A friend from my mamas group recently posted this article on breast milk jewelry. Breast milk jewelry is exactly what you think it is: jewelry specially crafted to house a few drops of your own personal boob milk.
Breast Milk Jewelry: Gross, Or A Glorious Treasure?
There seem to be two types of knee-jerk reactions to this new offering: the first belongs to the “OMG, that’s gross” crowd, and the second to the “breast milk is glorious and should be celebrated and treasured and never ever, ever called gross” crowd. To be honest, I looked down and found both of those knees jerking a little.
When considered pragmatically, breast milk mementos aren’t much different from a number of more common “baby savings”. Many parents hold on to their child’s lost baby teeth, and saving hair clippings is so common that most keepsake books have a dedicated page for them. A quick Google search turns up plenty of advice for those who wish to keep their newborn’s umbilical cord and also, more and more, for those women who are choosing to save or repurpose their placenta.
One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure
The suitability of any of these items for the purpose of jewelry is debatable, but it ultimately comes down to one’s personal correlation between memories and corporeal keepsakes. Consider the cremated remains of a beloved pet: To one person, saving these ashes may be deeply comforting—a tangible placeholder for all the memories shared with an adored friend. Another person might argue that the preservation of desiccated remains would violate their cherished recollections of an animal that was once vital and alive. Both of these viewpoints have value, but each person in the hypothetical example might reasonably look at the other and consider them to be a bit weird or macabre.
And so it goes with breast milk jewelry. It’s a dried out disc of a human secretion encapsulated as a wearable ornament. And it’s a physical memento of the precious, life-giving bond between a mother and child. It’s totally weird. And it isn’t.