If you don't ever plan on leaving your baby with anyone and don't foresee any desire to have someone else feed your baby, there's certainly no requirement to pump if you don't want to. I personally only ever used a manual pump while nursing my son because I produced well enough without an electric, it is an odd sensation for sure but I wouldn't say that it hurt, exactly. Takes a little longer to get a good let down. I'm sure an electric pump would have stronger suction. But once your nipples are toughened up from nursing for a while a pump shouldn't really hurt. I don't have a choice not to pump since I will definitely be going back to work after spending a few months at home - but you certainly don't have to if you're going to be with your little one 24/7.
I'm going to be honest lol, the whole thing hurts. Feeding, pumping, not feeding. BUT its the best thing, its good for the babies and mommy's (I've lost 35lbs between giving birth and breastfeeding for 2 months) & its this amazing bonding experience.
Perhaps electrical pumps hurt, I've never tried one, I use the medela manual pump because I don't need to pump that often as I don't work. If you're planning on staying home with baby that's probably all you'll ever need too, and I love mine. It fits my nipples really well (and they do offer different sizes) and it gives you the control of how fast you pump and the pressure which I really like. There are other manual pumps and I've known people that LOVE their electrical ones, I just only know about mine.
Now as far as the pain goes, breastfeeding hurts. I mean your super sensitive nipples go from occasional stimulation to almost 24/7 suckling and tugging. I know mine were purple with bruises and some light scabbing for the first couple of weeks even with my daughters perfect latch. She's never had a latch issue, its just the wear and tear we go through. It would hurt every time she latched for a little while and it even hurt while she was suckling for awhile. It really only lasts like 2-3 weeks and as long as your latch is good and everyone's healthy you can make it through it, and then enjoy all the benefits of breastfeeding without the pain.
And you don't HAVE to pump. I waited two weeks to pump because the nurses in the hospital scared me about "nipple confusion", but then I caved. It's a lot of work being the only source of food for a little being that likes to eat every one or two hours (and when they go through growth spurts sometimes they want to stay on the boob for HOURS at a time, the 2nd day is the worst I promise). I barely had any sleep as my daughter was nearly attached to me and try as her father would be was little to any help with it because I mean, its not like he has boobs lol. So I started pumping a bit so he could feed her a couple times a day and I could get some sleep and it was amazing. Not only did it increase my milk supply but it gave me my much needed rest.
You don't HAVE to pump, but it is useful. And it never hurt me except when I first started because my nipples were still adjusting to constant use. It doesn't bother me a bit now, and neither does feeding. By 4 weeks we had gotten into a groove and I could relax no problem (except for growth spurts lol) so give it a try. Do what you feel is right for you and your baby, good luck!
Thank you both for the information, it helps a lot. I don't work so I'll be home with my baby 24/7 but if pumping ever becomes necessary or I feel I need my husband to feed the baby I will use the manual pump since you both suggested that. If the pump/feeding only hurts for about a month, its well worth it. I was gonna breastfeed no matter what because I do not like the idea of formula at all. No offense to the people that do, just my opinion. But thank you both very much :)
I didn't find pumping painful - maybe I just got used to it…?! I pumped b/c I was working. I agree with the other post - you don't HAVE to pump. If you ever want to go out or be otherwise occupied at times when baby would need to be fed- you'd need a pump.