If you are an HIV-positive mother, take treatment during pregnancy and breastfeeding to prevent passing HIV to your baby. You have to know the way HIV virus spread out to your baby and then you will know how to protect your baby.

What is mother-to-child transmission of HIV?

Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is the spread of HIV from an HIV-infected woman to her child during pregnancy, childbirth (also called labor and delivery), or breastfeeding (through breast milk).

Luckily, assuming that you have HIV-positive, you can improve your health with a combination of HIV medicines and lower the chance of passing HIV to your baby before, during, or after birth. This treatment best to prevent HIV transmission to babies when begun as early as possible during pregnancy. Nonetheless , beginning treatment even during labor or shortly after the baby is born has many advantages

How can I prevent passing HIV to my baby?

If your HIV test result comes back positive, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of passing HIV to your baby.

Taking treatment to protect your baby

Proper treatment can reduce the risk of your baby being born with HIV to less than 1%.

If you are diagnosed with HIV before you got pregnant, take treatment right away. If you are not, discuss with a healthcare professional about starting treatment straight away.

If you are diagnosed with HIV during your pregnancy, it is recommended that you start treatment immediately and continue taking it every day for life.

Your baby will also be given treatment for four to six weeks after they are born to help prevent an HIV infection developing.

Protecting your baby during childbirth

If you take your treatment correctly, it will lower the amount of HIV in your body so much that it is said to be ‘undetectable’ (undetectable viral load).

This means that you can plan to have a normal, vaginal delivery because the risk of passing HIV to your baby during childbirth will be extremely small.

If you don’t have an undetectable viral load, you may be offered a caesarean section, as this carries a smaller risk of passing HIV to your baby than a vaginal delivery.

Protecting your baby during breastfeeding

Breast milk contains HIV. However, depending on what resources are available to you, instructions on whether to breastfeed differs.

If you always have access to formula and clean boiled water, you should not breastfeed and give formula instead. And if you do not have access to formula and clean, boiled water all of the time, you may be advised to breastfeed while both you and your baby are taking antiretroviral treatment.

If you do breastfeed, you must always receive treatment and exclusively breastfeed (give breast milk only) for at least 6 months. You should not mix breast milk and other foods during this time since this increases your baby’s risk of getting HIV. After 6 months, you can mix-feed your baby.

If you are still unsure about whether to breastfeed, you should talk to a healthcare professional for more special advice.

Does your baby have HIV?

If you want to make sure, you have to test for your baby at birth, and again four to six weeks later. To make sure whether your baby has HIV, you must have your baby tested right away at birth, and again four to six weeks later.

If the result comes negative, your baby should be checked again after 18 months and when you have finished breastfeeding to get your baby’s final HIV status.

If any of these tests come back positive, your baby needs to start treatment straight away. Talk to your doctor, and attend follow-up appointments to ensure your baby receives treatment as soon as possible. The sooner the treatment starts, the better your baby’s health remains.

You know that there is nothing impossible, you can also have a baby even though you’re an HIV-positive woman. There are many ways to protect your baby from HIV transmission.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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