de am gIving my 4 days baby formula only is it gud ?

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Pretty,

    Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl. It’s great that she tested HIV negative.

    Giving your child formula for just one day is likely to be fine. But continued mix feeding with formula and breastmilk is not recommended. As this can increase risk to your baby.

    Please talk to your doctor or nurse about the best way to feed your baby. That’s because the way you feed your baby depends on what country you live in.

    Your doctors can give you the best advice on this.

  6. Pretty

    Hi pretty here am HIV and my baby is nagative I gave my child a formula for one day and from then I stoped and continued breastfeeding her is she HIV positve ?

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Pelesa,

    Many congratulations on the news of your new baby girl.

    You’re right that it is important to exclusively use either breastfeeding only or formula milk only. It sounds like you’re doing all you can, and that’s great.

    But because guidelines for breastfeeding are linked to where you live, including the country and if this is in the city or countryside, please ask your doctor or nurse these questions.

  8. Palesa

    Hi. Im HIV positive and I’ve been breastfeeding exclusively my baby is now 10 weeks and i want to change her to formula exclusively. Is it safe to do so?

  9. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Smangele,

    First, many congratulations on the news of your new baby. It’s great to hear your baby tested HIV negative.

    But what does your doctor or nurse say about the best way to feed your baby? Babies don’t need solid food until they are about 4 to 5 months old. So 6 weeks is too young for this soft food. Babies just need milk at this age. Unfortunately it’s not a good idea to mix breastmilk and formula feeding. This can increase the risk to your baby.

    But please discuss this with your doctor and nurse. They can give you the best advice on feeding your baby.

    If you live in South Africa you can contact the Treatment Action Campaign at this contact link. They can help with local support for you and your baby.


    Hi I m HIV my baby is negative I use breastmilk and purity cream of maize I want to know is there any dangerous to mix breastmilk and feending purity my baby is only 6 weeks can I change to formula?


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