How To Part With Breastmilk

How To Part With Breastmilk: destashing your expressed milk and freeing up room in your freezer. Breast milk is, I think, one of the hardest things in the world to get “rid of”, declutter or KonMari. I originally wrote this blog in 2015 about how to KonMari breastmilk and I’m updating it because you don’t have to be doing the Marie Kondo method of tidying up to want to part with your baby’s milk.

Below are some ideas for destashing your breastmilk. Getting those little bags to leave your freezer whilst still honouring the extremely sentimental nature of it. This list goes from most preferable to least but is, of course, my own opinion. It will of course be different for everyone. Go through the list and work out what’s right for you.

Donating Breastmilk to a Hospital

Donating Breastmilk to a Hospital
The babies most in need of donated breastmilk are NICU and SCBU babies. They’re often premature and the donated milk is perfect for their tiny tummies. 

Donor breastmilk is the preferred alternative to infant formula (or artificial milk). This is because donor breastmilk still contains many of the protective factors (such as immunoglobulins) which help protect premature babies from infection and are not present in formula which is prepared from cow’s milk – UKAMB

Two of my three daughters were NICU babies. Ayla was poorly but quickly recovered during her stay and she didn’t qualify for donor milk because it was in such short supply. The only issue is many hospitals with a NICU or SCBU don’t have a milk bank, and those that do can be hard to get into. Some milk banks won’t accept milk pumped before you’re tested for BBV’s such as HIV. Some milk banks won’t accept milk over a certain age. Please make enquiries yourself and if you find a breastmilk bank near you but can’t donate, you can share that information with other local breastfeeders who might be able to apply!

Donating Breastmilk Peer To PeerHow To Part With Breastmilk Donating Breastmilk Peer To Peer

All three of my babies have had breastmilk donated by other families and recipients of this milk are so incredibly grateful. This is known as “peer-to-peer milksharing” or informal donor milk. Back in 2013 I’d post on Facebook on the Human Milk for Human Babies group near me, along the lines of “Hi I’m Nikki and this is my four week old baby Ayla. I breastfeed her and due to a breast reduction and after-surgery complications I don’t make all the milk she needs. Can collect in the BS, BA, NP, GL, SN and CF postcodes and would love to tell you more about our family”.

Ten years later the HM4HB groups are still very active on Facebook, and there are apps like Share The Drop or you might meet a mum in a baby singing group or some dads at baby swimming who are in need. There’s no real expiry date to frozen human breastmilk and many recipients with older babies are happy to accept milk up to a year old!

Freshly expressed or pumped milk can be stored… In the freezer for about 6 months is best; up to 12 months is acceptable. Although freezing keeps food safe almost indefinitely, recommended storage times are important to follow for best quality – CDC

Breastmilk Yogurt, Pancakes and CustardHow To Part With Breastmilk Breastmilk Yogurt, Pancakes and Custard

You can make a variety of foods for your toddler with breastmilk. Pancakes were always a favourite for my little ones if there was a little extra milk at the end of a bottle or someone defrosted more than we needed. Use in place of dairy milk or your favourite plant milk to create lovely pancakes, homemade breastmilk yogurt, custard, milk lollies and smoothies.

I was once at a breastfeeding group and made someone a cuppa, she wanted it black. She said she had her own milk and I didn’t realise she literally meant her “own milk” until she poured her own expressed breastmilk into the mug! Not everyone’s cup of tea but perhaps better than tipping it down the sink. And I think most people reading this blog are here looking for alternatives to tipping breastmilk down the sink. If the idea of drinking any yourself fills you with the same dread as dangling your nipples in a bowl of mega hot naga chilli sauce, then perhaps stick to feeding it to your toddler. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and Pinterest-worthy (please please pin this blog!) just some defrosted breastmilk on your toddler’s cornflakes will give them the same benefits as having it in a bottle.

Breastmilk Jewellery

gold breastmilk ring engraved, arial font with heart emoji. Breastmilk and genuine gold leaf stone. Solid 14ct yellow gold hallmarked ring setting for keepsake jewellery. Handmade in the UK

You can find any number of breastmilk artists who will create the perfect piece for you. You don’t necessarily need to choose the closest breastmilk jeweller because everyone accepts milk through the post. Whatever you do, don’t send the last few drops of your milk! When clients send their milk to me, I usually post them two tubes asking for around 7ml per tube, so that’s around half an ounce in total. You can combine this with at least one of the other methods above because breastmilk jewellery needs such a small amount of milk.

Always keep some milk back in your freezer. If you’ve only got two 2ml syringes of colostrum (less than a teaspoonful) then we only want you to post one!!!

Breastmilk jewellers come in so many styles. My breastmilk jewellery here at Tree of Opals is mostly handmade settings like rings and wire wrapped pieces but also the “breastfed with love” beads which my clients wear on their Pandora bracelets. Prices start from £30 for a mystery piece where you can tell me “I like pink and my ring size is K1/2” or “anything but Pandora and the deeper the colours the better”.

You’ll notice a lot of my photos are the same as other artists, that’s because I let them use my images and sell the rings and settings wholesale through my other business, Keepsaker Supplies. I’ve been teaching breastmilk jewellery making for about 8 years and have YouTube tutorials here (go on, have a quick peek). If you’d like to have a go at DIY because you’re not keen on posting your milk or you’re one of the “how hard can it be?” folk like me, then I offer kits from £28. Whichever way you order and from whichever artist, you’re going to be supporting a small business.

Breastmilk Soap & LotionHow To Part With Breastmilk Breastmilk Soap & Lotion

Sending off your breastmilk to a soapery like ArtisanSoapsbySusan couldn’t be easier. Or, you can get a DIY kit here on Etsy for breastmilk soap and lotion. The perfect combination!

Giving It Back To Nature

Parting with milk is sometimes a little easier if we know it’s going back to the earth. Instead of tipping it down the sink, why not pour it on your rose bush? Gardeners have told me it’s very good for plants.

Breastmilk Baths

People say how wonderful breastmilk baths have been for their baby’s exema but as someone who could only ever pump the teeniest amounts, it’s probably bitterness talking when I say you’re better off applying it directly to the baby’s skin. Any pediatricic dermatologists here happy to chip in? Instead of diluting the milk why not try an oat bath instead. Take an old, preferably clean, sock and half fill with good old-fashioned porridge oats. Not Ready Brek. It makes a mess. Trust me. Tie the sock to the tap when you’re running the bath then add it to the water at the end. You can add some dried lavender if you like too. Your baby will try to eat it and if they’re over six months it’s not likely to hurt them. The benefit of the oat bath is that it’s much easier to get that Instagram milk bath effect (floating flowers for bonus points) rather than using up a stash of breastmilk that took you four months to build. Just my opinion!


Funny enough I first wrote this blog back in 2015 after reading Marie Kondo’s first book and it was shared around the world. When I decided to take a break from making breastmilk jewellery for my mental health (I was, if anything, too successful and I wanted to spend more time with my children), I removed the breastmilk blogs. I really didn’t mean for it to disappear forever though and am rewriting it now. I declutter digital storage far less regularly than I should because it takes up no visible space. I started paying for Dropbox again recently (this blog isn’t sponsored by them) to keep photos and files.

How To Part With Breastmilk
How To Part With Breastmilk

Please note, this blog contains affiliate links meaning I may make some extra income based on any purchases you make after clicking them, at no extra cost to yourself. 

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