Breastfeeding is like skiing - difficult to learn but easy to master. The first few weeks is brutal which is probably why most people quit. If you don't have a strong support system (a husband, parent or friend willing to do all the grocery shopping, cooking,etc.), I don't know how it could be done. I was lucky to have a supportive husband, a mother who moved in for 3 weeks and wonderful LCs who helped me cross over the hump. But probably the best thing happened to me about 3-4 weeks in. My baby was crying and fussing all the time; he literally was never full. Finally out of desperation I went to the nurse practitioner/lactation consultant at my pediatrician who said, "It's okay to add in some formula and regain your sanity. I don't want to see Spencer carrying YOU into this office!" A burden was lifted off my shoulders. I started supplementing with a couple of formula bottles a day, and my baby was finally satisfied - and he took off growing like a bullet.
Do I wish I could have breastfed exclusively? Absolutely! Not only is breast milk healthy for the baby, it's easier to pick up a baby and feed him than to make bottles, it saves a ton of money and it burns a ton of calories. What I really wish is that I was better at/more disciplined about pumping, but I despise pumping. The real heroes of breastfeeding, in my opinion, are the mothers who pump in the car, pump in the office, literally pump everywhere. One of Spencer's classmates has a mother who has 3 kids under the age of 4, works full time, commutes about an hour each way AND exclusively breastfeeds her son. God love her, she's superwoman! I'm not that mother. In my opinion, Spencer is better off drinking some formula than having a mother who's literally at her wits end trying to breastfeed and pump enough to keep up with his appetite.
I wasn't breastfed and turned out okay.
Mrs. A, I read the story about Mayim/Blossom. There's a local OB whose wife is still breastfeeding a 5 year old!