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Support while you're pregnant and after the birth

hands holding african pregnant belly

All pregnant women receive antenatal care – if you’re living with HIV you’ll get extra support to make sure you’re well and that the risk of your baby being born with HIV is radically reduced.

What support is available while I'm pregnant?

Your healthcare team will play a key role in helping you stay well while you are pregnant, and in preventing your baby from being infected with HIV. Developing a good relationship with members of the team is a very important part of getting the best possible care.

There are many HIV support agencies which can provide information, advice and assistance to you at any point. To find out what’s available near you, a good place to start would be browsing our Service Finder or calling our national helpline THT Direct on 0808 802 1221.

You could also talk to one of the professionals you are currently receiving HIV services from. That might be someone at your HIV clinic - such as a doctor, health adviser or nurse - a social worker, or an advice worker.


I'm pregnant and I've just been diagnosed with HIV - who can I talk to?

Many women only discover they have HIV soon after they find out they are pregnant, because an HIV test is part of the routine care for all pregnant women.

Knowing you have HIV will allow you to take steps to look after your health and protect your baby, but it can be an overwhelming time. There can be mixed feelings, lots of new information to take on board and you'll need to start treatment straight away.

Spend time talking things over with a doctor, nurse, midwife or someone from an HIV organisation. Hopefully you may also be able to talk to other women who have been in a similar situation. Feel free to ask lots of questions (and make sure they get answered).

If you are diagnosed with HIV while pregnant then you may need emotional support in coping with your diagnosis and information about transmission and treatments.

More help and support:

  • Positively UK is a charity providing support to people living with HIV and can offer you friendly peer support groups and workshops.
  • Body and Soul are based in London and provide a range of support to families and children including groups for tots, children and teens.
  • i-base pregnancy guide is up-to-date and exhaustive (you can also call or email i-base with any questions regarding your pregnancy and your treatment).
  • If you live in London, Positive Parenting and Children might be able to help you.
  • CHIVA, the Children's HIV Association has lots of resources for parents and families affected by HIV.

Talking to other women living with HIV who have had a baby can help you make decisions about pregnancy, birth and looking after your baby’s health.

You can also talk to our online counsellor.


Next: Antenatal care ››

‹‹ Back to: Preventing mother-to-baby transmission (PMTCT)

 

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The Information Standard: Certified member

This article was last reviewed on 28/6/2017 by Anna Peters

Date due for the next review: 28/6/2020

Content Author: S. Corkery, NAM

Current Owner: Kerri Virani

More information:

Screening for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B, NHS Choices, Feb 2015

I’m pregnant, when should I start ART?, Lisa Thorley, i-Base, April 2017

Pregnancy and birth, NAM Aidsmap, July 2014

How likely is mother to child transmission?, NAM Aidsmap

New British guidelines recommend treatment for everyone with HIV by Keith Alcorn, 24 June 2015, NAM

de Ruiter A et al. Guidelines for the management of HIV infection in pregnant women 2012 (updated May 2014) BHIVA, 2014

PositivelyUK