University of Twente Student Theses


Bottle milk or breastfeeding?: a qualitative research on motives of feeding decisions among HIV positive mothers in Cameroon.

Drie, M. van (2012) Bottle milk or breastfeeding?: a qualitative research on motives of feeding decisions among HIV positive mothers in Cameroon.

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Abstract:This research was done for the organization Give Milk Stop Aids that promotes artificial bottle-feeding among HIV-positive mothers. In this study, the motives towards feeding options of HIV-positive women in Cameroon were investigated. The WHO recommends HIV-positive women to either exclusively breastfeed, or give artificial bottle-feeding to their child, while a mixture of both feeding options is the norm in Cameroon. Give Milk Stop Aids works with a program that distributes free artificial milk and promotes giving artificial bottle milk to exclude the child from HIV-contaminated breastfeeding, and to protect children from contacting the virus through the mother. This program is located at three health care clinics in Cameroon; one hospital and one health clinic in rural areas and one hospital in the largest city of Cameroon. The program has been a success in the city, but this does not count for the programs in the rural area. This research consists of 2 studies. Study 1 aims to explain through which determinants women choose their feeding options. It also aims to explain why the Give Milk Stop Aids program is a success in the city, but not in the rural areas. 26 HIV-positive women who almost delivered or delivered recently were interviewed by a semi-structured questionnaire. The participants were divided into 3 groups. The first group were women who intended non-bottle-feed and lived in rural areas (n=9). The second group were women who intended to non-bottle-feed and lived in the city (n=12). The third were women who intended to bottle-feed and lived both in rural areas and the city (n=5). Analysis of results led to the conclusion that HIV-positive women who are aware of the fact that breast milk is contaminated with HIV, primarily choose to feed their baby artificial milk. Women that prefer to breastfeed believe strongly in the nutritious value of breast milk. The difference in success of the program between city and rural areas can be explained by differences in attitudes about stigma and coping strategies. Women in rural areas perceive stigma together with great consequences for their personal life, because revealing an HIV-positive status might lead to rejection from their relatives, which means that they lose their social safety net. Women in the city are more often employed and depend less on their relatives. The level of coping with HIV influences the willingness to give bottle-feeding. Women from rural areas cope slightly worse with the HIV diagnosis than women from the city, because they do not know much about HIV, except that it kills. Their bad coping strategies might influence their dismissive attitude towards bottle-feeding. Study 2 expressed theexperiences of the health workers, working for Give Milk Stop Aids. In this study, the health workers told about their experiences with the Give Milk Stop Aids program, the participants of the program and the women who refused to join the program. The answers of the health workers have been compared with the results of Study 1.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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