What happened
February 8, 2001 1:14 PM   Subscribe

What happened to 16 Dominicans lost a sea when their compass broke while trying to sail to Puerto Rico? They were saved by the gift of Faustina Mercedes breasts. Eight men and seven women took turns suckling for just a few seconds each day. Now know as a the "Little Angel of the Sea", Mercedes and the 17 others were safely returned to the Dominican Republic after 12 days.
posted by Zebulun (21 comments total)
posted by Skot at 1:20 PM on February 8, 2001

Double post this is.
Dominican breasts saved them.
Angel of the Sea.
posted by DoublePostGuy at 1:26 PM on February 8, 2001

Mental note to self.
If ever planning boat trip
bring lactating girl.
posted by Neb at 1:51 PM on February 8, 2001

Drinking the mom's milk
is better than a glass of piss.
tastes like grapefruit juice.
posted by DragonBoy at 2:03 PM on February 8, 2001

dammit.. sorry about the double post. i should have caught it beforehand. i read it off another site
posted by Zebulun at 2:11 PM on February 8, 2001

Lactation humor!
What better source for Haiku?
This is the answer.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:15 PM on February 8, 2001

I am surprised the woman had to drink her own milk. I would think the body would sense the nutrition loss and absorb the milk back into itself.
posted by thirteen at 3:16 PM on February 8, 2001

Milk only only has a
single out of the funbags.
You skipped health class? :)
posted by Neb at 3:24 PM on February 8, 2001

Does anyone remember how The Grapes of Wrath ended? I thought it was some bizarre idea Steinbeck came up with. Truth is weirder than fiction.
posted by Loudmax at 3:28 PM on February 8, 2001

aw neb, you fudged up the first line! :)
posted by pnevares at 5:02 PM on February 8, 2001

Neb flubs his haiku.
Sometimes he gets overly
excited about breasts.
posted by Neb at 5:35 PM on February 8, 2001

I wonder how many times the double post has gotten more comments than the original?
posted by norm at 8:08 PM on February 8, 2001

At least once! Thanks to
all the Lactation haiku
madness in this thread!
posted by Neb at 8:26 PM on February 8, 2001

BTW, blame it all my haiku craziness on DoublePostGuy. He got me started, and once that happens, I have a VERY hard time stopping. :)
posted by Neb at 8:30 PM on February 8, 2001

Does anyone here seriously believe that if they were in the same circumstance that they would have sucked that tit? Come on, get off it.
posted by leo at 9:14 PM on February 8, 2001

Does anyone here seriously believe that if they were in the same circumstance that they would have sucked that tit?

I haven't actually seen the tit in question, but I might not even have to be dying to suck on it.
posted by kindall at 10:16 PM on February 8, 2001

I agree that we shouldn't limit ourselves to the tit in question since the likelihood of the event re-occuring in exactly the same circumstances except this time with us in the boat isn't all that great. I just mean in a general sense -- say, if you were stranded aboard the Staten Island Ferry. In such a life-and-death situation, would you really be looking up and down the rows of seated New Yorkers, weighing the relative nutritional values of one chest over the other? I don't know. It's just not something we do in New York City.
posted by leo at 8:25 AM on February 9, 2001

Finally! A way
to reduce the MeFi noise -
only haiku posts.
posted by ceiriog at 8:38 AM on February 9, 2001

For the record, milk that is not removed from a lactating breast will eventually be reabsorbed by the body, but it takes awhile. And depending on how well lactation is established at that point, the milk production may be so high that before the milk is reabsorbed, the woman's breasts become painfully engorged, like big, hard grapefruit. It's not fun at all, trust me - I've experienced it in a relatively mild way, and it was horrid.

Milk production is designed to slow gradually over many months, giving the body plenty of time to catch up, and for the supply and demand feedback mechanisms to work. The milk-producing tissue gradually shrinks in a process called involution, and the breasts gradually get smaller.

This mother had been nursing her one-year-old daughter prior to the trip, so she probably was somewhat uncomfortable, I imagine. She may have started expressing a little milk to relieve her engorgement, then gotten the idea to have her sister drink some.

And it doesn't taste like grapefruit juice. It tastes like sweet, watery milk. To me, it tastes a bit odd because the flavor is so mild compared to cow's milk (or goat's milk). But of course, your mileage may vary (depends on what the mother's been eating lately).

I think most people, after three days without a drop of liquid, would definitely be eager to have some breastmilk - even just to coat their dry mouths. Though it might be easier to drink from a cup than to try to suckle - adults forget how, not to mention have mouths that are much larger than the nipple-areolar complex and milk sinuses are designed to accomodate. Suckling is a lot more complex than merely sucking (like from a straw) - it requires a peristaltic action of the tongue, gently moving the milk forward towards the nipple. A little bit of suction is necessary to maintain a mouth-nipple seal, but it's not what moves the milk.

Um... what else? Oh yeah, women who have lactated are often able to still produce milk even years later, with no special stimulus. Sort of like a machine running at idle - it's always ready, but it doesn't make much noise while it's waiting.

She probably didn't produce a huge volume, being somewhat dehydrated herself, but even a couple mililiters would have made a huge difference.
posted by beth at 11:46 AM on February 9, 2001

For the record...

Finally something article-length to read on Metafilter.
posted by leo at 7:12 PM on February 9, 2001

That's great, Breth--uh, Beth. This really seems to be your beat on MF. I think we should name Beth "Czarina of Lactation."
posted by rodii at 8:27 AM on February 10, 2001

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