I breastfeed my babies. The problem is... I SUCK at breastfeeding. Full-on terrible at it. My DS1 wouldn't latch to save his life. My DS2 latched, ate, and grew well, but he left me with severed bloody nipples that took MONTHS to heal. I have very flat nipples, so it's just a little (lot) more difficult for me.
I gave up on feeding both from the breast, but I was adamant that I wanted them to have breast milk, mostly for the antibodies. So with both of them, I ended up pumping exclusively. I may be terrible at breastfeeding, but I'm blessed with a more-than-ample supply. I was able to pump enough milk to last them both through the first year.
This time, I'm not sure what I'll do. I guess I'll do the same as I have done in the past and give breastfeeding my hardest try. I tried SO, SO hard with DS2, but it was to the point that I was in tears most days because I was in so much pain. I went to the LC, but she couldn't see anything wrong with how we were nursing.. She recommended some ointment, but the wounds were just so deep, and every time he nursed, they ripped back open. It just would NOT heal. So anyway, I will probably try to nurse again, but if it doesn't work out, I know I can always fall back to my pumping again.
Every time is different! every baby is different. My first I exclusively bf for 23 months. This time I did for 4 months and then started pumping because he was to busy to nurse. I am still pumping and nursing but it's really hard. Not sure how the next one will go, but I will try to exclusively bf again!
I think either way, if you try thats all that matters! It's not an easy job!