One wonderful way of celebrating the hard work of breastfeeding is to have a piece of breast milk jewelry made. Here’s everything you need to know about how the process works!
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What is breast milk jewelry?
Breast milk artists can make necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets that include some sort of centerpiece made from a mother’s breast milk.
Usually, the artist will use a small amount of breast milk, which is mixed with chemicals to harden and then blended with resin so that it can be shaped into jewelry.
Why have breast milk jewelry made?
Lots of parents have it made to celebrate and remember the breastfeeding relationship – whether it takes the form of nursing, exclusively pumping, pumping as a surrogate or something else.
Breastfeeding takes a ton of time and dedication and is a labor of love, so it can be nice to have a lasting physical piece to remember it.
Below is an example of some breast milk jewelry that Kayla received after her twins, Landon and Cooper, were stillborn. Kayla pumped for a few months to donate to a friend, and the friend surprised her with this necklace that she can cherish forever to remember her boys.
How much milk do you need?
Usually a few tablespoons or about 15 ml (half an ounce). However, it will depend a bit on who is making it, as different artists may have slightly different requirements.
Can you use expired breast milk?
Yes, expired milk is fine (as it won’t be consumed). The milk can be years old as long as it’s not moldy.
Do you have to worry about your baby trying to eat your jewelry?
Your child will not be able to smell the breast milk. It is chemically preserved and dried to stabilize its unique color, turned into a fine powder, and then suspended as a pigment in jewelers grade art resin.
Some pieces are also coated with a UV resistant gloss coating, so breast milk powder is never exposed to the air, and will not give off any scent.
When should you get breast milk jewelry made, if you decide you want some?
You can do it any time! Many parents get it done near the end of their breastfeeding journey, as a way of celebrating what they’ve accomplished.
However, there’s no reason you can’t have it made at the beginning, or even years after the fact. You just need to have a few tablespoons of extra breast milk (even if it’s expired).
How long is breast milk jewelry expected to last?
With proper care, breast milk jewelry should last indefinitely.
What does “proper care” mean?
Always check the instructions that come with your jewelry or kit, but in general, you may want to remove your jewelry when it will come in contact with water (showering, swimming, washing your hands if you have a ring).
Additionally, you want to limit UV exposure and remove it before being out in the sun for long periods.
So where can you get it made?
I asked on instagram where people had had breast milk jewelry made that they loved.
You can buy DIY kits on Etsy as well.
What’s the bottom line?
After my son was born, exclusive pumping was a huge part of my identity as a new mom.
I think that part of this was the amount of time that exclusive pumping takes, and part of it was the complex emotions that I had around exclusive pumping – a combination of guilt that I wasn’t able to nurse and pride that I managed to stick with pumping for so long.
I think having a piece breast milk jewelry would have been a great way to celebrate my journey and process my emotions around it.
Have you had a piece of breast milk jewelry made? Tell us your experience in the comments!
(This post was originally a giveaway but has been updated to provide more current information on breast milk jewelry and remove outdated giveaway details.)