Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Nursing Care of Infants born to HIV Positive Mothers


Reviewed by Simon Rowley &
Lesley Voss (Paediatric ID)
Dec 2010
Clinical Guidelines Back Newborn Services Home Page

Nursing Care of Baby whose Mother is HIV Positive




Use standard precautions.


Babies greater than 32 weeks gestation if condition stable, after birth should be bathed as soon as possible using standard baby wash

  • A nurse should wear a long sleeve gown and gloves whilst carrying out the bath
  • Where possible include either parent in the bathing activity, however this should not delay the timing of the bath.


After baby is bathed Vitamin K is given IM in right leg (Parent consent needed).


Baby is not given breast milk or breastfed (as there is increased risk of HIV transmission to baby).

  • When gestationally appropriate, teach parents how to prepare and give a bottle feed to baby (see bottle feeding guideline).
  • Ask parents to provide bottle and teat that they will use at home.
  • Document feeding plan on observation chart.


Ensure baseline FBC is taken.


Commence antiretroviral medication within 4hrs (see Zidovudine guideline)

  • Liaise with ward pharmacists to arrange supply of discharge medication
  • Educate parents how to administer the oral liquid; discuss the bottle label instructions with them.


No BCG vaccination or other live vaccines should be given until baby’s status is clear.