This Mom Dealt With Her Son's Death By Donating Breastmilk To Babies In Need

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Losing an child is possibly the worst tragedy a parent can experience. But when this happened to Ariel Matthews, she found a way to make sense of it: by helping other children.

Matthews' son Ronan died at 11 days old. By the time she started producing milk, he was already on his way out. So, to make use of it, she donated it to parents who couldn't breastfeed their kids.

It was an easy decision, she told People. "I decided right away to donate it, because I knew he wasn’t going to make it."

She ended up pumping out 18.5 gallons, which went to two moms who weren't lactating and one foster mom.

When Matthews saw pictures of the newly fed babies, she instantly felt better. "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," she said. "And that the moms were trusting me to give their babies my milk — it feels really good."

Matthews also donated breastmilk after an earlier pregnancy of hers ended in a stillbirth. Another mom, Wendy Cruz-Chan, recently donated her breastmilk after her baby was stillborn as well.

This way of deal with a loved one's death is one many can take inspiration from. "If good things can come from a loss — if I can encourage people that this isn’t the end, we can get through this, and live a good life, and not let the bad things tear us down," she told People. "I like to know that there’s actually people being encouraged by this."