You may have come across online listings for people who want to sell their breast milk to other women.
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You probably thought it was a little strange.
Is this a legit thing?
Do people really buy breast milk over the internet?
My answer: Absolutely, and yes, they do.
It does sound a little strange if you stumbled across these types of listings and had no idea that this world existed.
But, if you think about it, it’s not much different than donating sperm, eggs, or even blood to people in need.
Breast milk is still what experts claim is the healthiest food for newborns and infants.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, breast milk has all the nutrients your baby needs, and your baby is more likely to stop when he’s full while breastfeeding than he is with a bottle.
Unfortunately, some moms aren’t able to breastfeed due to health problems or schedule restrictions with their jobs.
Moms who adopt babies also won’t be able to produce breast milk but may still want to give their child breast milk.
There are a lot of reasons that someone would want to go the route of buying breastmilk and why you might want to sell your extra for a little cash.
I thought it was important to share this post, which delves into the why’s and how’s so that you can see if this is something that might work for you.
Selling Breast Milk: Why and How to Do It
According to Medline Plus, babies should be given breast milk for at least the first six months of life.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that women should try to feed their babies breast milk for the first two years of life, while also introducing solid foods during that time.
Of course, this is all dependent on whether a woman can breastfeed and wants to breastfeed.
Let’s look a little deeper into why women might buy and sell their breast milk to others.
Why Would Someone Sell Their Breast Milk? Why Would Someone Buy It?
Many women simply can’t breastfeed.
Either their milk never comes in properly, they don’t make enough milk to keep their baby satisfied, or there’s some other problem with their milk supply.
It happens to the best of us. About 2% of women can’t produce enough milk to feed their baby properly.
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For other women who don’t have this issue, they might still feel overwhelmed by breastfeeding.
It can be painful, time-consuming, and downright stressful, especially if you have a baby that doesn’t latch on well.
Which brings me to another point: some babies aren’t able to breastfeed.
Things like physical disabilities, mouth deformities, extreme colic, and other issues can prevent a baby from being able to breastfeed.
Regardless of the condition that mom or baby might have, mom might still want to feed her baby breast milk.
It’s difficult, though, to keep up a supply when you’re not physically feeding your baby.
Even pumping regularly can diminish a milk supply after a while, which could cause a woman’s supply to eventually run out.
Some women have hectic jobs, too, that makes it almost impossible to breastfeed a baby.
As you can see, there are several reasons why a woman might want to buy someone else’s breastmilk.
Just because she’s not physically breastfeeding her baby doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want her baby to have all the nutrients breast milk provides.
Other women choose to help these women by selling the breast milk that they have left over.
Not only does it give them some extra cash, but it also ensures that their excess milk doesn’t go to waste and, instead, goes to someone who needs it.
Is It Safe to Buy Breast Milk from Someone You Don’t Know?
Yes, when you buy it from a reputable place or person.
The problem with buying breast milk online is that the people you buy milk from are strangers to you.
You don’t know how they pump and store their milk, what they eat, if they smoke, etc.
However, reputable sources will ensure that breast milk is safe before it’s sold to other mothers who want to buy it.
Therefore, it’s important to take charge of this issue and only sell to reputable places, which I’ll get to in a moment.
A reputable listing site or milk donation bank will have procedures in place for women to extract and store their breast milk so that it’s safe to sell.
They often have a screening process, even, to ensure that you’re in good enough health to be selling your breast milk to others.
If you’re going to sell your milk, you should also be open to honestly discussing your lifestyle with people who want to buy it.
By being open and transparent, you can build trust in buyers and can potentially have buyers keep coming back to you for your milk.
How Much Can You Sell Breast Milk For?
You can sell your breast milk for anywhere between $2 and $2.50 per ounce, on average, but this number can be even higher in some cases.
The average baby drinks about 25 ounces of breast milk every day, and some babies drink even more.
Supposing that a mom comes to you to buy enough breast milk to feed her baby per week and you make $2.50 per ounce, you can make $437.50 a week, or over $1,600 every month.
That’s not to say that will happen.
Some women may only buy enough breast milk to supplement their own for when their baby is at a babysitter while they work.
Still, it’s quite possible to make a decent amount by selling your breast milk alone.
Of course, you’ll also have to deduct the cost of shipping your milk from your profits, which can be somewhat expensive.
To keep the milk fresh, for example, you should ship it in a cooler with dry ice, which will cost more for shipping than a small envelope or box.
Remember, too, that your money you make from selling your milk is taxable, so you’ll have to keep good records and remember to report it on your income taxes.
Options for Making Money from Your Milk
You have a couple of options when it comes to selling your milk.
Although I’ve seen these ads on Craigslist, I highly suggest not going that route.
You might be able to find buyers, but you’re not really building your reputation there, and you also may not be able to get top dollar for your milk.
It can save money to sell locally, but I would only consider doing so if you personally know the person you’re selling to.
Better options are selling your milk online using reputable sources and selling your milk to a milk bank.
Sell Breast Milk Online
Only the Breast is like a Craigslist for breast milk.
It’s set up like a classifieds site where women can go to sell and buy breast milk.
Only the Breast has several procedures in place that women should adhere to before and during the selling process.
These aren’t necessarily mandatory, but a buyer can ask that any of the steps be done before she buys your milk.
You’ll probably have an easier time finding a buyer if you commit to following the basic safety procedures that boost your reputation as a seller.
For example, you’ll have to be screened before you can start selling.
You can get the screening labs done through AccesaLabs.
They’ll ship you the kit, you take it to a local lab, and get the results back in just a few days.
The kit costs $259, but once you’re cleared, you’re set to sell.
It will test everything from HIV to Hepatitis to ensure that you don’t have anything in your breast milk that might carry over to another woman’s infant.
You may also be asked to get a letter from your doctor that states that selling your breast milk won’t risk the health of your own child.
In other words, you’re not selling your breast milk to another person while avoiding breastfeeding your own child.
You might also be asked to pasteurize your milk, since unpasteurized breast milk – just like cow’s milk – can contain bacteria.
Shipping can be quite involved too.
Sellers should always contact the receiving family before shipping their milk to make sure they set up a date and time that they’ll be home when the shipment comes to keep it as fresh as possible.
You should also use a cooler with dry ice and marked with “Human Milk.”
It sounds like a lot, and it can be until you get used to the process.
But, know that every step you take helps you become more trustworthy to buyers and can help you sell your milk faster.
Sell Breast Milk to a Milk Bank
The other option for selling milk is selling to a milk bank.
You won’t make quite as much money doing it this way, but it can also save you time finding and connecting with possible buyers.
Mothers Milk Cooperative lets you donate your milk online for $1 an ounce.
Perhaps you’re not breastfeeding your baby anymore and can contribute 25 ounces a day.
That’s $175 a week, or $700 a month.
You’ll get your money via direct deposit about 90 days after the MMC receives it.
MMC has this procedure in place so that it has time to test your breast milk using its technology to make sure it’s in good shape before being sent to someone in need.
To go this route, though, you’ll have to get screened.
It’s a requirement, and you can’t donate without doing so.
MMC will send you a blood test kit that you can take to your local lab for testing.
Once it receives the results and you have a cleared profile, you’ll be able to start donating.
You’ll also have to wait until your baby is at least three months old (if you’re currently nursing) to donate your milk.
And, the first 100 ounces you send in won’t be paid for.
This helps cover the cost of the program.
MMC also has strict procedures in place for expressing and shipping your breast milk, so you’ll want to make sure you read over everything before going too far in the process.
You’ll need to fill out a W-9 for tax purposes.
On the plus side, all your pumping supplies you use are things you can deduct as business expenses, which could make all your pumping efforts worth your time!
Last but not least – there’s always donating!
I know, it won’t make you any money, but if you only have a couple of spare ounces per day, you might as well donate them instead of wasting them.
Mothers Milk Cooperative will also let you donate your milk if you choose.
The Human Milk Banking Association of North America is another bank that will gladly take your donations.
Or, try National Milk Bank.
Both places have their own requirements for women who want to donate, so make sure you read over the guidelines and FAQ sections for more info.
At the very least, you can feel good knowing that your excess milk went to someone else who really needs it for their own baby.
Conclusion: Sell Your Breast Milk for Some Extra Cash
This way to make money may sound strange at first, but I hope I was able to clear up any of the questions you might have had.
Honestly, it’s a good way for mothers to make some money.
But, the best part is that it helps other mothers give the benefits of breast milk to their own children when they might not be able to.
It’s kind of a win-win for everyone!
Have you sold your breast milk online?
Let us know how it went for you, how much you make, etc. in a comment below!
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