Tender Photos Capture Mother’s Last Breastfeed Before Cancer Treatment

Photography: Jaclyn Briggs

By Hannah Schenker

These tender and emotional photographs capture Ashley Kostiuk’s last breastfeed before starting aggressive chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Kostiuk discovered a lump in her breast while feeding her baby boy and was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2016. In order to start treatment, she needed to wean her son early – something she of course found heartbreaking but necessary. A friend of hers contacted photographer Jaclyn Briggs and asked if she would come and document this last time breastfeeding her son, the day before beginning treatment.

“Nothing prepared me for the emotions I would feel and see when photographing Ashley, a close friend of mine, breastfeeding her infant for the last time,” Jaclyn Briggs told us. “It wasn’t because Ashley or her nine-month-old son were ready to be done, it was because Ashley had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and couldn’t waste any time before starting chemotherapy.”