29/08/2018 10:10 BST | Updated 29/08/2018 10:10 BST

Mum's Moving Post-Mastectomy Breastfeeding Photo Shows The Power Of Women's Bodies

'Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.'

A mum has shared an empowering photo breastfeeding her newborn son after having a mastectomy.

Bo Smith, from the US, was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in February 2015. She underwent 16 rounds of chemotherapy and six drug treatments. She had a mastectomy to remove her left breast. 

Smith then had 44 rounds of radiation and learned in February 2016, one year after her diagnosis, that she was in remission. 

“I can’t begin to explain how this feels everyday to be able to breastfeed my son, after losing one breast to cancer and being told I may not ever have this sweet boy in my arms,” Smith wrote on Facebook earlier this month.

Despite being told she may only fall pregnant via IVF, Smith and her husband naturally conceived their son James who was born on 18 August 2018. She shared the topless photo of herself holding her son in her arms, showing the scar across her left breast.

Never be ashamed of a scar,” she continued. “It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you. I am not ashamed of this body. This is what continues to remind me of how lucky I am to be here today.”

Speaking to PEOPLE, the mum added: “To be able to breastfeed [James], I know that I made the right decision to keep [my right] breast. Now I breastfeed him every day, multiple times a day, and every time he latches on I feel amazed that this is actually happening. That I have a son, that he’s mine, that I made him and he’s breastfeeding.”

Her photo was shared more than 5,000 times and has more than 1,000 comments from people all over the world telling Smith how inspiring they found the photo. “You are living proof that you can get through a bad patch and come out the other side strong and beautiful,” one person wrote. “You have such a beautiful little boy.”

Another person commented: “Wow, what an inspiration you are Bo. You are a badass breastfeeding mama. Amazing.”

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