Breastfeeding Support Offered at Delivery is Associated with Higher Prevalence of Exclusive Breastfeeding at 6 Weeks Postpartum Among HIV Exposed Infants: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Christian Mpody, Travis Reline, Noro Lantoniaina Rosa Ravelomanana, Bienvenu Kawende, Emile W. Okitolonda, Frieda Behets, Marcel Yotebieng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective HIV-exposed uninfected infants are almost twice as likely to die compared to infants born to HIV-uninfected women. HIV-exposed uninfected children whose mothers are on ART and who are breastfed have the lowest risk of dying by 24 months of age. Interventions to improve breastfeeding among HIV-infected mothers are needed. We aimed to assess the association between support/counseling provided by healthcare workers following delivery and the rate of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) at 6-week postpartum. Methods This is a secondary analysis of data collected as part of a trial to evaluate the effect of conditional cash transfers on retention in and uptake of PMTCT services. Between April 2013 and August 2014, newly diagnosed HIV-infected women, ≤ 32 weeks pregnant, registering for antenatal care (ANC), in 89 clinics in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, were recruited and followed through 6 weeks postpartum. At 6-week, participants were asked if they had given anything other than breastmilk to their infant in the 24 h preceding the interview (No = EBF) and whether a nurse or a doctor talked to them about breastfeeding after they gave birth (YES = received breastfeeding support/counseling). Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) measuring the strength of the association between EBF and receiving breastfeeding support/counseling by a healthcare provider following delivery. Results Of 433 women enrolled, 328 attended a 6-week postpartum visit including 320 (97%) with complete information on EBF. Of those 320, 202 (63%) reported giving nothing other than breastmilk to their infant in the previous 24 h; 252 (79%) reported that a healthcare provider came to talk to them about breastfeeding following delivery. Mothers who reported receiveing breastfeeding support/counseling from a healthcare provider were more likely to exclusively breastfeed compared to those who did not (69% vs. 38%, OR 3.74; 95% CI 2.14–6.54). Adjustment for baseline sociodemographic characteristics did not change the association substantially, (adjusted OR 3.72; 95% CI 2.06–6.71). Conclusion for Practice Receipt of breastfeeding support/counseling from a healthcare provider after delivery among HIV-infected mothers in care at 6-weeks postpartum in Kinshasa almost quadrupled the odds of EBF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1308-1316
Number of pages9
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes



  • 6 weeks postpartum
  • Breastfeeding counseling
  • Exclusive breastfeeding
  • Healthcare worker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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