Let me just start saying that breastfeeding is not a walk in the park...
Lara is now 6 months old and I'm glad and proud that I managed to exclusively breastfeed until now as I set myself to do.
Here are some considerations on the subject:
I was lucky because breastfeeding came quite naturally to me and I never had any 'technical' challenge, like cracked nipples or engorged breasts. I had the occasional soreness during the first few weeks and I used Lansinoh HPA Lanolin which sorted the situation out in a matter of few days; it's expensive but I can really recommend this cream, also because it doesn't need to be washed off before breastfeeding. Btw, a midwife told me to avoid vaseline because apparently has been linked to mouth cancer (I think she meant in babies).
If you've really set your heart on breastfeeding, I recommend to give it a month.
You may be tempted to give up sooner... but you really need to experience the 3 weeks growing spur... to understand that you can do it!
Then if there are any real problems, the midwives or health visitors will be the first ones to tell you to switch to formula (but it's not likely).
Also, don't buy any formula to keep in the cupboard 'just in case'; nowadays there are many Tescos 24hrs and you can easy get some if really required, butwould be too easy to use during a particularly tiring evening or emotional night... and then you may regret it in the morning.
My biggest challenge was not knowing, all the guesswork: you can't really tell how much your baby is eating, you need to trust that she is getting what she needs and then rely on the scale.. so the days between weight ins were a bit stressful in the early days but surely enough she kept putting weight on steadily and following her growing curve without issues.
I resent comment that breastfeeding mums are judgemental toward bottle-feeding mums; I actually feel the opposite and I rarely volunteer the information if not asked.
At the end of the day, it's your decision - Personally, I felt that giving a bottle would have been easier in terms of logistic/practicality but at the same it was paramount FOR ME to do what I though was the best for my daughter.
This was my priority, my personal decision and you shouldn't be threatened by it!
Now: I plan on carry on breastfeeding, of course. The aim is to gradually end up with a morning and an evening feed until she is about two (working schedule and baby routine permitting).
Finally, I'm gonna conclude with some numbers that may help you make this decision:
By exclusively breastfeeding for 1 month - you have given your baby significant protection against respiratory allergy at 17 years of age;
... for 2 months - you have given your baby significant protection against food allergy at 3 years of age;
... for 3 months - you have also given your baby between a 19 and 27 percent reduction in incidence of childhood Type 1 Diabetes;
... for 4 months - you have reduced your baby’s risk of SIDS;
...for 5/6 months - You are now in the 1% of mothers who have breastfed for this long!
You have also given your baby a 19 percent decrease in risk of childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia and a 15 percent decrease in the risk of acute myelogenous leukemia.