Replacement-fed infants born to HIV-infected mothers in India have a high early postpartum rate of hospitalization

Mridula A. Phadke, Bhaghyashree Gadgil, Kapila E. Bharucha, Aparna N. Shrotri, Jayagowri Sastry, Nikhil A. Gupte, Ronald Brookmeyer, Ramesh S. Paranjape, Pandurang M. Bulakh, Hemalata Pisal, Nishi Suryavanshi, Anita V. Shankar, Lidia Propper, P. L. Joshitt, Robert C. Bollinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Access to safe breast-feeding alternatives for HIV-infected mothers and their infants in many settings is limited. We compared the rates of early postpartum hospitalization of infants born to HIV-infected mothers using different infant-feeding practices in a large government hospital in Pune, India. From March 1, 2000 to November 30, 2001, infants born to HIV-infected mothers were followed in a postpartum clinic. All mothers had received a standard short course of antenatal zidovudine. Infant-feeding practices were assessed within 3 d of delivery, prior to postpartum hospital discharge. Sixty-two of 148 mothers (42%) were breast-feeding their infants. Eighty-six of the mothers (58%) were providing replacement feeding, primarily diluted cow, goat or buffalo milk (top feeding). Twenty-one of the 148 participating infants (14.2%) born during the study period required hospitalization within the 1st 6 mo of life and 6 infants required repeat hospitalization. All hospitalized infants were receiving replacement feeding with a rate of 0.093 hospitalizations per 100 person-days (95% Cl, 0.062 to 0.136). The reasons for hospitalization included acute gastroenteritis (48.1%), pneumonia (18.5%), septicemia (11.1%) and jaundice (11.1%). A high risk for early postpartum hospitalization was seen in replacement-fed infants born to HIV-infected mothers in Pune, India. In settings such as India, where access to safe replacement feeding is limited, interventions making exclusive breast-feeding safer for HIV-infected mothers and infants are needed. Such interventions would be valuable additions to the very effective national prevention programs that currently rely on the provision of short-course zidovudine and nevirapine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3153-3157
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


  • Breast-feeding
  • HIV
  • Replacement feeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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