There have been different guidelines about HIV and breastfeeding as we have learnt more about HIV. Women may have been given different advice about breastfeeding depending on when they were pregnant and which healthcare facility they went to.

We want to make sure that all women have the same advice about breastfeeding, which is to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of the baby’s life. This means no formula, no water, no juice… just breast milk. This is the best thing for mothers and for their babies. We must also understand that not all women can breastfeed – some are not able to and others do not want to. It is important not to judge women who choose not to breastfeed, because even if we give advice, individuals must make their own decisions.

Example SMS:

How long should I breastfeed for?

✎ If you are HIV positive, give your baby nothing but breast milk for the first 6 months to make them fit and strong.

If you want to breastfeed your baby but your baby has problems drinking your milk, go to your local clinic.  They can help you and make it easier.

Family and friends might think they know what is best for you and your baby.  Discuss your own beliefs about breastfeeding with your family before birth.

Women can be scared of being judged for their choices during pregnancy.  You can decide what is best for you and your baby.

Breastfeeding is safe when HIV positive but you must give nothing but breast milk for 6 months. Ask your clinic for help and information if you are not sure.