'Mummy's Star ensured my baby had donor milk'
Faye was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer at just 20 weeks pregnant with her second child. A mammogram found micro-calcifications (small calcium deposits that look like white specks), and then she discovered she was also pregnant.
This is her story…
I had no symptoms for my primary diagnosis and had it not been for a mammogram that found micro-calcifications (small calcium deposits) I would have been completely oblivious.
For treatment, I had a lumpectomy and node biopsy at 28 and 30 weeks pregnant before starting chemotherapy at 31 weeks. I was induced at 38 weeks and gave birth to a healthy baby girl. I then carried on with chemotherapy for another five months, had a double mastectomy and my nodes removed, followed by radiotherapy. I have since had further reconstruction surgery and had my ovaries removed.
Due to the chemotherapy, I knew that I would not be able to breastfeed. I accepted this, but wanted to give my newborn some donor colostrum (the first milk produced by the mammary glands immediately following the delivery of the newborn). After trying to find out about donor milk and colostrum, I was told by a midwife that my baby was not entitled to it as she wasn't ill or in need of neonatal intensive care.
Mummy’s Star knew more about donor milk and entitlements and straight away their support was there. Emails and phone calls between Mummy’s Star and the hospital ensured that my baby had the donor colostrum when she was born. This is something I will be eternally grateful for, as I didn’t know who else to turn to and she would not have had it otherwise.
My advice to mums in this situation is not to let the doctors or other medical staff dismiss your thoughts. You know your body and it is possible to get cancer young and pregnant.
Mummy’s Star is so important in supporting women who are going through so much, and for being their advocate, around the country.