The rare condition happens when an extra chromosome 18 occurs during cell division and often results in stillbirth, according to the Trisomy 18 Foundation.
Despite losing her own baby just three hours after giving birth, a Wisconsin mom made the selfless decision to pump her breast milk anyway and donate it to other moms and babies in need.
Sierra Strangfeld, of Nellisville, said she pumped for 63 days straight after her son Samuel, who was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, died. “I couldn’t save Samuel’s life, but maybe I could save another baby’s life,” Strangfeld wrote on Facebook.
Strangfeld was about halfway through her pregnancy with her second baby when doctors discovered the rare diagnosis, according to GMA. Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome, happens when an extra chromosome 18 is developed during cell division. It occurs once every 2,500 pregnancies and often results in stillbirths during the second or third trimester of pregnancy, according to the Trisomy 18 Foundation.
When doctors realized her baby wouldn’t survive much longer in utero, she had an emergency C-section.
"His hands were clenched, his feet were clubbed, he was small, but he was so perfect. He fought so hard to meet us,” she told GMA.
Inspired by her older daughter, who was fed donor milk given by her sister-in-law, Strangfeld said she wanted to continue the tradition in Samuel’s memory. So she pumped up until his predicted due date despite losing him weeks previously.
“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?” she wrote on Facebook. “The other part of me felt it was the only thing connecting me to Samuel.”
To find out more about donating breast milk, visit the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.