Whether you are on the sending or receiving end of a breast milk shipment, it’s important to understand some things about breast milk, and especially the valuable colostrum inside. At Lotus Eilte, we know that breast milk and colostrum are delicate fluids that require special care and handling to ensure safe travel and efficacy upon arrival. Buying and selling breast milk is a highly attractive industry for new moms to make extra money with something their body is naturally producing. It has become particularly enticing as it is virtually unregulated, and any concerns or disputes seem to be handled using the honor system. Generally speaking, it seems to be a very safe mode of business. New moms who simply have too much milk to use can get a financial boost from something their bodies are already making, and those in search of the liquid gold-containing substance are all too happy to purchase it from them.
Breast milk is shipped for a number of reasons, from laboratories who need its samples, to women who cannot breastfeed but want to ensure their babies are able to get the benefits of breast milk, to people who purchase it for cosmetic consumption or other purposes, like fitness guys who want to bulk up. It has reportedly been helpful for cancer patients, too. The breast milk shipping industry has gotten quite sizable lately, with many mothers whose babies have been weaned but who are still producing breast milk enjoying the financial benefits of this cottage industry.
Because it is a home-based industry with very little if any regulation in most places, it’s important that if you ship or receive breast milk, you ensure the proper criteria are met. This is crucial so that the breast milk retains its effectiveness. Most of the reason that breast milk is a desirable substance is the high colostrum content in the milk. Colostrum is what gives the milk its golden appearance, and it is known in this industry as “liquid gold”. Colostrum is highly nutritious, and contains important antibodies, which fight bacteria and help to prevent infections. Colostrum is important for nursing babies in promoting their health and growth, and assisting in developing their immune system, including gut health.
Today we’ll discuss the various criteria that should be met when shipping breast milk. We’ll also cover what you should look for if you are on the receiving end of a breast milk shipment. Please contact us if you have any questions.
To ship breast milk safely, a woman who is lactating should:
Fill milk storage bags with about six fluid ounces of breast milk. Place the bags in the freezer until frozen solid.
Pack the frozen bags in a styrofoam cooler. Pack as tightly as possible, as the less empty space is in the cooler, the colder the milk will stay.
Once you have finished packing the milk, place a layer of newspaper over the bags.
Place dry ice (always handle with gloves to prevent burning) in a paper bag, then place the bag on top of this newspaper. Cover with another newspaper layer.
Tape the top of the cooler securely in place, and place it inside of a shipping box.
Seal the box with tape and write “PERISHABLE” or “FROZEN MILK” on all sides of the box, including the top and bottom.
Contact the shipping facility you wish to use in advance to ensure you have complied with their policies on shipping packages with dry ice.
Bring your package to the facility to ship. Make sure that your shipping label is completed properly, or that you have clearly specified on the box where the shipment is being shipped from and where it is going.
Make sure to get a receipt if you are being reimbursed for the shipment costs (many scientific facilities, universities and even private buyers will cover the shipping). It’s always a good idea to track these shipments due to the delicacy of the breast milk being transported.
If you are on the receiving end, ensure that the above mentioned steps have been followed properly. The following elements should always be a part of a breast milk shipment:
Milk storage bags
Shipping box (large enough to fit cooler)
There should always be some dry ice still in the bag. While it does evaporate over time, if the bag that contains the dry ice arrives empty, there is a good chance the milk has spoiled, and you should contact the sender immediately. Be prepared to provide photographs of the shipment upon its arrival with date and time stamps.
Shipping breast milk is a highly lucrative and growing industry that, at the moment, enjoys relatively few, if any, regulations on buyers or sellers. We hope that you’ve found this helpful, if you are looking to benefit from this small but attractive industry. If you or someone you know have any questions about breast milk, please contact us .