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Table 4 Themes and subthemes on reasons for infant feeding choices of women with HIV

From: Beyond health care providers’ recommendations: understanding influences on infant feeding choices of women with HIV in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

Themes Subthemes
Health workers’ recommendations • Advised by health workers to breastfeed for at least six months.
• Advised by nurse that breast milk is the best option for the baby.
• Advised by nurse that breast milk is healthy and prevents diseases.
• Recommended by doctor to formula feed as there is 25% chance of infection through breastfeeding.
Perceived benefits of breastfeeding • Best choice.
• Good for the baby.
• Baby will grow fast.
• Unaffordability of formula.
• Breast milk is cheap.
• Breast milk makes baby strong.
• I love to breast milk
• Breast milk helps prevent baby from getting becoming sick or getting infections
• It is the healthiest and the most nutritious option
• Baby will have strong muscle
• Previous experience was good
• Want to experience breastfeeding for the first time
• Breast feeding connects the mother to the baby
Work/school related • Returning to school
• Returning to work
• Looking for employment
• Farm work is too much and won’t be able to stay with the baby
Fear of transmitting the infection to their babies • I am scared to breastfeed because the baby will be infected
Breast related issues • Breast milk not secreting/flowing
• Painful breast
• Breasts have warts
Other reasons • Baby refused to suck
• Forced
• Domestic violence
• Wanted to give baby up for adoption
• Advised by mum/spouse
• No reason