Breastfeeding Practices of HIV-Positive Mothers in Resource-Limited Settings
HIV-postive mothers in resource-limited settings must balance the risk of HIV transmission through breast milk with the well-documented and culturally embraced benefits of breastfeeding when deciding whether or not to breastfeed their newborns. Additionally, these mothers must also simultaneously overcome the stigma associated with their HIV-positive status. Although a large amount of research has been conducted regarding this topic, few mothers in these settings are educated about the best practices to maximize the benefits of breastfeeding while minimizing the risk of vertical HIV transmission (Holmes & Savage, 2007). This paper utilizes a review of the current research regarding the issue of breastfeeding and HIV-positive mothers to determine the most effective practices, the barriers to implementation in resource-limited settings, and the educational approaches that would best overcome these barriers. Exclusive breastfeeding for six months and a need for successful and appropriate education interventions were deemed to be the most prominent findings.