Non-puerperal induced lactation: an infant feeding option in paediatric HIV/AIDS in tropical Africa

J Child Health Care. 2008 Sep;12(3):241-8. doi: 10.1177/1367493508092511.


A major problem in the management of infants exposed to HIV is the issue of feeding, which stems from the need to avoid transmission of the virus via breast milk. Other important issues in the nutrition of infants exposed to the virus include severe maternal illness, which makes suckling extremely difficult, and feeding orphans. Wet nursing is one of the recommended steps in addressing the feeding problems of such infants but for reasons of sociocultural disapproval, it appears not to be popular in traditional African settings. Non-puerperal induced lactation or re-lactation of a close relation, usually a grandmother, which hitherto has been used to rehabilitate severely malnourished motherless infants, may be equally useful. The procedure of re-lactation and the limitations of the method are highlighted. Also, the need to employ information, education and communication in improving the sociocultural acceptability of this veritable infant feeding method in tropical Africa is discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology
  • Breast Feeding / ethnology*
  • Chlorpromazine / pharmacology
  • Communication
  • Family / ethnology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Lactation* / drug effects
  • Lactation* / physiology
  • Lactation* / psychology
  • Metoclopramide / pharmacology
  • Social Values / ethnology
  • Surrogate Mothers


  • Metoclopramide
  • Chlorpromazine