I expressed exclusively for 5 months for DS as he was born prematurely and could not feed. It meant expressing around the clock even AFTER he was sleeping through to keep up my supply. Its a LOT more work than just breastfeeding and your supply can drop easily and then is a lot of hard work to increase it again.
Some women find they cant express more than a tiny amount so make sure you can express a decent amount first.
I expressed for DD for the same reason, she was premature and couldnt feed from me. This time I only lasted 14 weeks because with other children as well it was near impossible to keep up with the demand and I feel pregnant again at 12 weeks so my milk began to dry up. I truly struggled to feed her that long and it was VERY emotionally draining for me.
Some tihngs to think about are: if you are expressing you are more likely to let other people feed your baby thus meaning you miss out on bonding time - this was a HUGE hurdle for me because it took so long to express that i would always 'want' my partner to feed my daughter... then i realised she was much more attached to him because he had more one on one time with her so I found this very upsetting.
Are you prepared to express when you are out and about? Carrying all your equiptment with you including ice packs to keep the milk cold, sterilizing equiptment if you are going to be out and about for a long time.
This sounds silly to but as i was expressing SO often I began getting hand cramps as i used a manual pump both times. VERY painful cramps that amde it hard to express. This may happen to you, it may not.
Another thing, from expressing so much my nipples still cracked and bled, the suction was fine so im guessing it was just from having to express almost hourly for days at a time to try to keep my supply up.
All in all in my opinion all 3 things you were told could be true, it depends on the individual. Think hard about it. Breastfeeding is a lovely bonding experience, one that I hope to experience this time (tho unlikely as ill probably have another premmie and go through the expressing thing all over)
My main pieces of advice are: buy or hire an electric pump, make sure you have a bag to transport it and freezer packs to keep the milk cold, read up on expressing and storing breastmilk the ABA site has lots of useful information.
Goodluck. I hope i havent rambled on too much!
Sav 1y Bella 2y Zach 4y Alex 5y TTC#5