It is becoming more common for mothers to wear jewelry that honors their role in their children’s lives. And if you want to memorialize your breastfeeding journey and the wonder of feeding your babies with your body, breast milk jewelry might be the way to do that. Read on to learn more about what it is and how you can get—or make—your own.
What is breast milk jewelry?
Breast milk jewelry is jewelry that incorporates breast milk into a necklace, ring, bracelet, or earrings. Instead of being used as a liquid, the breast milk is usually dried and combined with substances to be turned into a hardened resin to make a kind of stone that is then featured in the jewelry, so there is no danger of spoiling or spilling. Once it is incorporated into the resin, breast milk often looks a lot like an opal, a white, semi-precious stone.
Who makes breast milk jewelry?
You can choose one of the hundreds of makers of breast milk jewelry that can be found online. Jewelers have websites full of images of breast milk jewelry and reviews so that you can read and find the one you like best. There are also a wide variety of price points for breast milk jewelry—from more affordably priced small pieces to more elaborate items that incorporate other semi-precious and precious stones and a variety of metals, including silver, gold, and rose gold.
Perhaps the most economical option is to buy a kit to make your own breast milk jewelry. These kits are also widely available through handmade websites, such as Etsy, but require work from you. Just as you would with choosing a jewelry maker, make sure to look at photos and read reviews of do it yourself kits.
What are the steps to getting your own breast milk jewelry?
While the exact process will vary a bit between different breast milk jewelers, the overall steps to getting your own breast milk jewelry are as follows:
- Choose your jewelry maker. As discussed above, read reviews and look at photos to pick the jeweler that is best for you. Consider whether you want a maker who will work with you to develop a custom jewelry design or one who offers standard options to everyone. You might also consider how long your jewelry will take to make; most jewelers take at least eight weeks to complete a project. Additionally, the way that people make jewelry can vary and influence how well your jewelry lasts. If you have questions, make sure to ask them of your jeweler before you commit.
- Pay for the jewelry you’ve chosen and await instructions about getting your breast milk to your jewelry maker. It depends on the jeweler, but most pieces require just an ounce or two of breast milk, which is good news for people at the end of breastfeeding or who do not make much milk.
- Ship your breast milk. In many cases, you can send your milk through the regular mail in carefully packed breast milk storage bags, which are unlikely to leak.
- Wait for your jewelry and wear it proudly when it arrives.
Other things to consider
Possible challenges associated with breast milk jewelry include:
- Finances: If breast milk jewelry is something that you really want, but it is not an option for you financially, you can always save some breast milk in the freezer until you can have jewelry made. One jeweler says she has made jewelry from breast milk that was frozen for 18 years! This is also a great option if you have breastfed more that one child and want to mix milk from each baby.
- While most reputable jewelers include assurances on their websites that your milk and only your milk will be included in the jewelry you order, it can feel uncertain to just mail off your milk. One advantage of making your own jewelry is that you know for sure that it is your breast milk that is being incorporated.
- Timing: breast milk jewelry is not a quick turnaround, so plan ahead, especially if you are buying jewelry as a gift for someone else for a particular holiday—Mother’s Day, perhaps?