This Woman Drank Her Own Breast Milk to Survive in the Wilderness

Was it actually safe? A doctor weighs in.

The liquid gold that is breast milk has made headlines for its ability to fuel body builders’ muscle gains and new moms’ weight loss—you know, in addition to feeding babies. Now, it’s getting credit for helping one woman survive while stranded in a forest for more than 24 hours, according to Radio New Zealand News.

RELATED: Can Breast-Feeding Help You Lose Baby Weight?

Susan O’Brien of New Zealand was running a 20K trail race when she lost track of where she was and got too exhausted to find her way back. That’s when she dug a hole to rest in until she could be rescued, according to Radio New Zealand. The 29-year-old mom of two, who is currently breastfeeding her 8-month-old, also used another survival tactic: She drank her own breast milk. Resourceful!

Luckily, late the next morning, O’Brien was found and reunited with her family. Check out the sweet reunion between Susan and her family:

RELATED: Would You Feed Your Baby Someone Else’s Breast Milk?

But back to the whole drinking-her-breast-milk-to-survive thing—is that actually okay to do? “It’s absolutely safe,” says ob-gyn Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine. Since it’s coming from your own body, she says, the bacteria that’s in the fluid is completely okay for you to consume.

RELATED: Why Alyssa Milano Has the Right to Be Furious About Her Breast Milk Getting Dumped

And drinking the magic mommy nectar can actually be helpful if you’re in a dire situation like Susan, says Minkin. Though sipping fluids from your body isn’t going to help you stay hydrated for very long, breast milk contains calories to help keep your energy levels up, she says. “This makes it a good short term fix, but in the long run she would get dehydrated, and her body would stop producing breast milk,” says Minkin. “She’s very creative—I’m glad she thought of this.”

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