A California mother has turned her personal tragedy into a touching gift for other mothers and their newborns in need. She refused to allow her breast milk to go to waste after her newborn’s sudden death.
According to Inside Edition, Ariel Matthews, 25, made it her mission to donate 18.5 gallons of breastmilk after her son suddenly passed away.
Mom Turns Baby’s Death Into A Great Gift
Ariel welcomed her beautiful baby boy, Ronan but due to birth complications, he died at the age of 11 days in October. Her son was born with heart defects and suffered a series of strokes shortly after his birth. According to WOKV, the strokes caused catastrophic damage to the infant’s brain.
It was a devastating loss for her family. However, the California young mother found a way to turn the painful loss into something inspiring.
Matthews posted her son’s story on social media revealing that she had a miscarriage and a stillbirth in the past year. Even so, Matthews chooses to see the good in everything, even her son’s painful death.
“Since Ronan passed, I decided to go for 1,000 ounces, especially since my body was producing a lot more milk this time,” Ariel said.
“I was able to donate the total amount in just eight weeks.”
Donating Out Of Love For Ronan
Matthews’ father, Eric was the man behind the brilliant idea that helped Ariel reach the goal of 18.5 gallons of breastmilk. He encouraged her to continue to pump to surpass her body weight. Ariel loved the idea and found that it gave her a goal to work toward, which helped keep her mind off missing her newborn so much.
Matthews ended up donating 2,370 ounces or 148 pounds and gave the milk personally to mothers who couldn’t produce milk themselves.
“Donating was an incredible feeling; particularly as it was all because of my sweet Ronan,” Ariel said.
“I wanted to share his gift of milk; he’s the reason I was able to.”
The stay-at-home mom has a 3-year-old son named Noah. When he was born, she had trouble nursing and struggled to produce enough milk. She wanted to make sure all mothers, even those who couldn’t provide their infant their own breastmilk could give their child the best start.
After Ronan had passed away, her milk supply was high, so it came to her to store the milk and donate to those in need.
“It felt really good to donate it all, especially because I would get hugs from the moms when they came to pick it up and thank yous,” Ariel explained.
“And that the moms were trusting me to give their babies my milk — it feels really good.They would send me pictures of the babies right after drinking my milk, all passed out and full. So that was really cool.”
Her breast milk went to three different moms, two of which said their milk never came in after childbirth and another who adopted a newborn.
The California mom documented her story on Instagram. She started hearing from others moms who were touched by her story.
“I like to know that there’s actually people being encouraged by this. I’ve even gotten messages on Facebook saying this has really helped me, that I hope I can be like this.”
Her supporters flooded her social media accounts to tell her they were inspired by her kind nature and her willingness to help others, especially considering the loss she suffered.
The American Board of Pediatrics recommends that all infants are fed breast milk until six-months-old. They strongly urge mothers to nurse their babies until 12 months, if possible.
[Featured Image by Karunyapas/Shutterstock]