I made the decision to breastfeed Gray a few months before she was born. I didn't know anyone (except my grandparents) who had done it, so I was lacking guidance. Hubby and I took a class at the hospital and I read everything I could possibly find in my baby books and on the internet, which I now know is a great place to get really confused.
I wish I would have had a concise list of things I needed/didn't need and needed to know. So I'm making my own list and including the reasons why I'm including them.
What I Wish I Knew
Things you will need
Double electric breast pump (if going back to work)
Manual breast pump (for making bottles on the go)
Reusable nursing pads (don't get the disposables...they don't work great)
A few extra packs of bottles to pump into (This saves on the washing every night)
Extra set of pump flanges (also saves on the washing)
Lots of freezer bags (be optomistic that you'll have a freezer stash)
Cleaning wipes (to help with cleaning parts at work)
2 nursing covers (one to keep in the diaper bag, and one for the car)
Gel soothies (for when you're dying from pain in those first few weeks)
Lanolin (there's nothing more painful than dry and bleeding skin)
Extra coolers and ice packs (just nice to have when traveling and pumping)
Things you will not need
Disposable nursing pads (they suck)
Nursing Bras (too much of a pain, just pull your normal one down or wear a sports bra)
Nursing Pillow (If you're small chested, you have to hold your baby. The pillow isn't high enough)
Extra covers for the nursing pillow (because you won't use it anyways)
And finally....my advice
Don't let people get you down. No matter how many people tell you formula is easier, do what's right for you and your baby. Formula is not easier...it's just more expensive.
Drink tons of liquids. I didn't and had a hard time for a few weeks. I now know the more I drank the better off I was in feeding Gray.
Don't freak out if you forgot pump parts or bottles on a shopping trip or outing. You have two built in bottles. Don't be afraid to use them in public.
Keep your nursing cover with you. I never nurse in public without it and have never gotten the side-eye from anyone about feeding my baby.
If it's hurting, readjust your baby and see if that helps. If not, switch sides. If you're not comfortable, chances are...they aren't either.
Gray has just started biting. If I had a dollar for everyone who told me that I would stop nursing when she got teeth I could quit my day job. Yeah...it hurts, but we are working through it. She's not used to having teeth either.
And finally....if anyone ever tells you that you should go to the bathroom to feed your baby....tell them that THEY can go to the bathroom and you'll stay right where you are. Thanks.