LAKE JACKSON, TX --Like most stay at home moms, Bridgette Boudreaux's life is pretty hectic. However, there's one activity that always relaxes her: breastfeeding.
"You're up all night sometimes and it can be painful," the 24 year old mother explained. "But it's so beautiful. You know, such a peaceful time with just you and your baby."
Boudreaux didn't want to lose that bond as her children grew up. The answer, she found, was right in front of her.
"I created breast milk jewelry for myself," she said. "I debuted it in a small Facebook group that I was in for mothers and they responded very well, and the orders just started pouring in."
Boudreaux makes the jewelry by herself in her Lake Jackson home. The process is easier than you might think.
You take real breast milk, add preservatives, and then let it sit in a refrigerator. Within a week, the milk becomes a solid that you can mold into any shape you want. From there, you can add designs, color, and even sparkles. A top coat resin hardens and protects the precious milk.
"Each breast milk pearl is a different shade of cream to white so you're getting what came from you. No two are alike," Boudreaux said.
She has sold hundreds of pieces in the last year, and the requests keep getting more elaborate. She's now making jewelry out of placentas, hair, and umbilical cords. The prices range from $50-$200.
"I have milk from Indonesia, Canada, Britain, France, all over the world. I receive milk every day," she said.
For many, the jewelry is a little strange, but, for the hundreds of women who have bought the pieces, it's therapeutic.
Boudreaux's Facebook page is filled with messages from women who have had trouble breastfeeding. Others are dealing with post-partum depression. There are even some mothers who have lost their children.
"With each pearl, it represents so many things for so many women,' she explained. "When people buy their breast milk jewelry from me, I get their stories and a lot of their stories are empowering. You know, the gift of life. The breast milk pearl is sustaining and life giving for many women."
For more information, check out Boudreaux's website or Facebook page.