As recommended by a specialist, when raising babies born to mothers with HIV, it is recommended to feed the child entirely with alternative milk sources. Because if a newborn is fed breast milk infected with HIV, the likelihood of infection is very high, accounting for about 30%. 1. Can an HIV-infected mother breastfeed?
1. Do babies born to mothers with HIV/AIDS breastfeed?
Breast milk is the best food for babies and young children, because breast milk contains nutrition and antibodies that help babies have better resistance. However, babies born to a mother with HIV should not be. Breastfeeding from a mother with HIV is one of three paths to transmission of HIV to her child (2 routes of mother-to-child transmission are during pregnancy and during childbirth).
It is estimated that about 5-20% of breastfeeding babies will completely infect the HIV virus from the mother; when the baby is breastfeeding while eating alternative food up to 6 months the infection rate is 25-35%; prolong breastfeeding to 18-24 months the infection rate is 30-45%.
The cause of transmission of HIV virus when breastfeeding babies is caused by HIV in breast milk can penetrate through the oral mucosa, tongue of babies and infect babies, especially in cases where the child has inflammations in the mouth.
Or in case the mother's breast has inflammation, cracks or when the child grows teeth that bite causing bleeding, HIV can follow blood into the child's mouth, penetrate through the mucous membranes and cause HIV virus infection for the child.
2. Note when raising babies born to mothers with HIV/AIDS
Accordingly, the solution to feed a child with a mother with HIV to prevent the risk of HIV infection from mother to child, organizations related to raising young children recommend that mothers choose alternative food. Alternative milks include:
- Formula: Although it can't be as good as breast milk, formulas have nutrients that are almost identical to breast milk, so experts recommend using it to replace breast milk when a mother is HIV positive.
- Whole milk powder and dried curd: Micronutrients in milk meet the needs but are not as balanced as breast milk. However, it can still be used as an alternative to breastfeeding.
- Milk from homemade cattle: For example, sheep's milk, cow's milk, goat's milk. The composition of nutrients is often lacking, especially micronutrients, so experts recommend limiting use more than the above two types of milk.
In case of inatermity for raising a child with an HIV-infected mother as above, the HIV-infected mother may choose to breastfeed the baby completely for the first 6 months and at least 3 months to receive nutrients and resistance from the mother. However, the likelihood of transmiting the HIV virus in breast milk to the baby is about 15-20%. Therefore, in order to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to children, mothers with HIV should do the following:
- Breastfeeding babies completely when the mother and baby do not show manifestations of skin and mouth infections. If treatment is required before breastfeeding.
- When there are conditions to eat supplements, the baby must stop breastfeeding completely and then switch to additional food and drink more formula for the first 6 months of life.
- Breastfeed your baby who has been treated with the HIV virus: Milk it and boil it 100 degrees to kill the HIV virus, then refrigerate it immediately and feed it.
- Live feeding: This reduces the likelihood of HIV infection in babies while helping babies enjoy the sweet flow of breast milk and nutrients found in breast milk. However, when applying this method, it is necessary to ensure that the breastfeeder is completely healthy and does not have HIV.
Note: Absolutely do not feed babies in coordination between breastfeeding and alternative milk farming because they increase the risk of transmission to the child, increasing the risk of death by 6 times due to infections of the child.
3. What to do to eliminate your child's risk of HIV infection?
HIV in pregnant women can be transmitted to the child during pregnancy, during childbirth, and during breastfeeding. Without mother-to-child HIV transmission prevention, 35 out of every 100 pregnant HIV-infected mothers will be born with mother-to-mother TRANSMISSION. But if given backup treatment only about 5 babies are born to be transmitted the disease from the mother. Therefore, it is very important to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
3.1 During pregnancy
- Full consultation before and after HIV testing in pregnant women;
- Nutritional advice during pregnancy and feeding of post-birth babies;
- Advising on the risks and disadvantages that may occur during pregnancy, childbirth and the nurturing and care of the child later;
- Provide mental support advice, perform safe behaviors to spread HIV to yourself and others.
- ARV treatment readiness training and ARV drug compliance practice.
3.2 During childbirth
- Ensure the principles of aseptic in obstetrics and gynecology.
- Limit procedures such as amniotic embolism, cesarean section, electrolysis, early amniotic membrane incision.
- Bathe the baby immediately after birth.
- Provide sufficient doses of ARV to the mother if the mother and child are discharged early.
- Forward applications to an adult HIV care and treatment facility so that the mother can receive long-term care and treatment.
In order to avoid undesirable dangerous consequences for pregnant women with HIV/AIDS, it is necessary to support and create the best conditions for these women to receive HIV counseling for pregnant women in a timely manner, thereby providing the most appropriate treatment and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
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