A mum has managed to earn more than £15,000 by selling her breast milk online, after giving birth to a surrogate baby.
Julie Dennis, 32, came up with the entrepreneurial idea after she'd given birth to a baby for another couple in August 2019.
Once the infant turned six months old and no longer needed her breast milk, Julie decided she'd flog it for 90 cents (70p) per pound - selling it to other families whose newborns were also born via surrogate, who isn't willing or unable to provide their own.
Julie, a primary school teacher from Florida, said producing the milk is the equivalent of a full-time job, but admitted she's received something of a backlash from people for making money from it.
The mum-of-two said: "I have a perfectly good uterus and perfectly good milk so I may as well use it.
"It's not completely money orientated but I make sure it's worth it for me and my family.
"I get comments that shame me for asking for compensation for my time spent pumping, because a lot of people think it's free for me to make so why would I charge for it.
"I spend hours a day hooked up to my pump daily, which is time away from my family.
"There's time spent cleaning, bagging and sterilising all of my pump parts between each use.
"I wouldn't go into the store and assume I can get free formula, so it baffles me that people expect free breastmilk."
She continued: "Even charging one dollar per ounce I get paid less than minimum wage once you add up all the time spent on it.
"That's not to include replacement of pump parts every six to eight weeks, the cost of bags, the cost of the sterilisation units and four different pumps that I use.
"It is a lot of work to exclusively pump and it is a labour of love."
So far, Julie has provided milk for two babies up until their one-year milestone, pumping 15,000 ounces per month and storing it in her freezer, before shipping it across the country in ice boxes filled with ice packs.
She has had to completely change her diet to suit the needs of a baby she was providing milk to, ditching dairy for the job.
She also claims she's even had odd requests from men who want 'proof' that the milk is actually hers and ask for videos or pictures - something she finds 'absolutely unacceptable', and usually ends up with her blocking them.
Explaining what prompted her to start selling her milk back in 2019, she said: "I didn't have a baby to provide milk to after the first six months.
"I was compensated for that and once I was done, I started advertising milk on Facebook where I found another family.
"The second family had their baby via surrogate and she either didn't want to or couldn't provide the milk so they came to me.
"I fill up my freezer twice a month and ship it out in an ice box with lots of ice packs inside and ship it out overnight.
"For the first six months or so I just used it in addition to my income from work to pay bills and manage my household.
"The last six months I have just tucked it away in a savings account for a rainy-day fund.
"I haven't done anything cool with it, unfortunately - just built a little savings account."
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