Early cessation of breastfeeding amongst women in South Africa: an area needing urgent attention to improve child health.
ABSTRACT: Breastfeeding is a critical component of interventions to reduce child mortality. Exclusive breastfeeding practice is extremely low in South Africa and there has been no improvement in this over the past ten years largely due to fears of HIV transmission. Early cessation of breastfeeding has been found to have negative effects on child morbidity and survival in several studies in Africa. This paper reports on determinants of early breastfeeding cessation among women in South Africa.This is a sub group analysis of a community-based cluster-randomized trial (PROMISE EBF) promoting exclusive breastfeeding in three South African sites (Paarl in the Western Cape Province, and Umlazi and Rietvlei in KwaZulu-Natal) between 2006 and 2008 (ClinicalTrials.gov no: NCT00397150). Infant feeding recall of 22 food and fluid items was collected at 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks postpartum. Women's experiences of breast health problems were also collected at the same time points. 999 women who ever breastfed were included in the analysis. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusting for site, arm and cluster, was performed to determine predictors of stopping breastfeeding by 12 weeks postpartum.By 12 weeks postpartum, 20% of HIV-negative women and 40% of HIV-positive women had stopped all breastfeeding. About a third of women introduced other fluids, most commonly formula milk, within the first 3 days after birth. Antenatal intention not to breastfeed and being undecided about how to feed were most strongly associated with stopping breastfeeding by 12 weeks (Adjusted odds ratio, AOR 5.6, 95% CI 3.4 - 9.5 and AOR 4.1, 95% CI 1.6 - 10.8, respectively). Also important was self-reported breast health problems associated with a 3-fold risk of stopping breastfeeding (AOR 3.1, 95%CI 1.7 - 5.7) and the mother having her own income doubled the risk of stopping breastfeeding (AOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3 - 2.8).Early cessation of breastfeeding is common amongst both HIV-negative and positive women in South Africa. There is an urgent need to improve antenatal breastfeeding counselling taking into account the challenges faced by working women as well as early postnatal lactation support to prevent breast health problems.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Evidence on the association between breastfeeding and later childhood obesity and blood pressure (BP) is inconsistent, especially in HIV-prevalent areas where, until recently, HIV-infected women were discouraged from breastfeeding, but obesity is increasingly prevalent. METHODS AND FINDINGS:The Siyakhula cohort (2012-2014), a population-based prospective cohort study, collected data over 3 visits on HIV-negative children ages 7 to 11 years in rural South Africa. We used weight (body mass index [BMI]), fat, and BP as outcome variables and incorporated early life (including mother's age at delivery and HIV status) and current life factors (including maternal education and current BMI). Our primary exposure was breastfeeding duration. We dichotomized 3 outcome measures using pre-established thresholds for clinical interpretability: (1) overfat: ?85th percentile of body fat; (2) overweight: >1 SD BMI z score; and (3) prehypertension: ?90th percentile for systolic BP (SBP) or diastolic BP (DBP). We modelled each outcome using multivariable logistic regression, including stopping breastfeeding, then early life, and finally current life factors. Of 1,536 children (mean age = 9.3 years; 872 girls; 664 boys), 7% were overfat, 13.2% overweight, and 9.1% prehypertensive. Over half (60%) of the mothers reported continued breastfeeding for 12+ months. In multivariable analyses, continued breastfeeding between 6 and 11 months was associated with approximately halved odds of both being overfat (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.43, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.21-0.91, P = 0.027) and overweight (aOR = 0.46, CI 0.26-0.82, P = 0.0083), but the association with prehypertension did not reach statistical significance (aOR = 0.72, CI 0.38-1.37, P = 0.32). Children with a mother who was currently obese were 5 times more likely (aOR = 5.02, CI 2.47-10.20, P < 0.001) to be overfat and over 4 times more likely to be overweight (aOR = 4.33, CI 2.65-7.09, P < 0.001) than children with normal weight mothers. Differences between HIV-exposed and unexposed children on any of the outcomes were minimal and not significant. The main study limitation was that duration of breastfeeding was based on maternal recall. CONCLUSIONS:To our knowledge, this is the first study examining and quantifying the association between breastfeeding and childhood obesity in an African setting with high HIV prevalence. We observed that breastfeeding was independently associated with reduced childhood obesity for both HIV-exposed and unexposed children, suggesting that promoting optimal nutrition throughout the life course, starting with continued breastfeeding, may be critical to tackling the growing obesity epidemic. In the era of widespread effective antiretroviral treatment for HIV-infected women for life, these data further support the recommendation of breastfeeding for all women.
Project description:South Africa recently phased out access to free formula milk in the public sector in support of breastfeeding for women living with HIV. Few women living with HIV in South Africa choose breastfeeding and among those who do, many stop breastfeeding early. We sought to explore the feasibility of using mobile phone text messaging coupled with motivational interviewing to enhance adherence to breastfeeding practices.A randomized, parallel group, single-center pilot trial. Electronic sequence generation and random allocation will be done centrally. Women of low socioeconomic status, from Cape Town, South Africa will be randomly assigned within 24 h of giving birth at a primary healthcare clinic to a structured weekly text message plus motivational interviewing and usual standard of care, using a permutation of different block sizes. Criteria for feasibility success will include: five participants recruited per week (over 12 weeks), about 75% of all eligible participants consent for study participation, complete evaluation of outcomes in at least 70% of all recruited participants, breastfeeding adherence rates of at least 70% in the intervention group, six months after delivery. Participants will be evaluated soon after giving birth and post-delivery at weeks 2, 6, 10, and 24. Primary analysis will follow the "intention-to-treat" principle. Sub-group analysis will be used to assess sub-group effects.This pilot trial will evaluate the feasibility of conducting a larger trial on communication and support approaches to improve adherence to breastfeeding by HIV-infected women. Text messaging and motivational interviewing are simple interventions which may allow participants to access personalized adherence advice and support.ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02949713 . Registered on 26 October 2016; Pan African Clinical Trial Registry PACTR201611001855404 . Registered on 8 November 2016.
Project description:BACKGROUND:We investigate whether correct infant feeding knowledge and practice differ by maternal HIV status in an era of evolving clinical guidelines in rural South Africa. METHODS:This cohort study was nested within the MONARCH stepped-wedge cluster-randomised controlled trial ( www.clinicaltrials.gov : NCT02626351 ) which tested the impact of continuous quality improvement on antenatal care quality at seven primary care clinics in KwaZulu-Natal, from July 2015 to January 2017. Women aged ?18?years at delivery were followed up to 6 weeks postpartum. Clinical data were sourced from routine medical records at delivery. Structured interviews at early postnatal visits and the 6-week postnatal immunisation visit provided data on infant feeding knowledge and feeding practices respectively. We measured the relationship between maternal HIV status and (i) correct infant feeding knowledge at the early postnatal visit; and (ii) infant feeding practice at 6 weeks, using Poisson and multinomial regression models, respectively. RESULTS:We analysed data from 1693 women with early postnatal and 471 with 6-week postnatal interviews. HIV prevalence was 47% (95% confidence interval [CI] 42, 52%). Women living with HIV were more knowledgeable than women not living with HIV on correct infant feeding recommendations (adjusted risk ratio, aRR, 1.08, p?<? 0.001). More women living with HIV (33%; 95% CI 26, 41%) were not breastfeeding than women not living with HIV (15%; 95% CI 11, 21%). However, among women who were currently breastfeeding their infants, fewer women living with HIV (5%; 95% CI 2, 9%) mixed fed their babies than women not living with HIV (21%; 95% CI 14, 32%). In adjusted analyses, women living with HIV were more likely to avoid breastfeeding (adjusted relative risk ratio, aRRR, 2.78, p?<? 0.001) and less likely to mixed feed (aRRR 0.22, p?<? 0.001) than women not living with HIV. CONCLUSIONS:Many mothers in rural South Africa still do not practice exclusive breastfeeding. Women living with HIV were more knowledgeable but had lower overall uptake of breastfeeding, compared with women not living with HIV. Women living with HIV were also more likely to practice exclusive breastfeeding over mixed feeding if currently breastfeeding. Improved approaches are needed to increase awareness of correct infant feeding and exclusive breastfeeding uptake.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To derive prediction models for both initiation and cessation of breastfeeding using demographic, psychological and obstetric variables.<h4>Design</h4>A prospective cohort study.<h4>Setting</h4>Women delivering at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, UK.<h4>Data sources</h4>Demographic data and psychological measures were obtained during pregnancy by questionnaire. Birth details, feeding method at birth and at hospital discharge were obtained from the Ninewells hospital database, Dundee, UK. Breastfeeding women were followed up by text messages every 2 weeks until 16 weeks or until breastfeeding was discontinued to ascertain feeding method and feeding intentions.<h4>Participants</h4>Pregnant women over 30 weeks gestation aged 16 years and above, living in Dundee, booked to deliver at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, and able to speak English.<h4>Main outcome measure</h4>Initiation and cessation of breastfeeding.<h4>Results</h4>From the total cohort of women at delivery (n=344) 68% (95% CI 63% to 73%) of women had started breastfeeding at discharge. Significant predictors of initiating breastfeeding were older age, parity, greater intention to breastfeed from a Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB)-based questionnaire, higher Iowa Infant Feeding Assessment Scale (IIFAS) score as well as living with a husband or partner. For the final model, the AUROC was 0.967. For those who initiated breastfeeding (n=233), the strongest predictors of stopping were low intention to breastfeed from TPB, low IIFAS score and non-managerial/professional occupations.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The findings from this study will be used to inform the protocol for an intervention study to encourage and support prolonged breastfeeding as intentions appear to be a key intervention focus for initiation. The predictive models could be used to identify women at high risk of not initiating and also women at high risk of stopping for interventions to improve the longevity of breastfeeding.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Postnatal transmission of HIV-1 through breast milk remains an unsolved challenge in many resource-poor settings where replacement feeding is not a safe alternative. WHO now recommends breastfeeding of infants born to HIV-infected mothers until 12 months of age, with either maternal highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) or peri-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in infants using nevirapine. As PEP, lamivudine showed a similar efficacy and safety as nevirapine, but with an expected lower rate of resistant HIV strains emerging in infants who fail PEP, and lower restrictions for future HIV treatment. Lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) is an attractive PEP candidate with presumably higher efficacy against HIV than nevirapine or lamivudine, and a higher genetic barrier to resistance selection. It showed an acceptable safety profile for the treatment of very young HIV-infected infants. The ANRS 12174 study aims to compare the risk of HIV-1 transmission during and safety of prolonged infant PEP with LPV/r (40/10 mg twice daily if 2-4 kg and 80/20 mg twice daily if >4 kg) versus Lamivudine (7,5 mg twice daily if 2-4 kg, 25 mg twice daily if 4-8 kg and 50 mg twice daily if >8 kg) from day 7 until one week after cessation of BF (maximum 50 weeks of prophylaxis) to prevent postnatal HIV-1 acquisition between 7 days and 50 weeks of age. METHODS: The ANRS 12174 study is a multinational, randomised controlled clinical trial conducted on 1,500 mother-infant pairs in Burkina Faso, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. We will recommend exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) until 26th week of life and cessation of breastfeeding at a maximum of 49 weeks in both trial arms.HIV-uninfected infants at day 7 (± 2 days) born to HIV-1 infected mothers not eligible for HAART who choose to breastfeed their infants.The primary endpoint is the acquisition of HIV-1 (as assessed by HIV-1 DNA PCR) between day 7 and 50 weeks of age. Secondary endpoints are safety (including resistance, adverse events and growth) until 50 weeks and HIV-1-free survival until 50 weeks. DISCUSSION: This study will provide a new evidence-based intervention to support HIV-1-infected women not eligible for HAART to safely breastfeed their babies.
Project description:In developing countries, up to 20% of maternal deaths during pregnancy are due to suicide, and being HIV-infected confers additional risk. This manuscript sought to identify perinatal correlates of suicidal ideation among women living with HIV (WLHIV) in rural South Africa. Pregnant WLHIV (N?=?681) were recruited and re-assessed at 12-months postpartum. Mean age was 28.3 (SD?=?5.7) years and 68% were below the poverty line. Prenatal suicidal ideation was 39%; suicidal ideation continued for 7% at 12 months, 13% experienced incident suicidal ideation, and for 19% suicidal ideation had stopped postnatally. Intimate partner violence (AOR?=?1.17) and depression (AOR?=?1.14) predicted sustained suicidal ideation. Increased income (AOR?=?2.25) and greater stigma (AOR?=?1.33) predicted incident suicidal ideation. Younger age (AOR?=?0.94), disclosure of HIV status to partner (AOR?=?0.60), and greater stigma (AOR?=?1.24) predicted postnatal cessation of suicidal ideation. Perinatal care may provide windows of opportunity for identification and treatment of suicidal ideation.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: To report on risk factors for severe events (hospitalisation or infant death) within the first half of infancy amongst HIV-unexposed infants in South Africa. METHODS: South African data from the multisite community-based cluster-randomised trial PROMISE EBF promoting exclusive breastfeeding in three sub-Saharan countries from 2006 to 2008 were used. The South African sites were Paarl in the Western Cape Province, and Umlazi and Rietvlei in KwaZulu-Natal. This analysis included 964 HIV-negative mother-infant pairs. Data on severe events and infant feeding practices were collected at 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks post-partum. We used a stratified extended Cox model to examine the association between the time to the severe event and covariates including birthweight, with breastfeeding status as a time-dependent covariate. RESULTS: Seventy infants (7%) experienced a severe event. The median age at first hospitalisation was 8 weeks, and the two main reasons for hospitalisation were cough and difficult breathing followed by diarrhoea. Stopping breastfeeding before 6 months (HR 2.4; 95% CI 1.2-5.1) and low birthweight (HR 2.4; 95% CI 1.3-4.3) were found to increase the risk of a severe event, whilst maternal completion of high school education was protective (HR 0.3; 95% CI 0.1-0.7). CONCLUSIONS: A strengthened primary healthcare system incorporating promotion of breastfeeding and appropriate caring practices for low birthweight infants (such as kangaroo mother care) are critical. Given the leading reasons for hospitalisation, early administration of oral rehydration therapy and treatment of suspected pneumonia are key interventions needed to prevent hospitalisation in young infants.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:HIV-uninfected pregnant and breastfeeding women are at high risk of HIV acquisition, contributing to vertical transmission of HIV. Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is safe in pregnancy, but PrEP in pregnancy is not policy in many countries including South Africa. We evaluated the potential impact of providing PrEP for pregnant/breastfeeding women using a HIV model for South Africa. METHODS:Our model considers two scenarios: a conservative scenario that matches the experience reported in the Kenyan PrEP programme for pregnant women (probability of uptake?=?32% and 11% in high-risk and low-risk women, respectively); and an optimistic scenario with PrEP initiated by 80% of all pregnant women. We compared this with PrEP for female sex workers, MSM and adolescent girls/young women. Women are assumed to remain on PrEP throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, and an equivalent average PrEP duration (2 years) is assumed in other scenarios. RESULTS:Between 2020 and 2030, if PrEP is provided to pregnant/breastfeeding mothers, we project a 2.5% reduction in total HIV transmission [95% credibility interval (CI): 2.4-2.6%] in the conservative scenario and 7.2% (95% CI: 6.8-7.5%) in the optimistic scenario, which is similar to that in the female sex worker and MSM PrEP scenarios (1.9% and 3.0%, respectively). Without PrEP, 76?000 (95% CI: 64?000-90?000) new cases of vertical transmission are expected; PrEP provision may reduce these infections by 13% (95% CI: 13-14%) in the conservative scenario and 41% (95% CI: 39-44%) in the optimistic scenario. CONCLUSION:High levels of uptake of and adherence to PrEP among pregnant/breastfeeding women could substantially reduce maternal and infant HIV acquisition in South Africa.
Project description:Food insecurity is associated with poor virologic outcomes, but this has not been studied during pregnancy and breastfeeding. We assessed sustained viral suppression from 8 weeks on antiretroviral therapy to 48 weeks postpartum among 171 pregnant and breastfeeding Ugandan women; 74.9% experienced food insufficiency. In multivariable analysis, food insufficiency [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.38, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.16 to 0.91], higher pretreatment HIV-1 RNA (aOR 0.55 per 10-fold increase, 95% CI: 0.37 to 0.82), and lopinavir/ritonavir versus efavirenz (aOR 0.49, 95% CI: 0.24 to 0.96) were associated with lower odds of sustained viral suppression. Interventions to address food security may improve virologic outcomes among HIV-infected women.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Between 1998 and 2009 reported exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rates in South African infants, aged 0-6 months, ranged from 6.2% to 25.7%. In 2011, the National Minister of Health shifted policy to promote 'exclusive' breast feeding for all women in South Africa irrespective of HIV status (Tshwane Declaration of Support for Breastfeeding in South Africa). This analysis examines early EBF prior to and through implementation of the declaration. SETTING:Data from the three South Africa national, cross-sectional, facility-based surveys, conducted in 2010, 2011-12 and 2012-13, were analysed. Primary health facilities (n=580) were randomly selected after a stratified multistage probability proportional-to-size sampling to provide valid national and provincial estimates. PARTICIPANTS:A national sample of all infants attending their 6?weeks vaccination at selected facilities. The number of caregiver-infant pairs enrolled were 10 182, 10?106 and 9120 in 2010, 2011-12, and 2012-13, respectively. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE:Exclusive breast feeding as measured using structured 24?hours recall plus prior 7 days (8 days inclusive prior to day interview) and WHO definition. RESULTS:The adjusted OR comparing EBF prevalence in 2011-12 and 2012-13 with 2010 were 2.08 and 5.51, respectively. Mothers with generally higher socioeconomic status, HIV-positive, unplanned pregnancy, primipara, postcaesarean delivery, resided in certain provinces and women who did not receive breastfeeding counselling had significantly lower odds of EBF. CONCLUSION:With what seemed to be an intransigently low EBF rate since 1998, South Africa saw an increase in early EBF for infants aged 4-8 weeks from 2010 to 2013, coinciding with a major national breastfeeding policy change. These increases were seen across all provinces and subgroups, suggesting a population-wide effect, rather than an increase in certain subgroups or locations. While these increases in EBF were significant, the 59.1% prevalence is still below desired levels of early EBF. Further improvements in EBF programmes are needed.