Just the other day, I told you how you can donate blood plasma and earn some cash while saving the lives of people young and old along the way, but did you know you could sell breast milk for cash?
It may be a rather unconventional way of earning money online, but if you’re currently breastfeeding and have more than enough to last your child weeks or months, you can make some decent income on the side.
By deciding to sell or donate breast milk, you’re helping:
- Moms with low or no milk production
- Babies who are fostered or adopted
- Dads left with a newborn by himself due to maternal death or abandonment
- Moms who had a double mastectomy, which resulted in being unable to produce milk
- Moms with infectious illness, breast-related surgeries and other disorders that could affect milk supply amount or quality
- Moms taking meds that leave her breast milk unfit for baby’s consumption
Yes, there’s a marketplace for breast milk and moms are making a killing shipping out their breast milk to help fellow moms feed their babies.
Is Selling Breast Milk Legal?
As of 2019, there are no laws in place banning the purchase or sale of breast milk.
As such, your breast milk may be the only chance of babies who are unable to access unlimited supply of breast milk.
And why not?
Breast milk has been proven to have the following benefits:
- Nutrition-packed content – Breast milk has essential nutrients not found anywhere else. For example, the yellowish, thick fluid known as colostrum helps a newborn’s immature digestive tract to develop during the first few days after birth.
- Protection against common infections – Breast milk has been known to protect babies from infections and in turn, improve survival rates within the first year.
- Reduce risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, diabetes, asthma and obesity
Where to Sell Breast Milk Online
Technically, you can sell breast milk anywhere online.
In Facebook alone, you’d find people selling breast milk on the Marketplace, in private groups, and even on their public account timelines.
If you’d have to choose only one place to sell breast milk online, go to Only the Breast, a classified ad website catering to breast milk buyers, sellers and donors.
The cool thing about this website is that breast milk is categorized based on age, mom’s diet, freshness, for premature babies, and so on. There’s even a category that says “willing to sell to men.”
Ads on Only the Breast are as descriptive as can be. On one post, the mom says she’s selling dairy-free breast milk without peanuts or wheat consumed.
Sellers on the site must complete a screening test from AccesaLabs (a kit costs $259), which tests for hepatitis, HIV, or other diseases that may carry over to the baby.
Once you’re cleared, Only the Breast will allow you to sell breast milk as little or as much as you’d like.
And since it is built around a community of moms helping each other, you’d find a ton of information about proper storage, handling, shipping, and so on.
Human Milk Banks
Human milk banks pasteurize donated milk, which means the benefits of breast milk may be lost in the process.
In addition, milk is pooled from several mom donors, so they may not be very specific with the age range of babies the milk is suitable for.
In order to sell or donate breast milk, you must:
- Pass an interview or two about your lifestyle
- Pass physical tests to ensure you have no infectious diseases
- Pass screens that ensure breast milk is free of bacteria
Human milk banks also screen comprehensively for caffeine intake, smoking, and medication.
All breast milk bags are placed on BPA-free packaging and stored under the right temperature all throughout its shipment process.
The comprehensive steps taken to pasteurize the donor milk and screen for a bunch of things mean that breast milk from these places are higher-priced than those sold directly by other moms.
This is the main complaint of buyers who wanted bacteria-free breast milk, but couldn’t afford the $4 per ounce breast milk price tag.
How Much Can You Make Selling Breast Milk?
If you’re selling breast milk on Facebook or in Only the Breast, expect to earn an average of $2.50 per ounce of milk.
Babies need somewhere around 20 to 30 ounces of breast milk a day, so by using the average price, you can earn $30 to $75 a day, which can earn you up to $2,300 a month.
Because you are the one dictating the price, you can price your breast milk higher or lower the “market prices.”
In fact, some moms actually sell them wholesale (like $400 for 2,500 ounces).
If you want to go through a human milk bank, know that prices there are much lower.
Mothers Milk Cooperative pays only $1 per ounce and pays via direct deposit about 90 days after sending the milk. This time frame apparently is used to test your breast milk for quality before sending it over to the baby who needs it.
Here’s a bit of bad news: the money moms will make from selling breast milk is taxable, so it’s best to keep a record of all your sales and be ready for filing income tax.
3 Things to Watch Out For
While there are no laws surrounding the sale of breast milk, there are three things you do have to know about breast milk and its buy-and-sell industry:
Unfortunately, there are scammers who will take advantage of people’s desperation.
Be careful when dealing with people online. This goes both ways.
There had been reports of people buying breast milk online only to have been tricked and received milk packs filled only with water.
There will be some potential buyers who will suddenly cancel their orders after you’ve prepared everything for shipping.
2. Baby’s Potential Infection
The American Academy of Pediatrics do not recommend sharing or selling of breast milk between two people due to the potential hazards of infection.
There are multiple causes of infection, such as dirty containers, non-sanitized hands during handling, sick breastfeeding mom and so on. The buyer has no way of knowing if the milk he/she bought is free from bacteria.
3. Baby’s Different Stages require Different Types of Breast milk
This isn’t common knowledge, but breast milk changes every day to meet the ever-changing needs of a baby.
You have to be aware of this, since newborn milk isn’t recommended as preterm milk and vice versa.
This is also the reason why breast milk for 12-month-olds may look differently to the colostrum you saw at the start of your breastfeeding journey.
The Bottom Line
Every mom has a different breastfeeding journey.
All moms want the best for their babies, but for a wide variety of reasons, they may not be able to breastfeed even if they wanted to.
When this happens, those who wanted to stick to their breastfeeding plan can choose the next best thing: to buy another mom’s breast milk so her baby continues to receive the benefits of breastfeeding.
Are you still pregnant and looking for ways to earn extra cash while waiting for your bundle of joy?
Check out this list of jobs for pregnant women here.