London

This London mom turned her breast milk into soap and made a business out of it

Nursing mothers are to a London, Ont., business owner with requests to turn their extra breast milk into bars of soap.

'Your milk is precious and you try to use every last ounce of it. You don’t want to throw any away'

London, Ont., business owner Emily Payson first turned her breast milk into soap five months ago, one month after her second daughter was born. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Nursing mothers are turning to a London business owner with requests to turn their unused breast milk into dense bars of soap.

Emily Payson, a mother of two, admits she wasn't expecting to turn her new hobby into a money-making venture, but that's what has happened. 

"Your milk is precious and you try to use every last ounce of it. You don't want to throw any away," said the 29-year-old registered nurse, who's on maternity leave with her second daughter.

Payson said Booboo's Soap started after she gave birth to baby Daisy six months ago. She struggled with breastfeeding, with the child rejecting it, resulting in overproduced milk bags stashed in the freezer.
The breast milk bars are infused with natural oils such as coconut and sweet almond oils. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Payson was inspired after a Google search detailed how to transform eight ounces of breast milk, mixed with natural oils, into a batch of six thick bars of soap. She tried it. Four weeks later, the soap was ready to use. 

"It's good for healing the skin like stretch marks, it's good for insect bites or rashes. It's really moisturizing and nourishing for the skin."

Word spread quickly, and now Payson is mixing batches for other mums.

Supporters and skeptics

But the thought of it all has some cringing.

Breastfeeding and breast milk is stigmatized in society, Payson explains, and can be taboo to talk about, let alone lather on in the shower.

"It's such a new idea that I think it's going to take some time for people to warm up to it," said Payson's husband, David.

"I was hesitant at the beginning, but yeah, I use it. It's weird at first, but you don't even notice."

Payson, right, is joined by her daughter Daisy, centre right, husband David, centre left, and daughter Penelope, left. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

The respiratory therapist shared the news with all of his friends, including other men who have been supportive.

I'll do anything to help new moms and make other moms feel proud of their breast milk.- Emily Payson, Booboo's Soap

However, Booboo's Soap is drawing a lot of attention online with skeptics chiming in. Payson considers it an opportunity for education. 

"We had lots of people interested and a lot mixed feelings. Some of it has been about teaching how breast milk is natural and good for our skin," she said.

With eight batches already under their belt, the Paysons are working on about eight more — from the hundreds of requests in the region, stretching as far away as Oregon.

How it works?

Before using her own breast milk, Payson tested out her homemade recipe using cow's milk.

The Paysons assemble the soaps together in their home in Byron. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

The winning cold-pressed recipe calls for a concoction of eight ounces of breast milk and natural oils such as coconut oil, Shea butter and sweet almond oil. The mix is then put inside the freezer to prevent it from scorching before being processed into bars.

It's then cured for one month before being shipped back to the rightful mum and family — all for $80.

"I'll do anything to help new moms and make other moms feel proud of their breast milk," said Payson.

And she's teaching her eager husband how to make the soap himself to keep the business alive when she goes back to work.

"But she's got the special touch," he said.

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