“Why Aren't You Breastfeeding?”: How Mothers Living With HIV Talk About Infant Feeding in a “Breast Is Best” World
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Infant feeding raises unique concerns for mothers living with HIV in Canada, where they are recommended to avoid breastfeeding yet live in a social context of "breast is best." In narrative interviews with HIV-positive mothers from Ontario, Canada, a range of feelings regarding not breastfeeding was expressed, balancing feelings of loss and self-blame with the view of responsibility and "good mothering" under the current Canadian guidelines. Acknowledging responsibility to put their child's health first, participants revealed that their choices were influenced by variations in social and cultural norms, messaging, and guidelines regarding breastfeeding across geographical contexts. This qualitative study raises key questions about the impact of breastfeeding messaging and guidelines for HIV-positive women in Canada.
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