Q and A

Question

Can I mix feed?

I have a 10 weeks old infant and she tested negative at birth. However I\'m having sleepless nights, waiting in anticipation for her results as she got tested again when I took her for her 10 weeks vaccination. When I gave birth the doctor advised that I could mix feed since my CD4 count is 889 and viral load is undetectable but the nurse disagreed and said I should choose one so I chose breastfeeding. However, I have not disclosed my status at home and my mom constantly insists on mix feeding,solid feeding (cerealec) and giving her medication (Muthi wenyonyi,Qhuma,Lenon medicines,Panado,gripe water and Scott Emulsion) and now I’ve decided to stop breastfeeding once and for all. What are the chances of my daughter’s results coming out positive?

Answer

Thanks for getting in touch.

What your doctor told you is wrong. Babies born to HIV positive mothers need to be either formula fed or breastfed. However, guidelines on which method to use vary depending on where it is that a woman lives. For example in the UK where i-base are based, women aren’t advised to breastfeed. However, in South Africa they are as long as their viral load is undetectable.

The important thing is that babies need to be either be formula feed or breastfeed, not both.

You’ve mentioned that your baby is also being give solids. Your baby is too young to be given solids and this includes porridge. Introducing solids too early can increase the risk of a baby being positive. Therefore, this is something that you’re going to need to think about.

Your child is being given a lot of things that they simply do not need. Unless your child is unwell all they need is milk and milk alone.

If your child is taking ARVs, (which they should be as your breastfeeding) you need to be careful of possible interactions. This is why it’s important to talk to your childs doctor first before giving them any other medication.

If you aren’t ready to tell your family about your status, this is of course up to you. You do however need to be very clear with them about what your baby can and can’t have.

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