GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (ABC 4)- August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and Priority Health is shining a light on the benefits of breastfeeding and their available educational resources and programs to help women make the best decisions for themselves, their babies and their families. 

Maranda recently met with Ann Donnelly, Vice President of Care and Utilization Management at Priority Health, and Candice Sloothaak, Advisor at Priority Health, to discuss the key advantages of breastfeeding through extensive research and to remind local moms that while there is no one-size-fits-all approach to infant feeding, Priority Health is here to support moms every step of the way before, during and after their pregnancy journey. 

What are the benefits of breastfeeding? 

  • Breast milk provides some of the best nutrients for babies, which can boost their immune system and protect them from illnesses and diseases like obesity, type 1 diabetes, and ear and respiratory infections, to name a few. 
  • Breastfeeding benefits mothers by lowering their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breast and ovarian cancer, and uterine hemorrhaging. 
  • Breastfeeding provides comfort for babies, aiding in their digestion.

Resources and Programs at Priority Health:  

  • PriorityMOM Program: A maternity management program offering support to expectant mothers by walking alongside them through their pregnancy. The program is open to expectant mothers enrolled in Priority Health employer-sponsored, individual, or Medicaid health plans. 
  • Maternal Infant Health Program: A free program offered before, during, and after pregnancy to help mothers have a healthy pregnancy and baby. This program is free for Priority Health Medicaid members and provides regular in-home visits by a nurse, nutritionist, or community health worker. They can help answer questions regarding pregnancy, caring for babies, and health issues that could affect pregnancy (physical and mental).
  • CenteringPregnancy Care Model: Priority Health offers incentives for providers who adopt the CenteringPregnancy care model. The CenteringPregnancy model of group prenatal care, which strongly aligns with Michigan’s Maternal Infant Health & Equity Improvement Plan priorities, is proven to positively impact health outcomes and reduce racial health disparities. 

Learn more about available programs and resources at Priority Health here

For more information on maternal and infant health in Michigan, click here. To participate in National Breastfeeding Awareness Month events, click here.  

Sponsored by Priority Health