My life as Mae Tid Chua [mothers who contracted HIV disease]: Motherhood and women living with HIV/AIDS in central Thailand Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND: literature suggests that many women living with HIV/AIDS have a desire to become mothers and indeed many of them have done so (Thiangtham and Bennett, 2009; Barnes, 2013; Cogna et al., 2013; Lazarus et al., 2013; Ross, 2013; Yeatman and Trinitapoli, 2013). However, there is still a lack of knowledge about the lived experiences of Thai women living with HIV/AIDS who have become mothers. In this paper, we explored the experiences of pregnancy and birth, motherhood, and infant feeding practices among women living with HIV/AIDS in Thailand. METHOD: in-depth interviews were conducted with 26 women living with HIV/AIDS in Thailand. FINDINGS: motherhood was considered desirable by women living with HIV/AIDS who participated in our study. Despite living with a serious illness, becoming a mother permitted them to have a meaningful life. Motherhood prompted the women to stay alive for their children. However, the women lived with constant anxiety about the condition of their infants. Reproductive needs of the women in our study were often questioned by their health care providers. Many were advised by their doctors and nurses not to breast feed their newborn babies as this could transmit HIV to the child. Most women took into account their ability to care for their children in the future and thus did not wish to have many children. CONCLUSION: this paper contributes to conceptual understanding about the lived experiences of motherhood among women living with HIV/AIDS in Thailand. The findings have implications for midwifery care.

publication date

  • 2014