There is no doubt in my mind that breast is best, but sadly it doesn't work out for some women who desperately want to breastfeed.
When I was pregnant with my ds, I had every intention of breastfeeding him for a year or even longer. Unfortunately, he had other plans. I bf him for a whole 2 weeks. It was hell. He screamed bloody murder and absolutely refused the breast. I ended up pumping for 4 months and then switched to formula. We later found out that he had a broken collarbone, severe silent GERD and delayed gastric emptying.
On to pregnancy #2. Again, I was all about breastfeeding. My experience with my son had not deterred me. Well, it happened to me again, my dd started refusing the breast when she was around 4 weeks old. She screamed bloody murder and WOULD NOT latch. So, I ended up pumping for roughly 5 months before switching to formula. Like my ds, dd had severe silent GERD and delayed gastric emptying. Sigh.
I had SO much milk and my babies didn't want it!
Now, onto the point of my post:
I have heard a couple of times how hard it can be, but if you can make it past the initial hurdles, it can be an awesome experience.
Some women have problems and give up (of course, this doesn't include extenuating circumstances). I wish more women were informed that it can be a struggle at first!
Edit: The Ameda ComfortGel Extended-Use Hydrogel Pads saved my nipples when I breastfed. They are amazing.