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Making Breast-feeding Safer

Making Breast-feeding Safer


Pregnant HIVers face a tough decision: Should they bottle-feed formula to their infants to reduce virus transmission risks; breast-feed, which better strengthens a baby's immune system but poses an infection risk; or go through the lengthy process of heating their breast milk to kill any virus before they use it for bottle-feeding? Now, a new nipple shield that disinfects milk as it leaves the breast could make that dilemma moot. Developed by a University of Cambridge engineer, the shield uses a piece of cotton/wool soaked with a biochemical detergent to deactivate HIV in breast milk as it passes through the material. The cloth is added to conventional silicone nipple shields, which are commonly used to prevent babies from biting during breast-feeding. Previous studies have shown the biochemical used is safe for both moms and infants.

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