Breast milk can be worth a lot of money. Not only are there a lot of people who want to buy breast milk to feed their babies, but there are a lot of adults who want the stuff as well. (In addition to pervs, some bodybuilders try to buy breast milk because they believe drinking it will help them grow bigger muscles. It doesn’t really work, but they’re still willing to pay a lot of money for it.) At a going rate of between $1 and $6 an ounce, depending on things like the mother’s diet and lifestyle, breast milk can be worth a fortune, and that’s one of the reasons it was such a big deal that North Carolina mother Kelli Russell decided to give 38 gallons of it away for free.
Russell is a public health instructor, and she told Yahoo Parenting that she would rather have her extra milk going to premature babies than to random bodybuilders and Craigslist weirdos.
“An issue close to my heart is premature infants — they need food, and breast milk is the best option for them,” Russell said. Russell is not anti-formula or adamant about the necessity of breastfeeding, but premature babies can benefit from human breast milk.
Russell has two children, and she says that after the birth of her eldest she had just the right amount of milk for that baby. For her second baby, however, she started producing tons extra. She wound up buying a separate outdoor deep freezer after her home freezer filled up, and that was full in three months. She wound up with 38 gallons, which could have been worth up to $29,000, provided she found the right customer.
“I probably could have put one of the children through college with this if I was paid.” she laughed.
Russell donated her milk about 500 ounces at a time through the WakeMed Milk Bank, which sends coolers and arranges overnight delivery for mothers generous enough to give their extra supply. They accept milk from all over the country, so if you have extra you might want to give them a call.
Russell had enough extra milk to fill a bathtub, and I can’t help but think that there’s almost certainly some weird billionaire out there willing to pay a boat load of money for that, which makes Russell’s donation even more generous.