Author Topic: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?  (Read 11663 times)

KaleidoscopeHarmony

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Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« on: January 14, 2015, 10:48:04 AM »
Hello :)

I just posted about this side-hustle idea on my website:

http://creatingmykaleidoscope.com/2015/01/14/should-i-sell-breast-milk-to-afford-a-longer-maternity-leave/

Does anyone have any experience doing this sort of thing to earn extra money?

Thanks!

snshijuptr

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2015, 11:21:17 AM »
I have donated breastmilk peer-to-peer before. I have not heard of anyone selling it outside of a milk bank. They sell it after testing and pasteurizing.  Milk banks don't pay the donating mothers.

TerriM

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2015, 11:29:29 AM »
I had been under the impression that it was illegal to do so, which is why the donation banks can't pay the moms, but here's a site:

http://www.onlythebreast.com

Now I'm laughing.... 

KaleidoscopeHarmony

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2015, 12:00:12 PM »
I had been under the impression that it was illegal to do so, which is why the donation banks can't pay the moms, but here's a site:

http://www.onlythebreast.com

Now I'm laughing....

Thanks, and did you notice the section for men buying breast milk? LOL

justajane

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2015, 12:05:29 PM »
I had been under the impression that it was illegal to do so, which is why the donation banks can't pay the moms, but here's a site:

http://www.onlythebreast.com

Now I'm laughing....

Based on this website, it appears that more people are selling than buying. I wonder how much you could end up making. I always thought the donation sites were a raw deal for the pumping mother. So, they get the product for free and then charge an arm and a leg to desperate moms with preemies? It doesn't seem fair to me.

I am currently breastfeeding, but I despise pumping. It wouldn't be worth it to me, although I've thought about it before. I wonder how long you could pump after you weaned your own little one? Could you continue to burn all the calories for years on end? A permanent weight loss solution perhaps?

KaleidoscopeHarmony

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2015, 01:18:32 PM »
I had been under the impression that it was illegal to do so, which is why the donation banks can't pay the moms, but here's a site:

http://www.onlythebreast.com

Now I'm laughing....

Based on this website, it appears that more people are selling than buying. I wonder how much you could end up making. I always thought the donation sites were a raw deal for the pumping mother. So, they get the product for free and then charge an arm and a leg to desperate moms with preemies? It doesn't seem fair to me.

I am currently breastfeeding, but I despise pumping. It wouldn't be worth it to me, although I've thought about it before. I wonder how long you could pump after you weaned your own little one? Could you continue to burn all the calories for years on end? A permanent weight loss solution perhaps?

I'm not really a fan of pumping either - but more so because I would usually do it at work.  It's not as bad at home.  Thus, my thought was to add an extra session here and there while home on maternity leave. 

The extra burned calories are a nice perk to breastfeeding.  You could probably pump for quite a while - remember that mom on the cover of Time? Wasn't her son five years old?

ysette9

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2015, 01:23:50 PM »
I hadn't considered trying to sell my milk before, probably for the same reason I haven't considered trying to sell blood, plasma, my extra kidney, or anything else. I have donated milk through a legitimate non-profit milk bank (they only charge hospitals the amount it costs them to operate) and have felt really good about that. I was very fortunate to always have enough milk for my baby or more despite the fact that she was preemie and in the NICU for a little while.

On one hand I do understand where you are coming from ("hey, I'm making this great thing that is in high demand that I don't need anymore!") but the bigger part of me feels like it is taking advantage of people who desperately need the milk. It is so scary already having a tiny baby born too early, seeing it hooked up to tubes and machines and not be home with you where she belongs. Having to come up with extra $$ on top of all of that simply to feed your child what she needs so desperately to grow healthy and strong?....

Then again, I'll be clear that I am coming from a position of not having to worry about $ as well as having had a more-than-sufficient milk supply when my baby was young.

KaleidoscopeHarmony

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2015, 01:51:59 PM »
I hadn't considered trying to sell my milk before, probably for the same reason I haven't considered trying to sell blood, plasma, my extra kidney, or anything else. I have donated milk through a legitimate non-profit milk bank (they only charge hospitals the amount it costs them to operate) and have felt really good about that. I was very fortunate to always have enough milk for my baby or more despite the fact that she was preemie and in the NICU for a little while.

On one hand I do understand where you are coming from ("hey, I'm making this great thing that is in high demand that I don't need anymore!") but the bigger part of me feels like it is taking advantage of people who desperately need the milk. It is so scary already having a tiny baby born too early, seeing it hooked up to tubes and machines and not be home with you where she belongs. Having to come up with extra $$ on top of all of that simply to feed your child what she needs so desperately to grow healthy and strong?....

Then again, I'll be clear that I am coming from a position of not having to worry about $ as well as having had a more-than-sufficient milk supply when my baby was young.

I completely understand your position and was already on the fence about doing this.  It just seemed like an option that I should consider, to help us continue paying off debt while spending a bit more time on maternity leave. 

Dyk

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2015, 02:32:54 PM »
I learned something new today, didn't see that one coming at all, but I guess it makes sense!

Melissa

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2015, 02:54:30 PM »
We came across this article the other day

Breast Milk: The New Steroid for Body Builders | Wall Street Daily
www.wallstreetdaily.com/2014/07/21/athletes-drinking-breast-milk/
Jul 21, 2014 - That's right, you can purchase your own share of random ladies' breast milk right on your laptop, iPad, or iPhone! Indeed, according to the ...

....so it's not just milk banks. Some culinary artists are using it as well.  And to think that I laughed at my husband a decade ago when he said I should make breast milk chocolates! 😜

MillenialMustache

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2015, 02:55:32 PM »
I do see what some are saying here, but hospitals charge for delivery of babies, people are charged for prosthetics and many medical devices, we are all charged for food, and all of those things are needed. That is what makes the world go 'round, so charging for breast milk really isn't any different. Supply and demand.

CommonCents

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2015, 03:02:38 PM »
I do see what some are saying here, but hospitals charge for delivery of babies, people are charged for prosthetics and many medical devices, we are all charged for food, and all of those things are needed. That is what makes the world go 'round, so charging for breast milk really isn't any different. Supply and demand.

Sure, although hospitals and prosthetics may largely be covered by insurance.  Food you can get from other sources if you need it (WIC, shelters, etc.)  As Ysette9 notes, it's totally legal way to make money, and understandable, but there is discomfort associated with it for some as well.  I wouldn't charge for my blood donations even if I could (I think it's illegal where I live though) and I similarly wouldn't ever consider giving breast milk to a for-profit place.

TerriM

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2015, 03:34:12 PM »
I had been under the impression that it was illegal to do so, which is why the donation banks can't pay the moms, but here's a site:

http://www.onlythebreast.com

Now I'm laughing....

Thanks, and did you notice the section for men buying breast milk? LOL

Yes.  That's kinda WTF?

justajane

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2015, 03:54:38 PM »
The extra burned calories are a nice perk to breastfeeding.  You could probably pump for quite a while - remember that mom on the cover of Time? Wasn't her son five years old?

Yeah, but she was still breastfeeding. I'm sure you could breastfeed until your kid goes to college if you want (Ew.), but I meant how long could you pump after you wean. I imagine that your milk supply couldn't be sustained indefinitely only by pumping, although some women do pump exclusively in the first year. So I guess if one was committed to pumping every 2-3 hours, one could be a breast milk provider indefinitely.

I want to clarify that I don't have a problem with a hospital charging for breast milk, but the price seems rather exorbitant to me. Many of the companies providing pasteurized breast milk are also for-profit, so it seems like the one who provides the product should earn something. 

If it floats your boat, you can buy breast milk cheese and ice cream.

TerriM

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2015, 04:02:28 PM »
The extra burned calories are a nice perk to breastfeeding.  You could probably pump for quite a while - remember that mom on the cover of Time? Wasn't her son five years old?

Yeah, but she was still breastfeeding. I'm sure you could breastfeed until your kid goes to college if you want (Ew.), but I meant how long could you pump after you wean. I imagine that your milk supply couldn't be sustained indefinitely only by pumping, although some women do pump exclusively in the first year. So I guess if one was committed to pumping every 2-3 hours, one could be a breast milk provider indefinitely.

I don't know how long you can pump after you wean--and I never felt like I was good pumping at all--but I weaned 1.5 years ago, and I still have a little milk.  I've been very surprised.  And I'm over 40.  Which makes me even more surprised.

I'd do an experiment to see if I could bring it back, but I gave away my pump. :)

GeneralJinjur

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2015, 05:30:10 PM »
I pumped exclusively for 13 months for my little preemie, who never figured out how to eat from the source.  Pumping every 3 hours was not enough to sustain my supply well, so I dropped down to every 2 hours.  15-20 minutes of being plugged into that annoying machine every 2 hours?  I don't think I could tolerate it for money.  So there's my 2 cents, conveniently found for free on the internet.

MsPeacock

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2015, 05:46:39 PM »
I donated milk to a NFP milk bank and then to a friend who lost her supply when she returned to work. Pumping is a hassle - and selling milk I think is illegal in many places (because of risk of disease transmission). Milk banks require medical screening, and they pasteurize the milk before it is used.The rules were also quite strict - no medications, no alcohol, if you were sick don't donate, etc.  Also, if you plan to return to work you may want to focus on building up a frozen supply of milk so you can use it when you return to work so that you don't have to buy formula. Many women have difficulty maintaining their supply via pumping when they return to work. 

abhe8

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2015, 06:36:36 PM »
i wouldn't make any money! i burn way more calories and thus eat a LOT more when nursing. especially with an older baby. by the time each baby has been 16 - 18 months old, i've been a solid 10 lbs less then when I got pregnant. but, I have no moral or ethical concerns with it. if I needed it, i would be HAPPY to pay for breastmilk, especially if it kept a mama home with her baby a little longer.

Primm

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2015, 07:11:20 PM »
I had been under the impression that it was illegal to do so, which is why the donation banks can't pay the moms, but here's a site:

http://www.onlythebreast.com

Now I'm laughing....

Based on this website, it appears that more people are selling than buying. I wonder how much you could end up making. I always thought the donation sites were a raw deal for the pumping mother. So, they get the product for free and then charge an arm and a leg to desperate moms with preemies? It doesn't seem fair to me.


Not quite how it works. The hospital I work for pays for the milk and provides it free of charge (obviously insurance kicks in) to the babies up to a certain gestational age or if they have gut issues. The only mums who have to pay for it are ones  who prefer but don't really need it for their baby's health.

And the donation sites spend money too, on processing (it's all pasteurised and goes through the same testing as blood donation), IDing, bottling and freezing the milk. It's not a cost free process.

MillenialMustache

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2015, 08:08:22 PM »
I do see what some are saying here, but hospitals charge for delivery of babies, people are charged for prosthetics and many medical devices, we are all charged for food, and all of those things are needed. That is what makes the world go 'round, so charging for breast milk really isn't any different. Supply and demand.

Sure, although hospitals and prosthetics may largely be covered by insurance.  Food you can get from other sources if you need it (WIC, shelters, etc.)  As Ysette9 notes, it's totally legal way to make money, and understandable, but there is discomfort associated with it for some as well.  I wouldn't charge for my blood donations even if I could (I think it's illegal where I live though) and I similarly wouldn't ever consider giving breast milk to a for-profit place.

Formula is a replacement for breast milk too, so it isn't needed really either. Formula can be bought on WIC. Where I live you can donate your plasma and be paid for it. I have never done it, but it is fine with me if people do. I think there aren't places paying for blood because the supply from non-profit places is enough. However, in my area they give movie tickets and gift cards, etc. Those probably aren't all free, so it is a payment of sorts.

justajane

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2015, 09:27:07 AM »
Formula is a replacement for breast milk too, so it isn't needed really either.

From what I understand (and clearly there are people on this thread who are more knowledgeable than I am), premature babies don't digest formula very easily, and it puts an unnecessary strain on their intestines. So donated breast milk is rather essential in those cases.

enigmaT120

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2015, 11:13:09 AM »
I wonder why it's called breast milk, rather than human milk.  As opposed to cow, goat, or horse milk.  Or any other mammal.

Somebody should package sheep milk as Tiger Milk and sell it to MMA fighters.  I only picked sheep because it should be available and would taste different than cow milk.




TerriM

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2015, 11:37:25 AM »
Formula is a replacement for breast milk too, so it isn't needed really either.

From what I understand (and clearly there are people on this thread who are more knowledgeable than I am), premature babies don't digest formula very easily, and it puts an unnecessary strain on their intestines. So donated breast milk is rather essential in those cases.

yes.  There's a very large difference in what is in formula and breast milk.  Though unfortunately pasteurizing breast milk gets rid of some of the benefits, but the enzymes are still more digestible.   Honestly, I'd rather have the mom tested for HIV/Hep B/ etc. and have the milk unpasteurized. 


I think this is all very funny given that wet nurses were common for 1000s of years.   

TheDude

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2015, 11:54:07 AM »
My wife gave some away on Facebook group once but she never sold any. My boy was a preemie and the hospital charged $5 and ounce. They were always bugging us to pay. It was strange my son was racking ups $200 dollars a day in medical cost and they were worried about us paying the $100 milk bill. Luckily with a bunch of hard work my wife's milk came in pretty fast. It would have gotten really expensive once he started eating more.

MayDay

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2015, 12:04:01 PM »
I donated fatter my first kid as I had a ton in the freezer. If we needed the money I would have sold it. Pumping is a lot of work.

lakemom

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2015, 12:09:00 PM »
No, but I knew someone 26 years ago that had a private arrangement with a couple from her church.  They were adopting a baby and wanted to feed him breastmilk and the mom I knew had an oversupply problem.  The adopting couple arranged to buy all she pumped at a certain price per oz (like double the cost of formula).  They kept it up for around 10-11 months.  I know someone right now who is donating to a friends grandbaby who is in NICU and whose mother is having trouble building a supply by pumping and wants her baby to get as much breastmilk as possible.  While its not a "mainstream" activity its not as "weird" as some may think.  Whole generations of kids were raised with wet nurses and mammys so yeah....not a modern phenomena either.

kaizen

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2015, 02:53:47 PM »
Here I am on the MMM forums during my pump break... cracking up at this topic.

I'd sell my milk if I had enough to sell - absolutely! But I'd just be happy to donate. With my first kid, I had a deficit after I went back to work and my supply dipped, but we were generously donated to by strangers on the internet (through Eats on Feets, and Human Milk 4 Human Babies). So if I have an oversupply this time (which I doubt will happen) I will happily pay it forward and donate to someone else.

Primm

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2015, 07:05:31 PM »
We also (in the NICU I work in) turn a blind eye to "arrangements" whereby we see mums who have been expressing tiny drops suddenly come in one day with copious quantities of expressed milk. As long as it's human that's totally their call. We give them the talk (make sure you know and trust the person, probably a good idea to get them tested for HIV / HepB etc.), but ultimately it's probably better for the baby than formula anyway.

justajane

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2015, 07:28:24 AM »
I'm reading a biography of Jane Austen, and I didn't realize until then that sometimes the use of a wet nurse included separation from your baby for months, even years. In Austen's case, her mother breastfed her for three months and actually never left the bed during that time. Then, after all the intimate contact and bonding time, she handed the future author over to a wet nurse in the village, and Jane lived with her until she was almost two years old! The biographer wasn't even sure that her parents even visited her all that often.

I'm not sure that always happened, but I just somehow assumed that the wet nurse either lived with them or spent the day over at the baby's house. To me, that puts the older practice in a whole new light. 

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2015, 03:42:45 PM »
I do see what some are saying here, but hospitals charge for delivery of babies, people are charged for prosthetics and many medical devices, we are all charged for food, and all of those things are needed. That is what makes the world go 'round, so charging for breast milk really isn't any different. Supply and demand.

Sure, although hospitals and prosthetics may largely be covered by insurance.  Food you can get from other sources if you need it (WIC, shelters, etc.)  As Ysette9 notes, it's totally legal way to make money, and understandable, but there is discomfort associated with it for some as well.  I wouldn't charge for my blood donations even if I could (I think it's illegal where I live though) and I similarly wouldn't ever consider giving breast milk to a for-profit place.

I don't know.  The mother goes to a lot of trouble to produce extra breast milk, keep it cool, and transport it.  Breastfeeding requires extra calories, especially if you're feeding a baby and pumping more for another baby.  I think it's perfectly legit for a woman to charge for her services in this way.  Pretty sure the docs charge for their time and effort.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Anyone Sold Breast Milk Before?
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2015, 03:45:31 PM »
I'm reading a biography of Jane Austen, and I didn't realize until then that sometimes the use of a wet nurse included separation from your baby for months, even years. In Austen's case, her mother breastfed her for three months and actually never left the bed during that time. Then, after all the intimate contact and bonding time, she handed the future author over to a wet nurse in the village, and Jane lived with her until she was almost two years old! The biographer wasn't even sure that her parents even visited her all that often.

I'm not sure that always happened, but I just somehow assumed that the wet nurse either lived with them or spent the day over at the baby's house. To me, that puts the older practice in a whole new light.

Yes, the wet nurses were often far out in the country, while the rich families lived in town.  I think it was even harder when the parents came and picked the kids up, after all that bonding.  The governess was another major person in the kids' lives, and really was in the role of what we consider motherhood today. But once the kids hit tween years, the governess was shipped off.  Seems like a dehumanizing way to raise the kids.