I am still breastfeeding my son occasionally and he's recently celebrated his sixth birthday. I've always wanted to have a keepsake of our very special bond and thought there would be lots of time to have something made. As he got older I was worried my milk would start drying up or he would self wean. After having contacted both UK and US breast milk jewellery suppliers I was shocked that the waiting lists were so long, or that they didn't even bother to get back to me about my order. Rather than wait around, I decided to give it a go myself. And what an enjoyable and rewarding process it's been!
I am the only creator worldwide that has perfected breastmilk preservation in glass. This is either done using a technique called lamp working (typically for glass euro style beads) or fusing (where glass is placed in a kiln using temperatures over 800 degrees Celsius. These processes provide for long term durable jewellery that is not affected by UV exposure like resin.
How its doneEach creation is made using YOUR OWN breast milk. There are no other milk substitutions or additions. All items used in the creation process are new and / or sterilised so there is no chance of contamination from any other source. To start the process, I need your inclusions, those can be breastmilk, a lock of hair, encapsulated placenta (we don't work with fresh / raw placenta), a dried umbilical cord or stump, cremation ashes and anything else that you would like to preserve such as teeth, sand from your holiday, scraps from your wedding dress or anything precious.
Upon receipt, I start the process of preserving your breastmilk in the form of a "milk inclusion". The first step is to transfer the milk into a sterile test tube that is tagged with your order number, name and date received. I only use new equipment including cups, gloves, masks, stir sticks and pipettes. Moulds are sterilised after each use, so you are assured of non contamination of your milk.
Guaranteeing that your own breastmilk is being used
I get asked this question regularly: "How do you know that I have used your own breastmilk?" The short answer is: there is no guarantee and you are making your purchase based on trust.
You visit your doctor or physician to draw your blood and analyse it. You trust that the results are based on your blood sample, yet you have not physically accompanied the sample through the various stages of analysis. Similarly, if you had to use the services of crematorium to cremate a loved one, you would place a vast amount of trust that the urn you receive contains the actual ashes of your beloved. Yet, you would not want to necessary follow the process every step of the way.
For these industries to operate successfully and gain a reputation of being reputable, they have implemented a range of checks and processes to ensure that their samples do not go astray.
Similarly, we have a whole host of checks and processes in place to ensure that its your milk. First of all, you need to place an order with us through our website. Upon completion, you will receive an order confirmation with a unique order number. We request that you record your name and order number on every inclusion you provide us. From our side, we will prepare your order requisition, a sterile vial to store your breastmilk and a unique mailing label with your details on it.
On the day we receive your inclusions, we will check the order number and name against our electronic records and our recently created sterile vial. If all the information matches, we will place your order in progress and issue an order requisition which will accompany your inclusions until the day it is posted. During the processing period, your milk will be transferred from your packaging or your breastmilk kit to the sterile vial: all three must match at that time - the sterile vial, your inclusions and the order requisition.
We only work on one creation at a time so there is no chance of your order being mixed up with someone else's. Furthermore, we are the only worldwide provider with such a huge range of customisation that there are very seldom times that we work on several designs that look exactly the same. Rest assured, all orders are kept separate from each other.