Exploring Perceptions and Practices of Biomedical Norms during Exclusive Breastfeeding among HIV-Positive Lactating Mothers in MozambiqueCarlos Eduardo Cuinhane1,2*, Gily Coene3, Kristien Roelens4 and Christophe Vanroelen5
- *Corresponding Author:
- Carlos Eduardo Cuinhane
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels University)
RHEA – Research Centre Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality
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E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: March 23, 2017; Accepted date: April 17, 2017; Published date: April 24, 2017
Citation: Cuinhane CE, Coene G, Roelens K, Vanroelen C (2017) Exploring Perceptions and Practices of Biomedical Norms during Exclusive Breastfeeding among HIV-Positive Lactating Mothers in Mozambique. J AIDS Clin Res 8:687. doi:10.4172/2155-6113.1000687
Copyright: © 2017 Cuinhane CE, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Introduction: To prevent passing infection to their infants, Mozambican mothers with HIV are advised to follow biomedical norms during breastfeeding. However, little is yet known about how HIV-positive mothers perceive biomedical norms during the breastfeeding period. Objective: To analyse lactating mothers’ perceptions and compliance with biomedical norms recommended for reducing the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV via breastfeeding. Method: A qualitative study was carried out consisting of in-depth interviews with 59 HIV-positive lactating mothers. This involved 5 focus group discussions, direct observation and 6 semi-structured interviews with nurses. We used Bourdieu’s theory of practice as a guiding framework for data analysis. Results: Findings revealed participants had mixed perceptions and inadequate knowledge about breast milk and exclusive breastfeeding. As well, participants struggled to comply with some biomedical norms. Approximately half of the participants breastfed immediately after childbirth. Most participants do breastfeed on demand and all participants complied with prescription regarding antiretroviral therapy for their infants. Of the 59 participants, 53 complied with prescription of antiretroviral therapy for themselves. A total of 56 participants did not comply with exclusive breastfeeding to the sixth month. This was due to a lack of knowledge about exclusive breastfeeding, the perception that both breast milk and formula were not enough to feed the baby up to the age of six months. Other factors included returning to school or work, illness of the mother and child, lack of disclosure of HIV status of the mother as well as social norms. Conclusion: The study results suggest participants’ perceptions, incorporated learned experiences and the social environment they inhabit seem to influence compliance to biomedical norms. These norms seem new, and participants are still processing its incorporation. Health education on exclusive breastfeeding and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission should take into account the participant’s perceptions and their social environment.