I think unfortunately there is not enough support for new mums when it comes to breastfeeding and as such there are a lot of misunderstandings. Sure, there are plenty of horrible nurses and midwives who just seem to make new mum's feel bad and incompetent if they have trouble with breastfeeding, but the good ones who are supportive are few and far between. I was fortunate enough to have really good chn's at our local clinic and helpful lactation consultants when I was in hospital. I had my son by emergency c-section and nobody told me until I was tearing my hair out 4 days after he was born, that your milk takes longer to come in after a c-section. He ended up in the special care nursery as he had lost nearly 600g because I had no milk. Anyway I did give him formula a couple of times while in hospital as he was getting really dehydrated and was starving. I was determined to breastfeed though - thank goodness I had people around who supported me, I probably would have given up if it wasn't for them. I kept breastfeeding him all the time - somedays he would be feeding every hour, and taking around 40mins each time only left me 20mins in between. It paid off though, my milk supply gradually built up. I never got that really engorged feeling though. The lactation consultant told me only about half of all mums get really engorged and it's quite normal for your milk to gradually build up over a few days. Anyway I ended up breastfeeding my son until he was about 13.5 months old - I was then pregnant with my daughter and my milk had started drying up then, but he was only having one feed per day by then.
My daughter was also born by c-section - she was overdue so I couldn't be induced. So this time I knew my milk would take its time coming in and I didn't get as distressed. On the 3rd day after her birth she was constantly feeding, even though it seemed nothing was there. It all worked out, and my milk finally arrived. She's now 9 months old and I am still breastfeeding her. I have noticed, however, on the first day or two of my period my milk does dry up. My boobs feel really deflated and she doesn't have many wet nappies. It sometimes happens when I'm ovulating as well. I spoke to our chn about it - she is very pro-breastfeeding but very supportive - and she said some mums are really effected by hormones and that I would probably be one of the one's whose milk supply would be affected if I went on the pill. She said she was the same.
So I know from personal experience that milk supply can be affected by hormones. I just wish there was more support, understanding and info for new mums.
Sorry for the long post smile