A breastfeeding photo of a mum with Motor Neuron Disease is going viral.

Becoming a new mother is a beautiful and challenging time in a woman’s life. When you have a disease that causes your motor nerve cells to degenerate the challenges seem insurmountable.

Amanda Bernier was tested for Motor Neuron Disease in March 2014. She found out she was pregnant two weeks before getting her test results confirming that she has the disease.

“I went from running races, working in a lab and firefighting to not being able to move anything but my head and on a ventilator in 5 months,” Bernier wrote on Facebook.

Amanda Bernier has Motor Neuron Disease. Image via Amanda's Angels - ALS Facebook.

She was monitored closely during her pregnancy. At 24 weeks she was admitted to hospital and stayed in the ICU for four months until she gave birth. Her daughter, Peanut was born at 39 weeks. She was a breech baby and delivered via c-section.

The new mum was taken back to her room and Peanut was put on her chest. She breastfed her baby for the first time.

"I was blessed that she immediately knew what to do. The nurses that I had gotten to befriend over the past quarter of a year knew how important it was to me to breastfeed. They were determined to help me give that gift to her," she wrote.

This story has been shared with a photo of Amanda breastfeeding. The photo has now been shared over 30, 000 times.

Amanda breastfeeding Peanut. Image via Amanda's Angels - ALS Facebook Page.

Soon after the birth, Bernier was taken back to her MICU room. Babies aren't usually allowed, but the hospital made an exception and let mum and bub spend time together in there.

"Peanut's nurse was incredible. She came up with ways to position the baby to nurse while I laid in bed. The lactation nurse visited me daily. Both nurses told me how lucky I was for how well she latched on. Peanut has an old soul; she knew what she had to do to make things work," Bernier wrote.


She dealt with cracked and sore nipples. Her family members learnt how to help the mum breastfeed and positioned the baby on her breast so she could feed her daughter.

"I can only imagine how awkward it was for my aunts to touch my breasts but they did it out of love for my daughter and me," Bernier wrote.

Amanda, her husband and their baby daughter. Image via Amanda's Angels - ALS Facebook.

A major goal for the mother with Motor Neuron Disease was to freeze as much milk as possible while she could, so Peanut could continue to have breastmilk after her death.

She defied odds again and successfully pumped milk, and has continued to do so for 10 months

Bernier's other goal was to make sure her daughter knows who she is. Because she only really spent time with her daughter when she was breastfeeding, she was worried her baby wouldn't know who her mother is.

"As a first time mum and one that is paralysed, I was very concerned that she would not know who I was. For the first month I felt like I was only a cow. I could not soothe her when she cried, change her diaper or clothes," Bernier wrote.

Their baby daughter. Image via Amanda's Angels - ALS Facebook.

"Over time I found ways to connect. I would play her Disney songs, play animal sound games and watch sign language videos together all on my eye tracker computer," she continued.

Now her daughter sits on mum's bed and plays. She looks at her mother knowingly and lovingly. She waves and points to Bernier when someone asks, 'where's mummy?'.

"Having [Motor Neuron Disease] is not how I pictured my life. It breaks my heart that I can't be the mother that I wanted to be. It crushes my soul that she wont have her mother for much longer and she will grow up with out me. However everything happens for a reason so I am glad that I will be by her side as her angel," she wrote.