Search icon


25th Nov 2019

Mum donates 500 oz of her breast milk after her newborn son passes away

Melissa Carton

A touching tribute to her son.

New mum Sierra Strangfeld went through every parent’s worse nightmare when she found out that her son had a condition that meant he would not survive for long after birth.

Sierra was 20 weeks pregnant with her son Samuel when he was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, or Edwards’ Syndrome. The severe developmental condition meant that baby Samuel only lived for three hours after his birth.

One way Sierra had been looking forward to bonding with her son was through breastfeeding. Because this would never happen, the new mum decided to help other mothers and their babies by donating her breastmilk in her son’s honour.

Sierra posted to Facebook describing her heartbreaking loss and how she hoped to help other sick babies currently in NICU;

“When I found out I was pregnant again, I wanted nothing more than to be successful at breastfeeding.
But when we found out of Samuel’s diagnosis, I knew that was not going to happen. Just another hope that was taken from me.

Before Samuel passed, I told myself I would pump my milk to donate. Afterall, Porter was given donated milk more than half of her first year of life!
I couldn’t save Samuel’s life, but maybe I could save another baby’s life .

Pumping is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard. Mentally and physically. And it’s even harder when you don’t actually have a baby.

There were times I was angry because why did my milk have to come in when I had no baby to feed? Why was I waking up in the middle of the night for this? The other part of me felt it was the only thing connecting me to Samuel here on Earthside. I sure hope he’s proud of me!

I pumped for 63 days after his birth. I am not an over supplier by any means- but I did it.
And today, his due date, I donated my milk to the NICU milkbanks for the first and last time. Walking through the hallways of the hospital was just another step in healing.And I know, (because I felt him), that Samuel was there with me.”

Sierra’s post and kind act went viral with an outpouring of emotional comments from other mothers telling her how brave and incredible her idea was

“Thank you so much for doing this wonderful, selfless act! My son Archie was born 11 weeks early and due to the stress of the situation and being ill myself, I struggled to supply the milk he needed. Archie was given donor breast milk exclusively and then topped up with it when I only managed to supply a little of my own. It is both hard and tiring expressing breast milk and I will be eternally grateful to the ladies who do this! You help protect babies from NEC and you are superheroes helping keep babies alive! Forever thankful and in awe of you all.”

NICU milk banks often call for donations to help the sick babies in their care so I can only imagine how appreciative they were of Sierra’s donation of 500 oz.

Child loss is an extremely difficult experience for any parent to go through. If you or someone you know is currently dealing with the bereavement of a child, Feileacain offers advice and support.