When you’ve worked so hard emotionally and physically to breastfeed, you want to celebrate those key milestones on your breastfeeding journey. I know I did! For me, reaching one year of breastfeeding was a huge milestone and something I wanted to celebrate. I never thought we’d reach 12 days of breastfeeding, nevermind 12 months!
I wanted a keepsake to celebrate my breastfeeding journey with my son
I thought a nice piece of jewellery would be a nice way to mark my breastfeeding journey and be a forever keepsake. During my time breastfeeding, I’d heard about breast milk jewellery – and loved the idea of it. So when the time came, my husband kindly gifted me a special breast milk ring to celebrate one year of breastfeeding. It’s something I will cherish forever and it’s a beautiful reminder of my breastfeeding journey with my son Freddie.
I was so in love with my ring that once Freddie and I hit another milestone – 18 months – I treated myself to a breast milk necklace. Unlike the ring, the necklace is something I can wear every day with ease and when I’m at work (I work in a hospital). My breast milk jewellery pieces are two of my most treasured items as they symbolise such a special part of my motherhood journey. Many of my breastfeeding friends now have breast milk jewellery too and it’s becoming more popular as time goes on.
What is breast milk jewellery?
Many companies and small businesses do keepsake jewellery using breast milk, hair, ashes and even umbilical cords! Breast milk jewellery can be a ring, necklace, or earrings. It typically features an accent stone or centerpiece that’s filled with a mother’s breast milk. This is often mistaken for Opal as they both have a similarly creamy hue.
How is breast milk jewellery made?
When you’ve selected your preferred breast milk jewellery piece you’ll be asked to send some of your expressed breast milk. Don’t worry if you don’t have a freezer stash or are unable to express alot of milk only a tiny amount is needed to make a keepsake. Speak to the business you’re using about how much is needed. Some companies will even accept frozen milk. The small business I used sent me a little tube with instructions and information about sending my milk.
The process to preserve your breast milk to use within jewellery involves extreme heating and cooling using chemicals to preserve it. The milk changes structure during this process and forms into a solidified clump that can be moulded and put into necklaces, ornaments and keepsakes then sealed with epoxy or UV resin.
Some makers give the option to customise your breast milk piece with options for adding coloured glitter, or even some of your child’s hair.
Things to consider before choosing breast milk jewellery
Having two breast milk jewellery pieces of my own and doing quite a bit of research into what I wanted and the style I wanted, there are three main things I’d suggest thinking about before making your own purchase.
1. How often do you plan to wear your jewellery?
Do you want something you can wear every day or only on special occasions? I absolutely love my ring but unfortunately can’t wear it at work and so it’s not an everyday practical piece for me to wear. To keep it in good condition only wear it on special occasions so I wanted something I could wear more often.
When we hit 18 months of breastfeeding I bought myself a simple breast milk necklace that I could wear more often. I love the necklace as Freddie will look at it and play with it while I’m feeding him. I also love the thought of the milk always being near my heart. Something to think about when choosing your piece, will you get wear out of it? What is practical for you?
2. How much do you want to spend?
Breast milk jewellery varies in price depending on the design and material used (gold, silver etc). It’s worth doing your research and selecting a style that you really love and want. This may mean saving up for your precious jewellery item. You could even ask for it as a special gift from a loved one.
If money is tight you could try making your own jewellery. You can buy breast milk diy kits online to make your own jewellery and preserve your milk if you want to try it out. There are video tutorials on YouTube to follow and show the process.
3. Be prepared to look after your jewellery
It is important to look after your precious keepsake, and the supplier should be able to advise best about jewellery care.
Resin is water resistant but not waterproof which is why I always remove my ring and necklace when swimming or showering. I always take off my jewellery when cleaning as the chemicals in cleaning products can discolour or damage your jewellery.
There are many small businesses and well-known companies doing breastmilk keepsakes, but which one will you choose?