Mom Survives By Drinking Her Own Breastmilk

I admit that I think of breastmilk as something a bit magical. 

Fussy baby? Boom — breastfeed for a happier baby. 

Tired baby? Boom — breastfeed for a sleepier baby. 

Teething baby? Boom — breastfeed for a calmer baby. 

But one thing I've never considered that breastmilk could do? Save my own life. 

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One mom in New Zealand discovered just how “magical” breastmilk could be when she was forced to drink her own breastmilk to survive. 

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Image via Flickr/ alberth2

According to one news source, 29-year-old Susan O'Brien was taking a run in a forest in New Zealand when she lost her way. 

O'Brien was actually competing in a 12.4 mile run near Wellington when she got lost. Somehow, O'Brien went off the trail and found herself literally stuck. “I got lost and got stuck in some bushes, and then I thought that was it,” O'Brien told the paper. 

As night fell and her family put out search parties to look for her when she didn't show up at the finish line, O'Brien's survival instincts kicked in. “I just kept chucking dirt on top of me, and every time I heard something, I'd just scream for help,” she said. The dirt helped to keep her warm, and as her body started to shut down, expending so much energy to stay warm, she decided to drink some of her own breastmilk for energy. “I had a bit of my milk and thought that would keep me going for energy,” she explained. “I thought I was going to die.” 

I have to say that this story really impresses me, not only because this mom was able to make it through with her wits about her, but because I am having a hard time trying to picture drinking my own breast milk. I mean — how? Do we even want to think about the practicality of this situation? Was there some flexibility going on? Or just a cup that was in the right place at the right time? 

I don't know, but either way, I'm glad this mom made it through safely and that breastmilk can add one more impressive thing to its resume. 

And after all that and the long ordeal she had been through, O'Brien only had one thing on her mind — getting back to her still-nursing baby. 

“She needs her feed,” the mother said simply. Priorities, mama. We get that. 

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Spill it: Have you ever tasted your own breastmilk? Think you could drink it to survive? 

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Mom Survives By Drinking Her Own Breastmilk

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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3 comments

  1. Brittany says:

    Breastfeeding is not only what nature intended (why do you think we have those amazing things?!) but it also protects mother and baby from diseases, cancer (including breast cancer), and is packed full of good stuff. Anti-bodies, vitamins, you name it! I have exclusively breastfed my baby-girl for 13 months (and counting!). For about 6 months my baby has chosen one breast over the other, this is actually very normal but my breast can now stretch an amazing amount, and – I could easily survive off of my own breastmilk (no, there’s not any magical cup). I have tasted my own milk, but my boyfriend drinks it regularly. This helps keep the other breast producing milk, he also loves the taste! Breastfeeding has been one of the best experience’s of my life and I couldn’t imagine feeding my baby any other way than mommy-made milky. What an awesome story!

    • Brittany says:

      Sadly, people are born every day with non-working limbs and organs. If this were early centuries, your off spring may not have survived, unless another woman thankfully fed your child. Just as a weak man would be eaten by the lion. It’s nature. Fortunately, there is now formula for woman who can’t breastfeed, or mother’s who don’t make it through labor. You obviously were offended by my comment, but I wasn’t being offensive to non-breastfeeders. The greater thing is all children being fed and loved. Breastfeeding takes a lot of commitment, any woman who exclusively breastfeeds deserves a pat on the back and some self appreciation! This is a breastfeeding story, and all.

    • Jessica says:

      My baby is the same age as yours. Too bad my “amazing things” couldn’t work. She’s only been sick once and that’s because I was sick back in January. Enough with the self-aggrandizing.

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