Wednesday, October 14, 2009

GUEST POST: How to Ensure Healthy Babies For HIV Mothers

It’s a problem that still plagues most third world countries because the level of awareness is pretty low, because the people are not educated enough, and because HIV/AIDS is still rampant. The most important thing on an HIV positive pregnant woman’s mind is the fear that she will pass on the dreaded disease to her unborn child, and most women opt for an abortion rather than put their child through the same torment that they undergo every day. But the truth is, if you follow the right precautions, babies with HIV mothers are unaffected by this virus.

Combination antiretroviral therapy must be provided to the mother during pregnancy and during labor, and to the child after birth.

Breastfeeding must be avoided as much as possible, and if the mother insists on it or if the child is allergic to other forms of sustenance, they can try the preventive method suggested by a study conducted by the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill. According to this study, providing the infant with antiretroviral syrup every day or treating the mother with highly active antiretroviral drugs helps prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.

  • Mothers must be encouraged to follow hygienic procedures and drink water that is potable or filtered.
  • Mothers must work closely with their clinicians to monitor the baby and ensure maximum protection for their child.
  • Doctors must ensure that the mother’s blood does not enter the baby’s bloodstream at the time of birth
  • A natural birth is a definite no-no in such situations. The mother must be prepared for a C section.
  • The mother must undergo regular prenatal checks and follow her doctor’s instructions to the letter.
  • The babies will be monitored closely for up to six weeks after birth.

It’s up to the mother to see that her baby does not suffer from this dreaded disease. As long as she is confident and careful, there’s no reason why her baby cannot be born healthy. Doctors allow a 98 percent chance that HIV mothers will deliver healthy babies.

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of nurse practitioner schools . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

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