Mum who delayed cancer treatment tells ITV News: Starting chemo is the best Christmas present

A mother who delayed cancer treatment to give birth to a premature baby has told ITV News starting chemotherapy will be the "best Christmas present".

Heidi Loughlin, 33, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in September just 13 weeks into her pregnancy.

Doctors gave her the option of a termination to begin the treatment immediately but she refused and delayed chemotherapy until she had given birth.

Her daughter, Ally Louise Smith, was delivered by C-section on Friday - 12 weeks early and weighing just 2lb 5oz - leaving Heidi "over-the-moon".

The Metropolitan Police officer, who also has two young sons, told Rupert Evelyn that she was now "excited" to finally start treatment on December 23.

Pictures of the mother-of-three and her newborn have been released. Credit: ITV News

"I can't wait to get on with it," she said. "I am excited to have chemo, which sounds absolutely bonkers, but I cannot wait to start because I need to get better for my children.

"It's best Christmas present, other than having Ally, that I can possibly have."

Heidi said she was "really scared" about the risks of giving birth to Ally prematurely but her third child "came out crying and kicking".

"She was absolutely fantastic when she came out - that was an instant relief to me," the mother-of-three said.

Despite the long road of treatment ahead, Heidi said she wanted to just "get on with it" as her children still had the same needs - "watching Peppa Pig and having tantrums" - as before her diagnosis.

"I want to just be me which is positive, slightly dark-humoured, and to carry on exactly the same way."

She remains in hospital where she is just a "three-minute shuffle" down the corridor to her baby daughter.