Title

Factors influencing infant‐feeding choices selected by HIV‐infected mothers: P erspectives from Zimbabwe

Document Type

Article

Department

School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa

Abstract

Aim: To assess factors influencing infant-feeding methods selected by HIV-infected mothers.

Methods: A descriptive quantitative study was conducted among 80 mothers with babies aged 0-6 months who were randomly selected and interviewed. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the findings.

Results: Factors considered by women in choosing the infant-feeding methods included socio-cultural acceptability (58.8%), feasibility and support from significant others (35%), knowledge of the selected method (55%), affordability (61.2%), implementation of the infant-feeding method without interference (62.5%), and safety (47.5%). Exclusive breast-feeding was the most preferred method of infant feeding. Disclosure of HIV status by a woman to her partner is a major condition for successful replacement feeding method, especially within the African cultural context. However, disclosure of HIV status to the partner was feared by most women as only 16.2% of the women disclosed their HIV status to partners.

Conclusion: The factors considered by women in choosing the infant-feeding option were ability to implement the options without interference from significant others, affordability, and socio-cultural acceptability. Knowledge of the selected option, its advantages and disadvantages, safety, and feasibility were also important factors. Nurses and midwives have to educate clients and support them in their choice of infant-feeding methods.

Comments

This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

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