Baby mementos: Would you want this hanging from your neck?
Baby mementos vary from parent to parent. What's worth saving? Hair? Teeth? Breast milk processed into a pendant? You can buy a kit for that on Etsy.
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"A lot of people are repelled by breast-feeding in general, as crazy as that is. And I think anything having to do with it is probably not anything that they like. It is a body fluid, so maybe that's why people are somewhat against it," mused Mogavero, who has shipped to the Philippines, England, Australia and Japan.Skip to next paragraph
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Mogavero said she has had husbands steal breast milk out of the freezer to surprise their nursing wives with one of her creations. She sells on Etsy as MommyMilk as she continues to nurse her third child, a 16-month-old girl.
Brooke Becker in Summerville, S.C., offers the breast milk kits on Etsy under the user name MilkMomBaby.
"I think initially you tell some people about it and they say, 'Oh, that's gross,'" she said. "Breast milk is pretty personal. Just sending that off to someone is a little bit of a leap for people."
That's why she decided to sell kits, including discreet lockets and a pill box design as vessels. She said she has sold about 48 kits since October.
"It's something that moms do for themselves," said Becker, 33. She has shipped jewelry to the United Kingdom and Asia. "It's more for mothers who are nursing long term, not people who just nurse a couple of months."
Victoria Cameron, 33, is nursing her 13-month-old son and pursuing a master's in social work in Minneapolis. She went on Etsy in search of mother's jewelry when she stumbled on the breast milk sellers. She was the first to post about it on a BabyCenter board for bargain hunters. The quick-fire reaction surprised her.
"At the same time people were talking about getting cremation remains made into a diamond or a rock, and that was, like, super meaningful, and then people were just like, 'Oh this breast milk thing is crazy.' It was very odd," she said.
The debate has since spread on parenting blogs and social media.
In Belleville, N.J., Sharon Valcarcel, 32, nurses her 11-month-old daughter in the evenings after she returns from her job as a high school psychologist. She heard about the jewelry from a friend and thought it was "kind of gross."
The jewelry, Valcarcel said, plays into broader divisions over breast-feeding, with women "who are very elitist" about it on the supportive side.
"The funny thing is they're kind of pretty," she said of some of the designs. "But I think it's awkward."
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Cameron hasn't bought a piece of breast milk jewelry but plans to "as kind of a weaning type of thing, when I think we're getting towards the end of it."
So what's the fuss?
"This has nothing to do with promoting the breast-feeding campaign. This is people on Etsy wanting to make a buck, and emotional moms like me wanting to have something for themselves," she said. "I'm not going to pass it down to my son. I'm not going to tell the average person on the street what it is. It would be for me."