Acceptability, feasibility and affordability of infant feeding options for HIV-infected women: a qualitative study in south-west Nigeria.Matern Child Nutr 2006; 2(3):135-44MC
The objective of this study was to explore the acceptability, feasibility, affordability, safety and sustainability of replacement feeding options for HIV-infected mothers in Ile-Ife, in south-west Nigeria. Six focus group discussions were conducted with a purposive sample of mothers, fathers and grandmothers. The HIV status of all participants was unknown to investigators. All text data were analysed using the Text-based Beta Software program. With regard to the acceptability of replacement feeds, respondents perceived the stigma associated with not breastfeeding to be an important consideration. In this community, breastfeeding is the norm--even though it is not necessarily exclusive. For infected mothers who choose to breastfeed exclusively and then to wean their infants before 6 months of age, respondents did not anticipate early cessation of breastfeeding to be problematic. Respondents noted that acceptable replacement foods included infant formula, soy milk and cow's milk. Barriers to replacement feeding that were mentioned included: the high costs of replacement foods and fuel for cooking; an unreliable supply of electrical power; poor access to safe water; and poor access to storage facilities. The research confirms the difficulty of replacement feeding for HIV-infected mothers in sub-Saharan Africa. The results also provide the basis for new issues and hypothesis for future research in other communities with similar socio-cultural and economic characteristics.