Perceptions on infant feeding practices among HIV positive mothers receiving treatment at Nsambya hospital in Kampala.
Kukunda, Esther Ruth
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This research study aimed at investigating the perceptions of HIV positive mothers on the different infant feeding practices. Using Nsambya hospital as a case study area, the research study aimed at achieving different objectives which included; assessing the different infant feeding practices adopted by HIV positive mothers, identifying the determinants of the different feeding options adopted by HIV positive mothers, analysing the maternal attitudes towards the different recommended infant feeding practices. The study used qualitative approaches to collect in-depth and detailed information that was given by HIV positive mothers. In this case, personal in-depth interviews, which contained both open and closed ended questions was employed. A sample size of 24 respondents (20 primary respondents and 4 key informants) was used and this was selected using purposive sampling. The data collected was analysed using thematic analysis then presented and discussed in chapter four. Data obtained showed that a substantial majority of the mothers were knowledgeable when it came on the definition of exclusive breastfeeding and mothers were aware of MTCT but despite all this, mothers chose to breastfeed their infants. A big proportion of the mothers had limited knowledge on replacement feeding which revealed a gap in counselling mothers received from the health care workers. Majority of the mothers perceived breast milk as sufficient and nutritious for HIV exposed infants and there was a significant number of respondents who perceived replacement feeding as not good for babies especially for their digestion. A big proportion of the respondents who participated in the study practiced exclusive breastfeeding than replacement feeding or formula feeding. Nurses or medical personnel were identified as the major determinants of the different infant feeding practices among HIV positive mothers, counselling was very significant in enabling mothers choose a suitable infant feeding option. The study concluded that since nurses were influential in infant feeding options HIV positive mothers made, there's need to scale up and strengthen the quality of infant feeding counselling provided by medical personnel nationwide. The study recommended the government and other stakeholders to put more emphasis in educating mothers on formula or replacement feeding as majority of the respondents had misconceptions on formula feeding.