Exclusive, Extended Breastfeeding Lowers Mother-to-Infant HIV Risk - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 04-18-2013, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I thought I'd read in the past that mothers with HIV should not breastfeed, or at least I know there's been controversy over that. But this study shows otherwise.

A new study has found that HIV-infected mothers are less likely to transmit the virus to their newborns if they breastfeed their child exclusively for more than 4 months. The findings have important implications in sub-Saharan Africa, where infants are at greater risk of contracting and dying from diarrheal diseases or pneumonia.

Breastfeeding is widely regarded as the best form of nutrition for newborns because human milk transfers not only essential nutrients but also important immune-system factors from mother to child, protecting the baby against potentially life-threatening infections.

What do you think about this?
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#2 of 2 Old 04-18-2013, 08:56 PM
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Interesting! My main initial reaction though was to laugh about the difference between what I thought they meant by "exclusive extended" bfing and what the article says, which is beyond 4 months. I was thinking years! I did meet a mother once at a diner who told me she nursed her child exclusively for two years. As in, he only got her milk, no other food. She was from Latin America. I was intrigued and amazed. For one thing, how could you STOP a mobile baby or toddler from eating?

Anyway, it makes sense nursing would create immune benefits. Maybe if you do it long enough it kills off the virus?

SAHM to 6.5yo DS and 4yo DD. PCOS with two early m/cs. Married 8 yrs. Certified birth doula, writer, editor.

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