6. For HIV-positive mothers, WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months unless replacement feeding is:
- acceptable (socially welcome)
- feasible (facilities and help are available to prepare formula)
- affordable (formula can be purchased for six months)
- sustainable (feeding can be sustained for six months)
- safe (formula is prepared with safe water and in hygienic conditions).
- all formula labels and information to state the benefits of breastfeeding and the health risks of substitutes;
- no promotion of breast-milk substitutes;
- no free samples of substitutes to be given to pregnant women, mothers or their families; and
- no distribution of free or subsidized substitutes to health workers or facilities.
9. WHO recommends that a new mother should have at least 16 weeks of absence from work after delivery, to be able to rest and breastfeed her child. Many mothers who go back to work abandon exclusive breastfeeding before the recommended six months because they do not have sufficient time, or an adequate place to breastfeed or express and store their milk at work. Mothers need access to a safe, clean and private place in or near their workplaces to continue the practice.
10. To meet the growing needs of babies at six months of age, complementary foods should be introduced as they continue to breastfeed. Foods for the baby can be specially prepared or modified from family meals. WHO notes that:
- breastfeeding should not be decreased when starting complementary feeding;
- complementary foods should be given with a spoon or cup, not in a bottle;
- foods should be clean, safe and locally available; and
- ample time is needed for young children to learn to eat solid foods.
Nurse on Mummies!