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Addressing Breastfeeding For Mothers With HIV

Huffington Post: What World Breastfeeding Week Means for HIV Positive Mothers
Anna Coutsoudis, public health specialist

“The last 20 years or so have been very difficult years for HIV-infected mothers and health-care workers because of the huge dilemma around infant feeding. Mothers faced the situation of a chance of infecting their child if they breastfed. This fear drove international agencies and many countries to promote formula feeding and even distributed it for free, leading to many HIV-infected women opting for formula feeding. … I want to encourage communities to support mothers to be able to breastfeed confidently and to prevent the infant food companies from unscrupulously putting pressure on mothers (and health care workers) to give their babies formula milk and baby foods before the age of six months. Our children are our future and each of us — peers, health workers, legislators — has a responsibility in whatever way we can to allow these children to grow up healthy, as they were created to be” (8/7).