Paralympic champion Lora Fachie has revealed the difficult journey she experienced with trying to breastfeed her son Fraser and urged other mums not to feel guilty at using formula milk.
Fachie, who won gold at the Tokyo Games and is married to fellow Paralympian Neil Fache, gave birth to her son on October 31.
The cyclist explained how she always dreamed of breastfeeding her baby but never envisaged the difficult journey it would lead to, with the two-time Paralympic gold-medallist revealing she had cried “more tears these past 12 weeks” than ever before.
Fachie posted on Twitter: “Breast feeding was something I dreamed about when discovering I was pregnant. I couldn’t wait to do it, especially knowing that it was the best for my baby and I desperately wanted to give them the best start in life. I knew it would be difficult, but I relish the challenge.
“Unfortunately, this week our breastfeeding journey came to an end. I never quite envisaged how difficult it would be, and how emotionally draining these past 12 weeks have been. I’ve desperately tried everything to make Breast Feeding work, but it just wasn’t meant to be
“I’ve cried more tears these past 12 weeks than the previous 33 years of my life. I’ve felt isolated, guilty, frustrated, and like I’m a failure. Unfortunately, I’ve not enjoyed the first 12 weeks of motherhood at all.
“Yes I’m well aware that breastmilk is the ideal food for my baby, but what is more important is a happy, healthy baby and a happy healthy mum. I felt the pressure to continue Breast Feeding and put myself through emotional hell and I finally had enough
“From now on, I will be formula feeding my baby and focusing on being the best mum I can be to my precious son that I am lucky enough to have been blessed with. I will enjoy the time I have with him.
“The reason I’m sharing this is to reach out to other mums feeling like they failed or feel guilty for not Breast Feeding because it just didn’t work for them. It is okay to struggle and it is okay to stop. It is okay to give them formula. I can still be a good mum to my son
“Yes, I currently feel guilty, yes, I currently feel like I failed, yes I’m upset breast feeding didn’t work but I currently have a happy and healthy son and I’m working on getting back to happy and healthy myself.”
Fachie, who lost her eye-sight at the age of five, first competed at the London Paralympics in 2012 before winning gold in the women’s individual pursuit B event at Rio and Tokyo.