Infant Feeding Practices of Women in a Perinatal HIV-1 Prevention Study in Nairobi, Kenya

James N. Kiarie, MBChB MMMPHBRDM-NMBCBMMMPHRNMBCB* A † W. "Infant Feeding Practices of Women in a Perinatal HIV-1 Prevention Study in Nairobi, Kenya.". 2004.


Objective: To determine feeding practices and nutritional status of
infants born to HIV-1–infected women.
Methods: Feeding plans and practices were evaluated by questionnaires
and focus group discussions. Infants were weighed at 1 and 6
weeks and tested for HIV-1 at 6 weeks.
Results: Of 128 women seen after delivery, 111 completed the
study. Mothers who planned to breast feed were more likely to feed
their infants as planned (86% vs. 55%; P < 0.001). Women opted to
breast feed due to financial constraints, partner influence, and fear of
losing confidentiality. Women who reported that their partners were
willing to have HIV-1 testing were less likely to be breast feeding at 6
weeks (odds ratio [OR] = 0.3, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.1–0.8;
P = 0.01). At 6 weeks, more infants were mixed fed (31% vs. 21%; P =
0.05) than at 1 week. Lower infant weight at 6 weeks was associated with
not breast feeding (P = 0.001), HIV-1 infection (P = 0.05), birth weight
<3000 g (P = 0.01), maternal employment (P = 0.02), and paying <$12.5
per month in house rent (among infants not breast fed; P = 0.05).
Conclusions: Replacement feeding was difficult, particularly without
partner support in HIV-1 testing. Mixed feeding was common and increased
by 6 weeks. Mothers of low socioeconomic status who opt not to
breast feed require support to avoid nutritional compromise of infants

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