Moms Are Turning Their Breast Milk Into Jewelry

The custom pieces are meant to serve as a preserved memory of early motherhood.

breast milk jewelry

When Amelia Edelman, an editor at Refinery29, recently wrote an essay about having her breast milk made into jewelry, our first thought was, "Whoa, that's a thing?" But as it turns out, the breast milk jewelry trend has been around for some time now (ABC News wrote about the fad in 2013) β€” and it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon.

When you search #breastmilkjewelry on Instagram, you find a surprising 5,000+ posts. Mothers and jewelry makers alike are taking to social media to share their custom breast milk creations. And you know what? They're actually really pretty!

If you're still a little iffy about the idea of a new mom shipping off her breast milk to a jewelry maker, fear not: We've rounded up some more info on just how (and why!) these "jewels" are made. Find out more about this unexpected fad below.

[h/t Refinery29]

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There are entire jewelry making companies dedicated to making 'DNA art.'

In her essay, Edelman writes that she discovered the breast milk jewelry trend when she found Sacred Legacy Arts on Instagram. The company's founder, Kelly Howland, specializes in "DNA keepsake jewelry," and she makes custom pieces that include everything from breast milk and placenta to hair and ashes.

Breast milk can be preserved to create stone-like 'jewels.'

To make the jewelry, Howland uses chemicals to preserve the breast milk sent to her by new mothers (she won't disclose her exact method for doing so, however). The milk then becomes similar to a "jeweler-grade resin," which can be set like a stone into a ring or necklace.

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Many of the women who make them are mothers themselves.

Opal "Beginnings" and shimmer "Abundance" πŸ’– #breastmilk #breastmilkjewelry #margobea #handmade

A photo posted by Margo Bea Boutique (@margo.bea) on

Sacred Legacy Arts isn't the only boutique making breast milk jewelry, however. Other moms and custom jewelry makers have been crafting one-of-a-kind breast milk pieces, as well β€” including Elisia Flaherty of Margo Bea, a mother of four who also gives her customers the option to add shimmer to their milk.

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Every breast milk 'jewel' is as unique as the new mom it came from.

On both of their sites, Howland and Flaherty warn mothers that their breast milk jewelry might not look exactly like the pictures and examples they've seen β€” every mother's milk is unique, after all, and different milks will react differently when mixed with glitter and other inclusions.

And that distinctiveness is what really makes them special.

But that's what really makes them special. Take these breast milk beads from Forever Nurtured, for example: As jewelry maker Sam notes in the caption, each was made using breast milk from different nurslings. They look different, but with different inclusions and added initials, they make a custom piece that's surely meaningful to the mother.

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They mean a lot to the mothers who request them.

One mother took to Instagram to praise Australian jewelry maker Beyond the Willow Tree for her custom piece. Her ring contains milk she expressed before her daughter was even born (aka colostrum), and now she wears it proudly alongside her (also custom-made) wedding band. What a pair!

In the end, they're just another way to preserve memories of early motherhood.

What inspires mothers to start these unique jewelry-making businesses? For Howland, it's about helping moms like her preserve their early motherhood memories: "So many mothers hang on to tangible mementos from their motherhood journey that usually just end up taped into a book or tucked in a shoebox in the closet," Howland told Refinery29. "My own journey had been so empowering and healing that I wanted a visually beautiful way to honor these moments in my life."

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