À la Carte -- 7. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Part of A Practical Guide to Nutrition for People Living With HIV
If you are pregnant, good nutrition can help you have a healthier newborn. This is especially important if you are HIV positive because pregnant women with HIV are at higher risk of giving birth before they are due and having a newborn that is underweight.
Pregnant women with HIV, like all pregnant women, need more calories, protein and micronutrients, especially folic acid and iron. But it is sometimes hard to meet those needs, especially if you're HIV positive; morning sickness and side effects of HAART may make it hard to eat enough or to keep food down.
Taking HAART while you are pregnant greatly reduces the risk of infecting your baby. Women taking HAART may be at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare team about this. Dietary strategies may help decrease this risk.
Recommendations for Pregnancy
Recommended Amounts of Weight Gain Depend on Pre-Pregnancy BMI
Dealing With the Discomforts of Pregnancy
When an HIV-positive mother breastfeeds her baby, there is a risk of at least 16% that the baby will become HIV positive. In Canada, mothers with HIV are advised to completely avoid breastfeeding and to feed the baby commercial infant formula. Some provinces have subsidized formula programs that help pay for the formula. Ask your healthcare team about the programs in your province.
This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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