I'm so glad you are going to breast feed!! It is a wonderful experience.
I don't think it makes any difference if you go straight from the breast or breast milk in a bottle. I didn't have much need to pump, so usually did it straight from the breast. My first child would go back and forth between breast and bottle but my second would only do the breast (kind of a pain).
You can supplement with formula if there are issues with no hazard to your baby. But hopefully you won't have any.
I used lanolin on my nipples for pain, good to have waiting for you (comes in a purple tube) and tried to air dry if I could. Helps.
The hospital you deliver at will have breast pumps you can rent. Just buy new tubing. Or check to see if you can get a used one and buy new tubing. I used a cheap one. I think the difference is the intensity of which milk is expressed so mine was slower. I will say I felt like a cow tied up to those machines and the sound is a bit disconcerting (you'll know what I mean when you pump). I didn't love pumping but many women do it and it is all good.
Your delivering hospital may also have a breast feeding class you can take.
I'm a stay at home mom. Breast fed my both kids till 1 year. I'm on my 3rd baby now & plan on breastfeeding again. If you plan on being with your baby 24/7, there's no need to pump all the time. You can if you want milk on hand, your milk will be good frozen for a few months.
If you don't have a heavy supply of milk I heard there's a tea you can drink it's all natural, that helps your body produce more milk. My girl friend had that problem when her second baby was a few months old & she refused to give her a bottle of formula so she drank the tea & is still breastfeeding good.
I didn't pump my milk, if I had too much milk in my breast & my baby wasn't hungry I would hold a milk bag up to my breast & let it shoot out to relieve the pressure. But I was told there is a difference between pumping & baby actually sucking. Your body knows the difference & might not produce milk if all you do is pump. BUT every body is different pumping might work for you, & you might not dry up. But I wouldn't chance it.
Thank you both so much I am so happy that I have such a great reply from you both
God bless you & your bundles ;)
Pumping to feed breast milk by bottle is far more work then direct breastfeeding, and you are more likely to have trouble attaining/maintaining supply if you pump exclusively.
I had to pump at first since my baby had trouble latching until 5 weeks. At around 11 weeks I went back to work so I have to pump while at work. I nurse whenever I am at home with my baby.
Direct feeds are actually better for baby. Breasts are amazing, and the glands on your breast use baby's saliva to determine what needs to be in the milk: natural pain killers when baby is teething, antibodies if a bug is detected, sleepy hormones at night time, etc. Pumping isn't a bad option if you're working or something, but if you'll be home with baby, direct feeds are easier and better.
I had a very basic medela hand pump, but eventually it just became easier to hands express. I loved my pump in the beginning though.
If you're having under production issues:
First of all, always always feed on demand. But if your supply is low, consider waking baby for feeds as well (every two or three hours). Mothers milk tea, brewers yeast, fennel, fenugreek, and thistle all help production. Let baby feed as long as he/she wants on one side, then burp and switch to the other side. Stimulating both sides at each feeding will help production. You can also pump after feeds and store the milk. Pumping can boost supply, but babies are better at bringing milk in than pumps are.
Good luck! Feel free to message me with any other questions.