Factors influencing infant feeding practices of mothers living with HIV : a case study of Project Masihambisane.
Ntaka, Buyisile Sinqobile.
MetadataShow full item record
This paper aims to explore the factors that influence infant feeding practices of HIV positive mothers who participated in Project Masihambisane. Secondary data analysis (data collected in 2012) was done to analyse and interpret data (relevant to the research statement) collected from Project Masihambisane. 1200 HIV positive women were enrolled in Project Masihambisane and three assessments (structured questionnaires) were used to collect data for the studies objectives. For this research relevant sections in the assessments were identified which provided information on mothers’ intended feeding practices before birth and reported practices post birth. The theory presented in this research paper is Pierre Bourdieu’s Habitus which the researcher uses in an attempt to understand actions of agents in society and how their environments contribute to these actions, as well as understanding the complex nature of HIV positive motherhood. For the purposes of this research data analysis was done on data collected in Project Masihambisane in the baseline, 6 days post-birth and 6 months assessments. Formula feeding was the predominant method of feeding mothers practiced, followed by breastfeeding, and fewer cases of mixed feeding were also reported. The findings showed that mothers who were successful in formula feeding were those that had disclosed their HIV statuses and had the necessary support structures to implement this. Formula feeding was also associated with mothers’ desire to prevent HIV infection from breast milk. Stigma, disclosure of HIV status, partners (or lack thereof), families, neighbours and communities were identified as factors that contribute to infant feeding practices.