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The human body is a mind-boggling masterpiece. When that long-awaited bundle of joy enters the world, his mother’s body has an instant pantry ready for him, full of the exact food he needs. If you have excess milk, what are you to do? Can you sell it and make money from it? How would a person go about this odd business?
Selling breastmilk can be a profitable business or at least a small extra source of income for mothers who have excess breast milk. Moms sell their milk via milk banks, out of hand, online, or on social media. Buyers are usually mothers with no milk, bodybuilders, or other adults with odd fetishes.
The sale of breast milk is a controversial topic. Much of the milk sold to milk banks is distributed to hospitals for premature and sickly babies. Many consider it unethical to profit from this when the milk can be donated to the needy. Alternatively, some feel that the mothers providing the milk are serving those in need. Either way, there is a market for breast milk.
You Can Make Money Selling Breast Milk
Some nursing mothers produce far more milk than their babies can consume. Yes, they could freeze it for later use, but many women turn this into a business opportunity. There are different ways and places to sell breast milk, and it is a legitimate and acceptable way to make money.
Is It Legal To Sell Breast Milk?
There are no federal laws that prevent the sale of breast milk, thus making it completely legal to distribute it on any given forum.
How To Make Money Selling Breast Milk
If you’re a new mom worried about the rising expense of childcare, you’re undoubtedly brainstorming ways to supplement your income. Sourcing an extra income can be challenging for most people, but add a wee babe into the mix, and it can be nearly impossible. Except if you use what’s at your disposal – plenty of extra breastmilk.
Several options are available if you decide to sell your excess breast milk. The most common platforms for this are:
- Milk banks
- Online communities
- Facebook groups
- Other social media platforms
Selling Breast Milk To A Milk Bank
Choose a milk bank that you’d like to work with. Some milk banks only take donations, but many others will pay $1 or more per ounce of breast milk donated. Although some milk banks only take milk donations in person, many others accept frozen and mailed milk. Take some time to look for milk banks in your area to see if one appeals to you.
The Human Milk Banking Association of North America, Mothers Milk Co-op, Prolacta Bioscience, and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America are well-known institutions in the United States. They are hospital-approved, and donors undergo thorough screening.
You will have to apply for a milk bank membership. Almost any milk bank accepts online applications. Joining a milk bank is usually free, though some places may need you to donate your first 100 ounces of milk to cover costs before they begin paying you.
Screening Of Breast Milk Donors By Milk Banks
Moms selling their breast milk will conduct a brief phone interview with the milk bank. Donor mothers must be in good health. You’ll need to provide information about your personal health history, milk production, prescription drug history, and other diet and health practices.
There will also be a thorough screening process and blood tests. Moms should not use illegal substances, smoke or use tobacco products, or consume more than 2 ounces of alcohol per day. Milk donors must not have received a blood transfusion or an organ or tissue transplant in the previous 12 months.
Milk banks will not buy from mothers who have had positive test results for HIV, Hepatitis B or C, Syphilis, or HLTV. Because the milk banks supply breast milk to hospitals for premature and high-risk babies, they have to be extra careful not to send milk that could contain bacteria and viruses.
Storing And Transporting Milk To Milk Banks
You must store all your pumped breast milk in sterile bags. Most banks expect you to buy these yourself. You will label the bag with your milk bank identification number and add the date you expressed the milk.
The milk must be refrigerated or frozen as soon as possible after pumping, usually within 30 minutes. Keep it in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to deliver or mail it. When milk banks accept donations via mail, you should courier them overnight in a cooler packed with ice. Some banks might arrange this on your behalf, but others will let you carry the cost.
Working with milk banks has its advantages. They take care of handling and paying for all necessary tests, and some even cover the cost of your breast pump. They’ll also take care of practical issues like pasteurization and transportation to individuals who require the milk.
Selling Breast Milk Online
Women can advertise their milk for free. Look through the various online milk communities to find one that matches your requirements. The most popular site is “Only The Breast,” which functions similarly to Craigslist but is solely for the purchase and sale of breastmilk.
These communities specify guidelines regarding health, screening, transportation, and milk storage, but they are rarely enforced.
You will create a profile that includes information such as your health, dietary details, how long you have been producing breast milk, and your storage and transportation methods. You can also include references. Most online communities will require you to register as a member if you want to post advertisements.
It’s not mandatory, but if you ask a doctor to screen you and do some blood tests, it can help reassure prospective customers of the safety of your milk. You can make copies of these records to show your buyers.
Breast milk has an expiry date of 5 days in the fridge and 2 weeks in the freezer. Stick to the storage and transportation regulations. Milk must be stored in sterile bags. You need to weigh them and indicate the ounces. Never add any other substances to the milk to top it off. It could be fatal for babies with allergies.
You will have to market the milk yourself in the online communities. Describe your packaging and delivery processes. Tell the buyer whether they need to pay for the shipping or not. If you have preferences regarding people you want to sell to, it is essential to note this in your advertisement. If you’re uncomfortable selling to men or with wet nursing, say so.
Tips For Maximizing Your Breast Milk By Pumping
Although you may have more milk than your baby needs, if you’re going to make an income by selling it, you should not run out of stock. The best of doing this is by using a breast pump. But it will take a bit of practice and adjustment to become quick and efficient at this. Here are some tips.
- Pump frequently. The most significant way of increasing your milk supply is by pumping more often. Cluster pumping is a method of giving your breasts repeated stimulation by pumping every five minutes.
Your body signals you to stop producing milk when your breasts are full. Milk production is triggered by empty breasts; thus, the more you empty your breasts, the more milk you’ll produce. And remember to keep drinking fluids.
Over time your body will adjust to producing more milk during the regular pumping session. It will naturally start producing milk during those times, so try to keep them simultaneously every day.
- Pump after a feed. After your baby has stopped breastfeeding, your breasts may still feel full. Try pumping or hand expressing one or both breasts after each nursing section. This tells your body to start making more milk.
- Pump both sides simultaneously. You can pump both breasts simultaneously to receive the maximum milk. A pumping bra is a handy item to have here. These bras are designed to keep breast shields in place while your hands are free.
- Use efficient equipment. Keep your pump in good working order to get the maximum benefits out of pumping. The amount of milk you get will depend on the breast shield size and suction speed.
- Use lactation cookies and supplements. In some lactation cookie recipes, oats or brewer’s yeast are credited with improving milk supply. Herbal supplements like milk thistle, fenugreek, and fennel, known as galactagogues, or substances that promote milk production, are also available. Check with your doctor before using herbs, though.
- Keep healthy. Consume enough calories and drink plenty of water and other clear drinks to stay hydrated. Maintaining good milk production can be as simple as eating well and staying hydrated.
Breastfeeding mothers may require as much as 13 cups (104 ounces) of water each day. You should also aim to consume an additional 450 to 500 calories per day. Choose foods that are high in vitamins and other nutrients.
- Relax while you’re pumping. Try not to think about how much milk you are trying to express. Listening to music or simply taking a mental break helps the let-down reflex kick in.
- Look at photos of your baby. If you’re not with your baby when you’re going to express milk, pictures or other items that remind you of him can trigger the hormones that help milk production.
- Demand-feed your baby when you are with him. . Try feeding more frequently in the evening, early morning, or on weekends, according to your schedule.
- Avoid or minimize formula feeds. Formula feeds lessen your milk production by reducing your baby’s demand for breast milk. Pumping whenever your baby has a formula or expressed breast milk feed is critical to maintaining your milk supply.
Who Will Buy Breast Milk?
The American Pregnancy Association endorses breast milk as the best source of nutrition for babies. Experts consider it far superior to cow’s milk or formula because the little ones can easily digest the proteins in breast milk. It also supplies the minerals and energy that newborns require. There are different categories of customers who will buy breast milk.
New mothers who cannot produce an adequate supply of breast milk are obvious buyers. New moms all want to give their babies the best nutrition. However, due to various factors, not all new mothers can sustain nursing for more than a few weeks, prompting them to seek out alternatives.
Parents adopting newborns also want to give these children the best head start possible. They will buy breast milk rather than formula. The baby will get optimal nourishment. It will also provide the parents with a sense of satisfaction as this early feeding resembles that of a child born biologically.
Same-sex parents will often buy breast milk for the same reasons as adoptive parents. They can’t provide it naturally but want the best for their children.
Many bodybuilders believe that breast milk contains substances that help them build a great physique. Human colostrum, or the first milk produced after birth, contains growth hormones. Some bodybuilders believe that it helps with muscle recovery. Breast milk also contains Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs), which are supposed to be powerful bodybuilding supplements.
Bruce German, a professor at UC Davis, has studied breast milk for over twenty years. He states that the nutritional structure of breast milk varies every day — even every hour — as the baby for whom it is intended grows.
In other words, a newborn’s milk is very different from milk for a six-month-old, and both are unique to that mother and baby. One can guess then that no amount of breast milk will be very beneficial for an adult, let alone a bodybuilder.
However, one cup of breast milk includes approximately 170 calories, 10 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and only about 2 grams of protein. So, breast milk is low in protein. Although it is high in HMOs, Professor German states that they are indigestible and will simply be excreted. Therefore, it seems that bodybuilders are not gaining much from it. Ladies selling their milk are, though.
The final category of breast milk buyers is the most disturbing. Still, it has to be mentioned because of its role in the market. These men buy milk for their own purposes rather than for their babies.
Megan Giller of fatherly.com interviewed some men who bought breast milk. Some said they simply like the rich taste. Others also enjoy the fact that the milk comes from a human being. Men who can genuinely be said to have fetishes for human milk derive an erotic thrill from it. One could elaborate, but it’s only important to know that these men form part of the customer base. Enough said!
How Much Can You Sell Breast Milk For?
When you hear about this unusual trade for the first time, you probably wonder whether it’s profitable and what price tag you can hang on the baby cuisine. Even if you have an overflow of milk, pumping it out takes time and energy. These might be in short supply with a new baby, even if the milk isn’t.
How much you make from selling your breast milk depends on a few factors. Your marketplace will have a big say in how much you earn. Milk banks generally pay around $1 per ounce, but if you sell the good stuff online, it can fetch higher prices of $2 or $2.50. This will obviously increase your income.
The extra milk that you can express per day will also affect your income. Newborns need between 25 and 35 ounces of milk until they are 6 months old. Whatever you produce per day that is more than what your baby needs becomes your liquid gold. If you have 30 ounces of excess milk per day, you can earn about $900 per month if you sell it for $1 per ounce.
Is Selling Your Breast Milk Worth It?
We have just seen that a month’s breast milk supply could earn you $900. That’s nothing to be sneezed at. But let’s look at all the advantages and disadvantages of selling breast milk.
Advantages Of Selling Your Breast Milk
The most obvious benefit of selling your breast milk is the extra cash that glides into your bank account. The money is mostly clear profit. In some ways, it’s easy money because there is very little capital outlay except for the sterile freezer bags and any shipping to be done at your expense.
Selling your breast milk is also an altruistic service that you perform for those in need. Milk that may have gone to waste because of your oversupply can now be distributed to those unable to produce enough milk for their babies.
Most babies who receive donated breast milk are hospitalized. These include newborns with lower birth weights, premature infants, and babies that are ill.
These babies stand a greater risk of contracting life-threatening infections and can benefit from exclusively consuming breast milk. Babies who have access to breast milk require fewer hospital stays after delivery. The incredible feeling of being able to help these little ones is a big plus when you sell your breast milk to a milk bank.
Premature babies and newborns with low birth weight are more likely to develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). This inflammatory disorder affects the digestive tract of babies and can lead to severe complications and death. Research confirms that providing breast milk to premature and low-birth-weight babies can reduce NEC risk by 6–10 times.
The Drawbacks Of Selling Your Breast Milk
The cash you receive for your breast milk is terrific but pumping out and packaging your liquid gold is not simply like turning on a tap and catching it in a jar. Pumping extra breast milk is tedious and time-consuming, and it can also be uncomfortable.
Another drawback is that selling breast milk won’t provide a permanent income. Sooner or later, you will either stop having babies or stop breastfeeding. When the milk dries up, so will the cash. But you might as well make hay while the sun shines.
Experts are becoming alarmed because of the rapidly growing trend of selling human breast milk online, saying it could include dangerous bacteria, medications, and viruses like HIV.
The risks associated with breast milk sales have even motivated eBay to remove breast milk listings from the platform. Because many sellers sell poor-quality milk, it limits business opportunities for those with healthy milk.
Many adults are also in the breast milk customer base for various reasons. Since they are not eligible to purchase breast milk from milk banks, their only source is online sales. There is no regulation here, and the milk quality can pose serious dangers. As an individual selling online, you may unknowingly pass on contaminated milk, which can have serious risks for your buyers.
Advice For Delivery
Suppose you’re selling your breast milk online. In that case, unless the customer is a repeat buyer you have met before, you should take extra care in dealing with deliveries.
The safest option is to use a courier. Still, if the person wants to pick it up in person rather than paying delivery costs, it is essential to meet them in a public place. Criminals could be lurking within the online community, so your clients shouldn’t know your home address.
Surprisingly, selling breast milk is a legitimate and profitable business. One could earn anywhere from $900 upwards, depending on who your clients are. Milk banks and new parents are the traditional buyers, but there are some odd characters in the mix too. In straightforward business terms, there is a demand for breast milk, so go with the flow and supply! It’s a win-win situation.