Jewelry that celebrates motherhood is nothing new. From push presents to personalized jewelry featuring your child’s name (initials or monogram), there are a myriad of keepsakes that commemorate your status as Mom. For some, though, silver, gold or even Kim Kardashian-level diamonds don’t quite capture the essence of motherhood. Meet breastmilk jewelry, a memento that lets nursing moms celebrate their “breastfeeding journey.” While the idea of memorializing the special breastfeeding bond between mom and baby sounds intriguing (and possibly a little out there), you might be wondering how exactly is breast milk jewelry made—and whether it’s something you’d actually wear.
What is breast milk jewelry
Breast milk jewelry typically features an accent stone or centerpiece that’s filled with a mother’s breast milk. While the trend isn’t new (as early as 2013, a number of Etsy sellers were offering jewelry incorporating breast milk), it’s becoming more widespread with a handful of brands now selling breast milk jewelry collections, which range in price from $50 to $500.
Several moms started making this kind of jewelry to commemorate their own breastfeeding journeys, like Rachel of Precious Mammaries, who began her jewelry business in 2016 with the encouragement of local moms. Two months after launching her e-commerce site, she got her first buyer and says sales have “been pretty steady ever since.” “I was very active in online mommy groups, so I knew exactly where I could organically market my creations,” Rachel says.
Many breast milk jewelry pieces are often mistaken for opal—milk, after all, shares a similar creamy hue to the October birthstone—but the color may vary, with some pieces looking more yellow than others depending on the color of your own breast milk. Many jewelers then add a touch of shimmer for a glittery finish
Still, for every mom who loves the sentiment behind breast milk jewelry, there’s another who finds the trend a little strange. “I don't blame them,” Rachel says. “I might have thought that too, before I actually experienced the powerful bonding experience you get from breastfeeding.”
How is the breast milk preserved?
While each breast milk jewelry artist has their own proprietary technique, the preservation process typically involves expressing two tablespoons’ worth of breast milk into a plastic storage bag (like a Ziploc bag) and shipping it to the breastmilk artist. The milk is then preserved by mixing it with chemicals, letting it “plasticize” (or harden). It’s then mixed with resin, making it easier to shape the stone into your custom jewelry.
Best breast milk jewelry brands (and 5 pieces we'd actually wear)
If you’re considering buying breastmilk jewelry for yourself, keep in mind most pieces start at $100 and can be as pricey as $600 (especially if you’re ordering a piece with gold or diamond accents).
The average turnaround time to receive a piece is one to three months from the order date; some companies have a wait list up to two years long! So if you’re hoping to receive your breast milk jewelry by a certain date, we recommend ordering early or buying a breast milk jewelry DIY kit to make your own keepsake.
1. Beyond the Willow Tree
This boho-inspired Australian brand, which launched in 2013, can include breast milk, placenta and bits of the umbilical cord into whimsical “DNA jewelry” pieces (think crystal pendants and minimalist rings).
Our pick : A rose quartz crystal pendant you can customize with (or without) shimmer, then wear it on a silver, 18-karat rose gold or yellow gold chain.
Beyond the Willow Tree Rose Quartz Tipped Keepsake Crystal, $141, Beyondthewillowtree.com
2. Mama's Liquid Love
Founded by a pharmacist who crafted a thank-you piece of jewelry for her daughter’s breast milk donor, Mama’s Liquid Love features delicate halo rings with intricate filigree accents that can be customized with diamonds, birthstones or cubic zirconia.
Our pick : This rose gold halo ring, with your choice of diamonds or cubic zirconia. So refined.
Mamma's Liquid Love Glowing Halo Ring, $260, Mammasliquidlove.com
3. Indigo Willow
The Arizona-based company—founded by a stay-at-home mom who loved making her own breast milk jewelry so much, she started her own company—has a wide selection of intricately made necklaces and rings that have an Edwardian or art deco look.
Our pick : This stunning statement ring features mini milk stones that look like pearls, set into a diamond filigree ring. Admirers will only know what's in your ring if you tell them.
Indigo Willow Duchess Breast Milk Ring, $477, Breastmilkjewelry.com
4. Lait de la Vie
Louisiana-based Lait de la Vie specializes in vintage-inspired rings, perfect for those who love the art deco era.
Our pick : Can't you imagine Daisy Buchanan walking into Gatsby's house wearing this 14-karat gold filigree ring?
Lait de la Vie 14K Solid Gold Filigree Ring, $580, Laitdelavie.com
5. Baby Bee Hummingbirds
Our favorite offering from Baby Bee Hummingbirds (launched in 2014 by an Australian midwife with a passion for art): elegant, understated bangles with breast milk beads that can also include a lock of baby's hair.
Our pick : While these beads are pictured on a solid gold bangle, they’re designed to fit interchangeably on Pandora bracelets too.
Baby Bee Hummingbirds Breast Milk Bead, $80, Babybeehummingbirds.com.au
DIY your own breast milk jewelry
If you’re a mom who loves the concept of breast milk jewelry, but have concerns whether the company will really be using your breast milk, there’s a solution: a DIY kit, like ones sold by NineTwoFive. “If you send your milk for someone to make the jewelry for you, how can it be proven that they used your breast milk and nothing else?” founder Chin says. “Not only do the kits save moms the hassle of having to send their breast milk to us, they can be 100 percent sure that it’s their breast milk in their jewelry.”
Our pick : This NineTwoFive necklace kit comes with a pharmaceutical-grade preservatives and a solidifier to transform breast milk into “dust.” That dust can then easily be transferred to a pearl-like sphere. The kit also includes a charm personalized with your baby's name.
NineTwoFive Breast Milk Jewelry Kit, $26, Etsy.com