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Breastfeeding mother credits baby with detecting her cancer and saving her life

Sarah was diagnosed with grade 2 triple negative breast cancer last year. Credit: SWNS

A young mum has credited her baby with saving her life after he repeatedly rejected her right breast during breastfeeding which prompted her to go to the doctor to get a scan.

Sarah Boyle, 26, said her son Teddy would "scream" and "become distressed" when she tried to breastfeed him from her right breast.

Teddy's behaviour led to her visiting her GP in November 2016 and she was referred to hospital where she underwent a scan and a biopsy.

She was diagnosed with grade 2 triple negative breast cancer.

Sarah, who lives with her husband Steven in Staffordshire, is now receiving chemotherapy and is planning a double mastectomy.

She said: "Teddy is my hero - if it hadn't been for him I would never have suspected I had cancer. My consultant told me that breastfeeding helps a mother and baby bond.

"In my case it did more than that - it saved my life.

"Teddy could obviously smell and taste that the milk from my right breast tasted different from the milk from my left breast - and so he rejected it.

"My consultant said he'd never seen anything like it before and was baffled and amazed. He told me it was very fortunate I chose to breastfeed - otherwise my illness may not have been discovered."

Sarah Boyle says her son saved her life by rejecting milk from her right breast. Credit: SWNS

Sarah explains that Teddy took "fantastically well" to breastfeeding but five months on she noticed her right breast "wasn't 'working' as well as the other and it was smaller".

She contacted her health care assistant with her concerns, because she was previously told that she had a cyst in her right breast, but she was reassured that there was nothing to be worried about.

However one month later, when Teddy was six months old, he stopped feeding altogether from her right breast.

"He just wasn't having it," she recalls, "I had no problems with my left breast but every time I tried with my right he would start screaming and get very upset. He wouldn't go near it.

"He wanted nothing to do with that side, even if I gave him a cuddle on that side he didn't like it."

When Teddy was eight months old, Sarah went back to her GP and asked to be referred for a scan.

She said: "I explained about Teddy and how I was feeling very tired, I said I wanted to get a scan to check out my right breast. I felt as if Teddy was trying to tell me something. It was, what you might call, a mother's instinct."

Sarah and her husband Steve with their 'little hero' baby Teddy. Credit: SWNS

After Sarah was diagnosed with a non hormonal cancer, which is extremely rare in young women, she said her "mind went into meltdown".

She added: "One minute I'd been enjoying the new experience of motherhood, the next I was being told that I needed life-saving treatment.

"But I felt so proud of Teddy for bringing the problem to my attention. The cancer inside the cyst had been growing for three months - the exact same time Teddy stopped feeding from my breast."

Sarah is hoping to undergo immediate breast reconstruction surgery when her treatment is finished and hopefully she'll get to spend much more time with Teddy who she calls her 'little hero'.