The Short of It
New Zealand mom Susan O'Brien had some runners' gel packs, an energy bar and two liters of water with her when she got lost while running a 20-kilometer race in Rimutaka Forest Park. But, she credits drinking her own breast milk with giving her necessary nutrients during the overnight ordeal.
"I got lost and got stuck in some bushes, and then I thought that was it," Susan told reporters. "I wanted to carry on, but I got too exhausted, so I just dug a hole. I didn't have a life blanket. I thought I was going to die."
It was cold, and Susan, who's a breastfeeding mom, wanted to regain her energy, so she expressed some of her milk to drink while she was stranded. She dug a hole to sleep in and placed dirt on top of herself to keep warm.
The next day, Susan was found and returned happily to her family.
So, can drinking your own breast milk really help in a survival situation? Yes, but only in the short term, Mary Jane Minkin, OB-GYN and clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine, tells Women's Health. The calories in the breast milk can definitely keep your energy levels up, and of course, it's a totally safe drink to consume (and it's clean, as long as you find the right container!). But eventually, you'd get dehydrated since your body needs fluids from other sources; without them, you'd stop making milk.
"She's very creative. I'm glad she thought of this," Minkin said.
Add this to the list of the amazing properties of breast milk!
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