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Ann Marie Sharoupim has found a way to turn her love and appreciation for breastfeeding into a business. The New Jersey mom, who knows the struggles that can accompany breastfeeding, firsthand, has found success turning breast milk into keepsake jewelry.
"I worked for months to come up with a way to create jewelry that would last," Ann Marie, who is also a pharmacist, explained to the New York Post. The resulting resin-based material ends up reminiscent of a pearl.
Explaining she's seen a "huge jump" in interest in her jewelry since opening in January of 2016, Ann Marie says her customers "want to preserve the sweetest, closest moments they had with their little ones" by sending her a sample of their milk to be turned into a piece of jewelry.
Take a look at a few of the selections available on Mamma's Liquid Love:
The first piece Ann Marie made wasn't a keepsake for herself. The mother of Rebecca and Gabriella explains on her site:
With Rebecca, I struggled tremendously with nursing. It took me 3 weeks of pumping 8 times daily for at least 20 minutes and feeding on demand to finally make enough milk for her. It was incredibly stressful and draining especially for a mother that was experiencing Post Partum Depression. As it turns out, Rebecca had an undiagnosed lip and tongue tie and fed for HOURS...
I did suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder with Gabriella, but nursing was a much more enjoyable process. Unfortunately, I was unable to produce enough milk for Gabriella, and used donor milk. As a symbol of my appreciation to my generous donor, I created a pendant for her. Her gratitude and joy after receiving her pendant from me, inspired me to create Mamma's Liquid Love.
Interestingly, Ann Marie notes that "no two mothers' breast milk is the same," which means there are variations in the final product, especially in color. She explains, "Many of my friends joke and tell me I produce 'skim milk' because it's so light in color, but several moms produce what my nursing mother's friends call 'butter' which can be very yellow in color."
Prices range from $45 for the vintage-style pendant to $100 for sterling silver earrings.
Photos shared with permission from Mamma's Liquid Love
This post was originally published on May 24, 2016; it was updated and republished February 2, 2018.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.