Feeding your baby

Breast milk or formula should be the only source of nutrition for about the first six months of your baby’s life – and an important source of nutrition for the first 12 months. Talk with your health care team about what is best for you and your family. You and your baby’s health care team will want to monitor your baby’s eating patterns and growth.


Breastfeeding can be a special time for mom and baby to bond, and offers health benefits to both. 

For mom, breastfeeding can: 

  • Decrease the risk of postpartum depression (PPD)
  • Help your uterus go back to its normal size 
  • Burn extra calories 
  • Decrease risk of breast and ovarian cancer 

For baby, breastfeeding can: 

  • Help protect against common illnesses and infections
  • Reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Help prevent asthma and diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of obesity

You're eligible for a double electric or manual breast pump. Hands-free and wearable options are also available. Contact Member Services at 800-279-1302 with questions about breast pump coverage.

Find out more 

Formula feeding

If you’re planning to use formula to feed your baby, we recommend talking with your baby’s health care team about the appropriate formula to meet your baby’s needs.  It is important to be aware of how to prepare and store your baby’s formula safely – for more information, see the Centers for Disease Control.

Donor milk 

In some situations, parents consider using breast milk from a family member, friend, or other donor to feed their baby. Discuss your options with your baby's doctor to learn more about nutritional needs of your baby, based on age and overall health.

It is also very important to know and understand the risks of using breast milk from a source other than the baby’s mother. Do not use breast milk from unscreened donors because of the safety risks. There are human milk banks that screen milk donors and take the necessary steps to ensure the milk is safe for a baby to drink.

More information on donor human breast milk:

To donate

If you are able and wish to donate, contact Mothers' Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes

Nutrition resources