Really? You can sell breast milk? Yes! You really can!
I know, it may sound weird to a lot of people. But if you truly understand what breast milk is – you won’t think twice about why some mothers are willing to pay a premium price for it over formula. Breastmilk is beautiful. Packed full of wholesome customized nutrients for the most important bundle of light in your life. You’ll understand why people would want to buy this liquid gold, and you can be that person.
So if you just gave birth (congratulations!) or have a freezer full of prepumped milk, then you might want to pay a little attention to this article. If you’re healthy, an overproducer, and in need of some cash you can consider selling your oversupply. Plus selling your breastmilk is not just a sensible financial lifesaver; you might be able to save another young life in the process.
Why Breastmilk is Amazing
Before I tell you how you can sell your breastmilk, I want to emphasize why breastmilk is so very valuable (enough) to sell.
Breastmilk is the milk produced by the mammary glands of a female to feed their young. This is true for most creatures and the quintessential definition of what it means to be a warm-blooded mammal.
While pregnant, an expecting mother goes through a lot of changes in their body. Part of that change happens in their breast. It prepares itself to create the primary source of nutrition for a newborn baby.
After giving birth, these glands are activated to produce milk. The liquid gold you first produce is colostrum. Colostrum contains the customized antibodies created by the mother and given to a newborn baby. Your immune system’s defense system essentially becomes their defense system. There’s no better alternative for breastmilk and definitely, nothing compares to colostrum. Colostrum is probably one of the most expensive (by ounce) products the human body can make. It has complete nutrition that’ll keep a baby healthy while they’re too young to eat solid food.
Incredible Facts About “Liquid Gold”
Calling breastmilk “liquid gold” is not an exaggeration. It contains hundreds of substances that are able to provide “tailored nutrition” for babies. A baby has germs in their mouth and when they attach to the breast, those germs and bacteria are passed into your body. Your body finds the antibodies needed to combat those germs which means you’re passing on your immune system to your child.
That means it provides the exact nutrients that your baby needs at any given time. Sick babies will be drinking a different set of nutrients that is tailored to fight for them.
If that won’t blow your mind about the incredible value of breastmilk, then I don’t know what will.
Breastmilk basically has 2 main functions.
- For nutrition. As mentioned, this is the primary source of nutrients for your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) highly recommends that infants should be breastfed exclusively, at least for the first 6 months. All the essential substances that will help your baby grow can be found here. Like the colostrum, for instance. It’s perfect for newborns because it helps develop their immature digestive tract. As your baby grows, the nutrition provided by your breastmilk will also change.
- For protection. Babies are prone to a lot of infections and diseases. Their immune system is not strong enough to protect their small bodies. But if they regularly consume breast milk, it can protect them from infections and give them a better chance at surviving their first year. In a publication on the Unicef site, it’s revealed that a breastfed child is 14x less likely to die during the first 6 months of existence.
Apart from that, generally, the research shows babies drinking breastmilk have an overall lower risk of developing diabetes, asthma, and even obesity. It’s also vital to helping preterm babies survive. The World Health Organization believes that if breastfeeding increases to “universal levels,” around 820,000 lives will be saved every year.
So thus, here are the best few reasons why breastmilk is very valuable.
Not All Moms Can Produce Breast Milk
As amazing as breastmilk can be, not all mothers are able to produce it. In fact, a study mentions that 6 out of 10 mothers don’t breastfeed for as long as they want to. Some of them have lactation and latching issues. Others are forced to take medications that might affect their milk production. There are also mothers that are required to go back to work and are unable to regularly feed their babies.
I was an underproducer. My supply was sensitive and often dipped for no apparent reason. When my supply dropped, I went online to eBay and found human breastmilk to purchase. A local woman that lived 30-minute drive away from me selling her breast milk for $1/ounce. I was delighted. She was offering a bulk discount and she had over 600 ounces frozen within the last 6 months. I was lucky. It took me 3 weeks of taking breastmilk boosting medicine (fenugreek for one) and constant pumping to get my supply back up.
Whatever the cause, a momma shouldn’t fear nor feel guilt, the fact remains that there’s a demand for breastmilk. We all want the best for our babies.
Making Money Selling Breast Milk
Now that you know more about this incredible liquid gold, you’ll understand why there’s a market for it. There are valid reasons that another mother would want to buy breast milk from someone else. There are women who would like their babies to enjoy the nutrients from breast milk. Sometimes, the need is only temporary, in my case, momma got sick and wasn’t able to produce enough. Also commonly, baby a crazy appetite or hard-working moms don’t have the time to pump/regulate their supply. Instead of using store-bought formula that doesn’t have the living properties of human breastmilk, selling your extra breastmilk can be super helpful to another family.
So if you don’t have problems producing milk for your baby, you might want to consider sharing yours – for profit (and non-profit.) Some mothers can produce and pump out 10 to 20 oz in one sitting. Those women are called overproducers.
And do you know what’s great about selling breastmilk? Even if you’re not an overproducer, you can become one. You can increase your supply with frequent pumping as long as your breast can store enough milk. Most women can store about 5 oz in their breast (and no, it’s not dictated by breast size.) Overproducers typically have a larger than most storage capacity for milk (about 8 oz per breast.)
There’s no limit to selling breastmilk. As long as you keep expressing milk, it won’t run out. That’s the beauty of it. It’s like having a cash printing machine if you have a legit clientele and a good reputation locally.
Your baby can grow up and even stop breastfeeding but you can maintain your supply. You just have to keep pumping your milk so your glands will keep producing it. Besides one time cost of tools, everything else your body makes beautifully…for free too!
How Much Can You Earn From Selling Breast Milk?
This is the question you’ve probably been waiting for. How much can you earn selling your breastmilk?
It depends. If you look at the information on the Only The Breast site, you see all sorts of categories. There are those who sell for $1 an ounce. While there are those who accept lower prices in bulk. The site does recommend that sellers price it at $1 per ounce to get more buyers.
From my search, $1 per ounce is almost the universal rate. Not much difference or variation from that unless you count shipping rates. The price goes up with shipping (which is very expensive because it has to be overnighted and maintained frozen) if you cannot find sellers locally.
I was able to find a local seller in Seattle, Washington state but I say most of the time, there is a shortage for local sellers. Maybe moms near you can need some extra help?
If you can prove that you don’t drink alcohol, and you follow a specific healthy diet, you might be able to ask for a higher price per ounce – like $2.50 or so.
According to data from Medela, a newborn consumes ¾ to 1 ounce every feeding. If they feed 8 to 10 times every day, a newborn would need 8 to 10 ounces of breastmilk. In a week, that’s 56 to 70 ounces. As they grow, they will feed more – around 20 to 30 ounces a day. Even if you price your breast milk by $1, that’s still a sizable amount. Earning $20 to $30 a day means an extra $600 to $900 a month. And that’s a very conservative estimate.
If you can help feed 2 to 3 babies, you can sell your milk in bulk and earn more regularly. Some can even earn up to $2,300 a month – at no cost to you because your body’s producing it for free.
Where Can You Sell Your Breastmilk?
It’s important to choose the right platform to sell your breast milk. You don’t want to waste it or be scammed out of your precious milk when it can help feed another baby.
To be honest, there are several places online where you can sell your milk. Ebay, Facebook, Etsy, any large and general selling website platform. You can even post on your personal social media account that you’re selling breast milk and let word travel by itself.
If you’re new at this, you can even join their community to learn more about this specific market. Here are the non-profit and for pro-profit websites to sell/donate your breastmilk:
- Only The Breast. On this platform, you can post an ad for your breastmilk. The ads are categorized so you can attract the specific buyer that’ll benefit from your milk (e.g. 0 to 2 months, 2 to 6 months, etc). They encourage proper handling and storing breast milk. You’ll find the members to be very honest and helpful. This site also gives you the option to donate as well.
- eBay. Yes eBay, that’s where I met my breastmilk-selling fellow mom. She is on other platforms but I found eBay easier to work with because I had payment already established. I did however asked her for verification of health and legitimacy. (since eBay doesn’t have their own for breastmilk of course.)
- Mothers Milk Coop. This is another platform that helps moms sell their milk or buy safe breastmilk for their babies. This site is very vocal about the importance of breast milk in the development of babies – especially those with health concerns. It’s backed by a huge community of women who are eager to provide enough milk – whether to sell or donate.
- Human Milk Banking Association Of North America. HMBANA for short, this organization specifically calls for donated breast milk. You might not be able to sell your milk here, but you can contribute to a good cause. They also have relevant information that will help you know more about the safe handling of your breast milk.
Need-to-Knows Before You Sell Breast Milk
Before you proceed to sell your breast milk, there are a couple of things that you have to know. It’s important to understand completely what this specific market requires. While breastmilk is very beneficial, it has to be handled correctly. Otherwise, it may be contaminated and spoiled. You don’t want to waste it – neither do you want a precious baby to be harmed because of it.
So what are the things you have to know about selling your breast milk?
Is it legal?
Yes, selling breast milk is 100% legal. At least, as of the date of writing of this article, there are no specific laws and regulations that prohibit you from selling your milk.
However, if you decide to give your breastmilk to milk banks, you have to adhere to their rules and regulations. They all have specific practices when it comes to handling and storing breast milk. For the safety of the baby who will consume it, you have to abide by these.
And since this is something that you’ll be earning from, it’s considered taxable income. Make sure you keep a clean record of your sales so you can file your taxes accordingly.
Lab testing for breast milk
It’s not uncommon for buyers to request that you undergo lab testing to ensure that the milk you produce is healthy. After all, one can never be too careful with their child.
Don’t worry, there are affordable lab testing procedures that you can use. Some of them will give you the results within a couple of days.
Basically, milk donors are tested for specific diseases that might transfer to the baby. These include Hepatitis B and C, HIV, HTLV, etc. You’ll also go through blood tests. If you’re clear, you can show the results to buyers to ensure that your milk is safe for their baby.
Pros and Cons Selling Breast Milk
Now that you know all of these, should you try selling your breast milk to earn extra money? Before making a final decision, take a look at the pros and cons first.
- Great calorie burner if you wanted to drop baby weight or just like extra snacks.
- Great side income for no start-up costs
- Helping others (more about that below)
- Can be long-term gig (breastmilk goes by supply and demand.)
The main advantage of selling your milk is financial in nature. You can earn a hefty amount of money for something that your body produces naturally. But beyond that, you’ll also be helping the following people:
- Moms who can’t produce their own milk – or have very little to provide their baby.
- Dads left alone with their baby.
- Moms who have infectious diseases.
- Adopted or fostered babies.
- Moms who just went through a surgery that affected their ability to produce enough milk.
- Moms who are taking medication that might be harmful to the baby.
- Working moms who do not have the resource of time.
- Moms struggling with depression.
- Risk factors can include mastitis if you are not experienced or careful about your supply.
- Can be time-consuming.
- Milk storage would require a chest freezer (chest freezers are more temperature stable than regular fridge freezers.)
- Breastmilk does not stay good forever, if you do not sell your supply you will not make any profits.
The biggest disadvantage of selling breast milk is simply being scammed out of milk. There are several ways this can happen. Some people might pose to get donated milk from you – only to sell it to someone else. You may also encounter buyers who will suddenly cancel on you – causing your milk supply to be wasted. Some of them might not even pay you if you don’t enable a proper payment channel.
It’s important that you be careful when it comes to who you’ll transact with. Make sure you use reputable platforms that will protect both the seller and the buyer.
Make sure you mention and provide proof that you are healthy, not sick at all, do not drink or smoke (not even coffee), etc. Provide proof and let other moms know you are trustworthy and can produce the best milk. It also helps to do your research. That way, you’ll know what to expect before you sell your precious breast milk.
If you ask me, sharing your breast milk is a noble thing to do. It’s awesome to be able to help nourish an innocent life. If you get paid for it as a side hustle it’s even more awesome because there’s no real start-up cost. Your body makes it for free and it’s an amazing way to burn excess calories.