I first heard about selling breast milk in the “general comments” area of a writer’s chat room.
One woman, who was expecting her third child, always produced too much milk, resulting in a freezer full of it. She was considering selling that excess as a way to make some needed extra money.
Many doctors recommend breastfeeding as the ideal way to feed babies since they digest and absorb breast milk better than they do formula. In fact, some studies link three childhood health issues to formula-fed babies: atopy (which includes asthma, eczema and allergies), diabetes and obesity.
Breast milk contains the “perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins and carbohydrates,” according to the American Pregnancy Association. It also contains leukocytes, living cells that help fight infection.
How to Sell Breast Milk Online
If you are the perfect candidate to sell breast milk — a healthy mom who produces more milk than your baby needs — there’s a website just for you.
The ads on Only The Breast are categorized by the age of the baby: from zero to 2 months, 2 to 6 months and 6 to 12 months. That’s because breast milk composition changes based on the time since birth.
Mothers can also choose to sell in other categories, such as “selling locally” and “willing to sell to men.” There’s a section for selling in bulk at a rate of 25 cents to 50 cents per ounce and another section for selling at $1.00 an ounce.
Babies need between 19 and 30 ounces of breast milk daily between the ages of 1 to 6 months, so selling milk can bring you in a decent side income. For example, if you sold 25 ounces of breast milk per day at $1 an ounce for a year, you’d make more than $9,100.
To create your own ad, simply register for a free account with the Only The Breast. You’ll need to determine ahead of time whether you want to sell locally to exchange the breast milk and cash in person, or whether you’d prefer to ship frozen breast milk.
Selling or Donating Your Breast Milk to Milk Banks
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Food and Drug Administration both recommend milk banks, companies that collect and process milk, over buying milk from an online site, as some studies have shown that milk bought over the internet is contaminated with bacteria. Some milk banks, such as Mothers Milk Cooperative, pay donors $1 an ounce.
If you have extra breast milk and are not interested in selling it, you can donate it at National Milk Bank or the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.
I spoke with a mom, Amber Taufen, who used to buy milk from a milk bank. But at $4 an ounce, Taufen said she could not afford to buy the milk for long and eventually switched to formula.
The advantage of milk banks is that they screen the milk for pharmaceuticals and other drugs, which was important to Taufen.
Taufen said that meeting with a local seller, however, “might be more reassuring than using a milk bank.”
Lee Uehara, who runs PractiMama (formerly PumpMama), agrees. She meets with the women in person and donates her breast milk to them. Uehara prefers this method to donating to milk banks that pasteurize the milk, which reduces breast milk’s benefits.
Laura Agadoni has a background in credit union marketing. Her articles have appeared in various financial publications such as The Houston Chronicle’s small business section, The Motley Fool, Yahoo! Finance, San Francisco Gate’s real estate section, Zacks, Arizona Central’s small business section and InsuranceQuote.com.