Breast milk jewelry is made by using a mother's own breast milk and turning it into a stone as a way of memorializing her nursing journey. It serves as a beautiful reminder of the time spent nursing and bonding with her little ones along the way.
While I can't tell you the exact process I use, I can tell you that it took me well over a year to develop my own unique formula to preserve your breast milk and turn it into a stone that is mean to last a lifetime!
Left over elements will be stored by The Milky Fern for one year from the time they are received. Cremation ashes however - are an exception and will be returned to you with your completed piece of jewelry.
Yes! Because of the process I use to create your unique breast milk stone, the age of your frozen milk does not matter. I have created pieces from milk that was over 10 years old and it turned out beautifully!
I have worked very hard to perfect my own unique technique so that I require a minimal amount of breast milk to complete your piece. I only need 2 tablespoons of your breast milk in order to create your custom piece! That amount of breastmilk leaves me with enough preserved breastmilk to create about 5-6 stones, depending on size.
Please, please, please for the love of everything that is good do not mail me your entire stash. Accidents can happen (while it rarely happens, mail can get lost, damaged, etc.) and I would be heartbroken for you if your entire stash were gone. I ask that you only send the required amount if your stash is limited so that in the event you need to resend your milk, you still have some to send.
If you have less than 2 tablespoons saved please contact me before shipping your breastmilk as I can work with less if needed, jewelry options may just be limited (i.e. no pieces with large stones)
I have worked very hard on my formula (almost 2 years of trial and error in fact!) to ensure that your breast milk stone will not change colour as time goes on given it is properly cared for. Please visit the Caring for Your Jewelry page for full details on how to care for your breastmilk stone so that it lasts a lifetime.
That being said, everyone's milk is a slightly different colour and this may be reflected in the final piece. I have seen many different colours of milk including yellow, white, clear, cream, tan, or blue-tinged. I have even seen pink-ish! That's the miracle of breast milk, and it adds to the uniqueness of your special piece.
While 2 tablespoons is ideal, I understand that having a low supply or not responding well to a pump can make even 2 tablespoons difficult—I am one of those moms that has never responded to a pump at all!
Some designs can be made to work with less than 2 tablespoons. If you're having troubles collecting the 2 tablespoons required, please feel free to send me an email and I would be happy to work with you and find a design that works for you! We will figure it out together!
I find hand expressing works well. I suggest keeping a container in the freezer and hand express a little into that each day until you have the 2 tablespoons (unless we have discussed another amount) and you are ready to send it to me.
While I do like to have your breast milk within 60 days of your order date, I will not cancel your order on you so feel free to take the time you need to collect your breast milk.
I am happy to work with just about any elements someone wishes to send me.
I most commonly work with breastmilk however I also commonly work with cremations, flowers, umbilical cord, placenta and hair. Some other elements I've worked with include gravesite soil, fabric, hospital bands and pregnancy tests.
I also have a variety of elements I am able to supply and contribute to your keepsake. These options can be viewed and selected online when ordering your keepsake.
I do not recommend resizing any of the sterling silver or gold filled settings. Because of how they're made and where the heat needs to be applied it can and most likely will permanently damage your stone.
All of the solid gold rings can be resized (at the cost of the purchaser/owner) but it is imperative that the jeweler you hire is informed that heat, chemicals and abrasives cannot be applied to your stone.
The majority of the jewelry I work with are .925 Sterling Silver and either Yellow or Rose Gold Filled (not to be mistaken with gold plated which I do not use under any circumstances as it does not hold up over time in my experience)
I do offer a handful of pieces as a 14k solid gold option where gold filled cannot be used.
You can read more about what gold filled jewelry is on the Caring for Your Jewelry Page - www.themilkyfern.ca/care
Soaps, detergents and other cleaning agents can build up under a ring or bracelet causing a type of dermatitis. You should remove all jewelry before using soap or detergent.
Medications in the wearer’s system, especially certain antibiotics, can also cause jewelry to blacken or discolor.
If none of the explanations above are ringing any bells for you, you may consider the possibility that you are in fact “allergic” to sterling silver. Most people with metal sensitivities are actually sensitive/allergic to nickel which can be found in many jewelry-making materials such as sterling silver and even gold.
In some rare cases, the wearer’s basic body chemistry can react to the alloys in both gold and silver and cause tarnishing.
Breastmilk jewelry is something that does require some special care and is not like your typical day to day wear jewelry. I usually tell me clients you will want to treat your breastmilk jewelry like it were a precious family heirloom or a genuine opal.
There are a variety of enviromental factors that can cause your stone to discolour. You'll want to make sure you're avoiding things like water & humidity exposure as well as heat & sun and chemical exposure (hand sanitizer, chlorine, lotions etc) as these things can all cause your stone's colour to change over time.
Please be sure to read through the full care guide prior to wearing your keepsake - www.themilkyfern.ca/care
For the most part solid gold doesn't tarnish - and if it does it generally takes a long time generally due to no maintence cleans.
It definitely can tarnish (and it's 100% normal) however gold takes much longer to develop tarnish compared to silver. Giving it a wipe down with a soft cloth and keeping it dry/clean helps alot.
More commonly what can happen with gold is something called metallic abrasion where it can discolour your skin. Again this is completely normal for some people. It can be caused by a variety of things like chemical interactions (chlorinated water for example) and even biological factors like the salt we excrete in our sweat. Keeping it clean and dry also helps with this too!
Current turn around times are approximately 18-20 weeks from the time your elements are recieved (not the date your order is placed)
***Please note*** Amanda the artist, and her husband, welcomed the arrival of their 3rd baby in January 2023. Due to unexpected pregnancy complications, Amanda had to be flown to Vancouver where her and her family remained for a month to deliver their baby. Unfortunately this has caused an unexpected delay with some orders.
Amanda and her family are now home and settling in after welcoming their baby boy into the world. She is doing her very best to get caught up as quickly as possible but some orders from December 2022 and January + February 2023 have been delayed due to Amanda having to travel away from home to deliver.
Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have question's about your order.
No! I understand life gets busy and there are a variety of reasons someone may wish to wait to mail me their elements.
There is no deadline for sending me your elements, however please note that delaying shipping your elements to me will delay your orders completion date, as my turnaround times are based off of when I physically recieve your elements not when your order is placed.
Shipping costs should be relatively low as there are no special handling instructions required. Shipping costs will depend on the size and weight of your parcel. As a general rule, I find most of my customers spend around $13 to ship their breast milk to me. Packaging your breastmilk as flat as possible will help keep your shipping costs down.
It is the customers responsibility to pay for shipping their inclusions to The Milky Fern.
No—in fact I actually ask that if your milk is currently frozen, you allow it to fully thaw before shipping it. The condensation from the thawing bag can actually cause your packaging to tear which can lead to damaged or lost goods.
Because nobody is going to be consuming your breast milk I am not worried about spoilage. That being said, breast milk has many amazing properties which prevents it from spoiling very quickly. It will be just fine in the mail for a few days. Full shipping instructions will be emailed to you after your order has been placed.
Orders may be cancelled for a full refund within 24 hours of being placed.
Orders for sterling silver and gold filled jewelry that are cancelled after 24 hours are subject to a 15% restocking fee if you require a refund, or the full amount can be applied to a store credit. Your inclusions will be mailed back to you at your request (cremation ashes will be mailed back regardless). Solid gold jewelry is subject to a 50% restocking fee.
Once your keepsake is complete there will be NO refund or store credit issued. If you have a concern about your piece this will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
There are no refunds or free replacements for lost or stolen jewelry. If your parcel does not arrive in the mail, please contact us.
The Milky Fern will not replace or offer refunds for rings and/or any other jewelry due to an improper size request from the buyer. Solid gold rings can be resized, but the cost and responsibility is up to the owner/purchaser and not The Milky Fern.
We offer a 30 day guarantee on all our jewelry settings for manufacture defect only. If you happen to have an issue with your jewelry please contact us.
We also offer a 1 year warranty on all our stones. Leftover inclusions from your order will be stored for one year in the rare event that your stone begins to deteriorate in some way.
Wear and tear from improper care, storage and use are not covered by our warranty.
The Milky Fern is not responsible for lost or stolen jewelry. If your parcel does not arrive in the mail, please contact us.
The Milky Fern will not replace rings and any other jewelry due to an improper size request from the buyer. Solid gold rings can be resized, but the cost and responsibility is up to the owner/purchaser and not The Milky Fern.