Feeding your baby

Breast milk or formula should be the only source of nutrition for your baby's first six months of life. And it's an important source of nutrition for baby's first year. Talk with your health care team and your partner 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 the 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: 

  • protect against common childhood illnesses and infections
  • reduce risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • help prevent asthma and diabetes
  • reduce risk of obesity 

If you are unable to feed at the breast or choose not to, you are eligible for a double electric or manual breast pump as part of your coverage. Contact our Customer Care Center with any questions about breast pump coverage.

Find out more 

Formula feeding

If you. plan to use formula to feed your baby, you should talk with your baby’s health care team about the appropriate formula for your baby’s needs. It's important to know 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. If you are considering this, be sure to talk with your baby’s doctor first.

It's also important to understand the risks of using breast milk from someone who isn't the baby’s mother. Do not use breast milk from unscreened donors because of safety risks. Human milk banks screen milk donors and take the steps needed 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 Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition.