Breastfeeding and its determinants in Nairobi, Kenya, implications for infant feeding guidelines for HIV-1 infected mothers

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Muu, Francis Ndungo
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'Objectives'. (1) To determine the pattern of breastfeeding in urban mothers with known and unknown HIV infection status. (2) To identify factors associated with choice of breastfeeding in these mothers. (3) To document differences in breastfeeding patterns in these mothers. 'Design and method'. A cross sectional survey carried out in two hospitals and two maternal and child health (MCH) clinics in Nairobi. A total of 463 mothers were recruited to the following groups: Group 1 (n = 333): Mothers with unknown HIV infection status. Group 2 (n = 73): HIV-infected mothers counseled on infant feeding prenatally. Group 3 (n = 57): HIV-infected mothers counseled on infant feeding postnatally. 'Conclusions'. Although breastfeeding initiation is universal or near universal, exclusive breastfeeding is low at birth, and rare by 3 months for mothers with unknown HIV infection status. There is need to strengthen and promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months followed by breastfeeding with supplementary feeding throughout the first two years of life and beyond for these mothers. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)