Finally! I can write this!
There are numerous benefits to breastfeeding: http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-breastfeeding-benefits-you-and-your-baby_8910.bc names a few!
Some of my best advice came from here: http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1010100&highlight=
A few things that normally come up
Pain - Yes, it is painful when you start. Not only are your nipples sensitive from hormones, but they're doing something they aren't used to doing! A problem means pain, but pain doesn't always mean a problem. It took about 3 weeks for the pain to go away for me. That's not on the side with the cracked nipple...
Injury - Another thing that happens, but is treatable! We had trouble latching on the right side and I developed a crack in my nipple. A week of pumping on that side (the pain was toe curling and I couldn't nurse) and offering a bottle, neosporin, and lanolin and I healed up. It's kind of cracked again, but I can handle it this time so we're still nursing.
Latch - Learn what a good latch is BEFORE you give birth. Yes, there are people at the hospital that can help...but if you get a nurse like my night nurse (I felt more educated about BFing) you'll be glad you were well informed.
When to start - IMMEDIATELY AFTER BIRTH! Even if he isn't strong enough or awake enough to really suck, trying helps! Relationship needs to be developed ASAP and this helps. As soon as they're done with the evaluations you need to try nursing again. Don't be discouraged if he "doesn't get anything" because that's not true. During this time you produce colostrum which is more nutrient dense than breastmilk. As my day nurse told me "A tablespoon of your breastmilk right now has more nutrition than an entire bottle of formula." It can take several days for your breastmilk to come in (not in my case, I was engorged on day two)
Watch the baby NOT the clock. Some will tell you to feed every 2 hours (my night nurse for example) Your baby will wake up to eat! You shouldn't have to wake him up... unless it's several days later and he's going 4+ hours without eating...then wake him. DO NOT try to "develop a schedule" or "train" your child. (Stay away from Babywise books!!!) He may want to eat every 20mins or every 2 hours. He knows best! The first few weeks are hard because he'll probably eat constantly. As long as he's dirtying plenty of diapers there is nothing wrong with your supply. I had a similar issue early on. He eats like that to boost your supply (usually happens during a growth spurt) It's hard, but stick it out.
Hmm....any questions? I'll answer them in the next note.