Selling Breast Milk Online
It seems like a business with great potential.
A Winnipeg mom is looking to move gallons of surplus mother’s milk via the online marketplace.
With a freezer full of breast milk she’s been stocking away since her four-month-old son’s birth, Sara Wiens is now looking to offload it after she found out her son Simon cannot drink it.
He has an allergy to cow’s milk protein and is unable to drink his mother’s breast milk produced during the period when she still was consuming cow’s milk. The toddler can now consume his mother’s milk again as she has cut dairy products from her diet.
“I know lots of people who would have loved to have breast milk for their children — women who aren’t producing enough or aren’t producing at all,” said the mother of two. “If someone can use it, that would be great.”
Wiens has put the milk up for sale on Kijiji — a classifieds website — and is fielding offers. She said there is no set price for the milk but hopes to cover the rental of the breast pump and other costs incurred, likely somewhere between $200 and $500.
“Compared to formula, it’s a lot cheaper and a lot better,” Wiens said.
Breast milk banks exist in Canada, but there is no such facility in Winnipeg to which a mother could donate milk. Wiens said she’d have to cover costs to donate the milk to a bank in Vancouver.
“People have also suggested I send it to Haiti but I don’t know for sure that it would clear customs and it would cost thousands of dollars to ship it,” she said.
Wiens said she is uncertain of exactly how much milk she has available but said there are at least several gallons stored in her freezer. She estimates the milk represents at least a three-month supply, depending on the size and age of a baby.
As of Monday, Wiens said she had received five inquiries about her breast milk. She remains confident she’ll find a buyer.
“I just hope someone buys it before it reaches the end of its freezer life,” she said.
The bagged milk is all separately dated and Wiens said the first of it may have to be discarded by early spring.
Wiens said the milk is not pasteurized nor tested for disease or bacteria, so she understands people’s apprehension. “There has to be that trust there that I’m not sick,” Wiens said.
Wiens said she has heard of people selling breast milk for as much as $8 per ounce — far less than she’s hoping for. “I could retire if I sold it for that much because I have gallons in the freezer,” Wiens said.