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Grieving mum pumps 15 litres of breast milk to donate after newborn son dies

Baby Care By The Mirror
Sierra Strangfeld pumped breastmilk for 63 days after son dies (Image: Facebook)

A mum pumped breast milk for 63 days to donate to milk banks after her own son died just three hours after he was born.

When Sierra Strangfeld discovered her unborn child had trisomy 18, a rare genetic condition that causes life threatening birth defects, she was determined to meet her “gift” and declined a termination.

Baby Samuel Lee was born two months before his November due date on September 5 and lived for just three hours, TODAY reports.

Sierra, who owns a Salon, said: "Samuel only left my arms once, when he had an oxygen tube put in, otherwise he spent those three hours with us.

Sierra donated the milk around the time of Samuel's November due date (Image: Facebook)

"I was able to do skin-to-skin with him and his heart rate and oxygen levels immediately raised. It was like he knew he was with his mum.

"We got a few squeaks out of him, and spent those three hours looking at every detail of his tiny body. Those hours felt like minutes."

It was during this short time that Sierra decided to express her milk and donate it to help someone else.

She added: “I couldn't control his life or his death, but I could control what I did afterward."

By donating her milk, she hoped she could save another baby’s life.

The mum, from Wisconsin, America, expressed for 63 days from the day Samuel was born eventually donating more than 15 litres (500 ounces) of breastmilk to the Mother’s Milk Bank in the Western Great Lakes.

But the decision did take an emotional toll on Sierra.

She admitted there were times she felt angry she was producing milk with no baby to feed, and questioned why she was waking herself up in the night to express.

Sierra expressed more than 15 litres of breast milk (Image: Facebook)

In an emotional post on Facebook she wrote: "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."

But, she decided the act was connecting her to “Samuel here on Earthside.”

Another motivation for donating was she had sought expressed milk for her first-born. When her daughter, 18-month-old Porter, was born she had tongue-tie, a common condition which makes it difficult for youngsters to latch on. She then used donated milk for at least six months.

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