By Beth Whitehouse
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Some women are now touting the sentimental value of having a piece of “Mother’s Milk” jewelry. The jewelry is made with actual breast milk and celebrates the accomplishment of a breastfeeding a child.
When Jennifer Gutkowski of Seaford was weaning her daughter from breastfeeding, her best friend gave her what she calls “the best gift ever”, a necklace whose charm was made from some of Gutkowski’s breast milk.
“It is really nice to have a forever memory of that experience I had with my daughter and that bond we shared through breastfeeding. It almost looks like a pearl,” says Gutkowski, 33, who works in admitting for a hospital emergency room and whose daughter, Devin Lane, is now 3.
Bonnie Macchio, 30, of Bellerose, is the friend who surprised Gutkowski with the pendant, enlisting Gutkowski’s husband in swiping an ounce of Gutkowski’s frozen breast milk from their freezer. Macchio had purchased for herself a pendant in 2017 from an online company called Precious Milk Drops to celebrate breastfeeding her son Logan, now 2.
Macchio had Gutkowski’s pendant made by Kristina Galea-Siegel, 30, of Floral Park, who offers 20 different pieces she can make incorporating breast milk; a pendant, for instance, is $80. The milk in the jewelry isn’t in liquid form, Galea-Siegel says she pasteurizes and treats the milk and then mixes it with resin in a mold. “It hardens like a stone,” Galea-Siegel says.
Galea-Siegel started making charms for herself because she wanted to mark the accomplishment of nursing her daughter, Linda, 4, and son Mason, 2. “I wanted to be able to look at that ring or that necklace and think, ‘My body accomplished this,’ ” she says. When people complimented the jewelry, she’d say, “It’s actually breastmilk.” Their response? “They’d say, ‘I’m sorry, What?’ ” Galea-Siegel says. Fellow breastfeeding moms would say, “Can you make me one?”