Doctors advise HIV positive mothers to use artificial milk formula, as there is a risk of passing the infection to the newborn through breastmilk. The majority of HIV positive moms listen, following the advice of doctors and putting their children on specialised formulas.
On average, a box of baby formula costs around 350 rubles (around $4.50), and during the first months of life, a baby will guzzle this up within 2-3 days. Hypoallergenic, lactose free or prebiotic milks are even more expensive. This expenditure is of course essential for any family and even more so for single mothers. The most difficult time is the first few months after the baby is born, as the mother has not yet had time to organise benefit allowance.
In some regions, HIV positive mothers are given baby formula at their GPs, maternity wards or at AIDS clinic. However, unfortunately this practice isn’t carried out in all of Russia. In order to receive this formula, a mother often needs to collect a large bundle of documents, which is tricky to do with a child in her arms. The given formula is often not enough and so additional formula must be purchased. Finally, the formula offered may not even suit the child, and then the parents must singlehandedly buy expensive, hypoallergenic formulas.
You can now help HIV positive mothers alongside us: we are starting a fundraising campaign for specialised baby formulas.
How does this work? Each of your donations goes towards the purchase of breast milk substitutes for babies with HIV positive mothers. These are our clients, who we work with every day; discussing their fears and anxieties.
We inform them of what they need to do in order to receive the baby formula from the state. If they cannot use the formula provided by the state, with your help we can buy them the correct formula in the right amount. This targeted aid is specifically for women. We will publish reports on our website stating how many formulas we were able to buy, and how many women we were able to help thanks to your support.