Breastfeeding is brilliant. Medically optimal for newborns and new mothers; naturally sustainable (no plastic bottles to create, clean and dispose of, no shipping and transport, and no need to refrigerate since it’s delivered on demand), and best of all it’s free. But how do you feel about breast milk turning into an accessory?
Allicia Mogavero found the experience of breastfeeding her three babies so rewarding she devised a means to remember it long after the kids moved on to self-service drinks. Searching for a way “to never forget how sweet and irreplaceable the experience was”, she found her answer in jewelry made from her breast milk. Mogavero developed a method to permanently preserve some of her output (which she refers to as “liquid gold”); a secret alchemy that morphed milk into beads, in turn creating a bracelet. Her breast milk bauble proved so popular, friends asked her to make jewelry from their milk too, and so Mommy Milk Creations was born. She makes rings and pendants and lockets, and has expanded into jewelry containing umbilical cord stubs (see below), locks of baby hair, and dead pet remains.
Breast-sourced bling isn’t cheap, costing up to $160 for a sterling silver (and milk!) locket; most items hover around the $100 mark. Her website points out that the pieces are a lifetime reminder of the time you produced breast milk, and suggests that you pass them down for generations or gift them to your children. “What a fantastic gift to give to your child, the root of their survival!”, says the designer.
Mogavero understands that her unusual jewelry isn’t to everyone’s taste. “I’ve heard it all,” she told MailOnline, “”What’s next, a baby’s first poop keepsake?’ or ‘That is disgusting, breast milk is body fluid!’” But she takes the criticism in stride.
Got your interest? Her website describes the ordering process. Choose one of her existing items, or send in a sketch – she might tweak her designs to suit your taste. Approximately 30 ml of milk (two tablespoons) is usually good for two breast milk beads; she suggests mailing it to her via regular airmail double bagged in breast milk storage bags, in a padded envelope “so it doesn’t slosh around”. In a pinch, use a regular ziplock. Mogavero accepts orders from around the world and has experienced no problems with Customs – simply mark the package as “liquid”.
Delivery time varies (she’s a one-woman show) and can take up to one year from the time she receives your milk. Memorial items take around 6-10 weeks. You may notice slightly different shades or swirls in your milk bead, the result of fat separation in the milk (see bead, above). She says it enhances the “jewels’ beauty”.
Green Prophet Tinamarie wrote about breast milk being worth more than oil. Maybe it’s poised to bump past diamonds and gold too.
All images from the MommyMilkCreations Facebook page