I’m very thankful to be an over-producer. With my first child 8 years ago, I was crying daily during confinement due to inability to produce enough breast milk for my boy. Thankfully, I was ‘crazy’ enough to want to prove to those who didn’t believe that my A cup breasts could produce good quality breast milk enough to feed my son. I tried everything everyone suggested and got my supply up to meet his demands by the end of my confinement. So mummies who are struggling, don’t worry! Don’t let the stress get to you. Give whatever you can produce. One drop is better than no drop.
Now, I’m 100% latching my third child and still producing excess which I pump out twice a day to relief engorgement. The excess is given to my 2 older boys twice daily and balance kept frozen. Some have been donated away to make space.
Now, we all know the benefits of drinking breast milk. But benefits of breast milk in soaps?
Although there are no scientific journals on this that I could find to substantiate the claims that breast milk soap is good, many of us have tried breast milk baths for our babies. Usually, it is using up excess or ‘expired’ breast milk for baby’s bath time, as we were all unwilling to throw away breast milk which we spent so much time and energy in expressing and storing.
Through these breast milk baths or some mummies even doing breast milk feet soaks, we’ve all realised that it does make a difference. I found my skin smoother after a good soak in warm breast milk. I found my 8 year old boy’s eczema clearing up after applying breast milk-laced cream (I mixed a little breast milk with his cream as I found it too thick to apply well on his raw reddish skin and he will freak out if he founds out there is breast milk in his cream). Well, baby’s skin has always been soft and smooth, so I’m not too sure if the breast milk bath worked for 3.5 months old Meimei.
I’ve actually tried making breastmilk soap myself some time ago. However, I faced quite a lot of challenges like finding raw materials (lye is not available off the shelf in Singapore). Melt & Pour bases were available but not suitable for adding in large volumes of breast milk. Those successful bars of soap didn’t manage to keep for long (1 month only). So… Just pay people to make them, lah!
With my frozen stash, I set out to make some breast milk soap for our own use. After asking around, I found these 3 breast milk soap makers.
After spending some time contacting these 3 soap makers the past few days, this is the information I’ve gathered.
Based on my experience interacting with these 3 soap makers so far, my opinions are as follows:
My main enquiry was simply on how to drop off the breast milk as all other information about their soap was easily available online. It was extremely straightforward to place an order: Simply walk in to any of their 2 outlets during opening hours and you can get your order settled on the spot. They accept Cash, Nets & Credit Cards at their Liang Court outlet. You will need to call them to inform them before heading down with your frozen breast milk.
Pricing is reasonable (after comparing the ingredients used) and there’s an option for smaller quantity if you are not able to produce that much excess breast milk to make into soap.
It seems like each bar of soap will contain more breast milk goodness as compared to the other 2 soap makers (Ratio is 1:2 compared to 1:3 for the other 2 soap makers).
Responses are always quick. The first 2 replies contained most of the information needed. However, it was quite a hassle to arrange a meet up as I have 2 older boys with enrichment classes, we live rushing around from home to enrichment centres to work to grandparents’ place. We managed to arrange for our own express courier to deliver the breast milk over (requirement is that it must reach her in frozen solid state).
Pricing is the cheapest per KG if the basic formulation is chosen. Good for mummies on tight budget.
(Via Facebook Private Message)
Responses are slow. Messages are pretty long but information is quite scattered all over and difficult for me to trace back to read again.
I’m not able to arrange meet up to pass the breast milk due to the order schedule. I’ve been placed on the batch waiting list for November 2015. I will try to arrange again when it is my turn to order.
Pricing is not open and transparent. There is no fixed price list. I was only sent different formulations and asked to choose without knowing the price. Later in the discussion, I was also asked to top up for colouring (I’m not too sure if I’m able to opt for no colouring as I did not get a reply after that).
How to ensure your breast milk is still frozen while transporting it to the soap maker?I used Fridge To Go to store the milk to keep it frozen. Mine is an old model from 8 years ago. The newer models are better with removable panels now.
My breast milk is stored in Baby Joy Thermal Sensor Breast Milk Bags from Korea. I normally use Baby Joy Breast Milk Bags (no thermal sensor – CHEAPER!) but we ran out of them at home so we just used the thermal sensor ones we had at home.
We froze the FTG overnight in the freezer and took it out just before leaving the house. Journey from Punggol to Liang Court was around 1 hour (battle the kids and buckling the kids in took a lot of time). The frozen milk were still solid and totally frozen when we arrived, so all was good!
A little more information on Soap Making:
Main types of soap making methods: Melt & Pour and Cold Process
I’ve personally tried Melt & Pour method using good quality concentrated glycerine blocks from USA but the outcome is not desirable. You can only add in a small amount of liquids and by the time you cook everything, you might as well not add any breast milk.
The Cold Process method is more suited for breast milk soap. However, it requires lye (sodium hydroxide). Lye is an important part of Cold Process soap making. It is however, a strong chemical and has potential risks with improper handling. This is also the reason why soaps need a ‘curing period’ before they are safe for use. If I’m not wrong, lye is only sold to registered businesses with proper facilities for storing it. It is not easily available in stores like how other parents can get their lye easily in USA. This makes it even harder for us to DIY breast milk soap in Singapore.
I also saw that Soap Ministry has workshops for DIY Soap Making. A quick check with the staff revealed that you need to take one of their basic courses (Option 1 or 2) first, then you can sign up for the breast milk soap making course (Option 7).
Another plus point on taking the course is that you can always head back to make more soap later on! They have a Timeslot Session where you only pay $10/hour to use their space and equipment to make your own soap. Of course, materials will need to be purchased from them but isn’t it convenient? I’m going to keep this in mind and sign up for it when I have more time.
I’m looking forward to receiving my soap bars so that I can try them out and update everyone on the outcome.
This is Part 1 of my review.
Part 2 will be updated once the soap bars are ready for collection.
Mother of 3 children & Owner of TLO.com.sg
Note from Mummies’ Voices: