Got to butt in here Laura. Medela pumps are excellent. I've had a Pump N'Style which has lasted me through 3 kids, so works out as already over two years worth of pumping in it. If you are determined that you want to breastfeed then it is worth spending the money and having the pump ready to go. It gets you over the agony of engorgement, allows you to build up a "stash" of milk before you go back to work and gives you a chance to slip away for some free time and leave the baby with a bottle and a willing helper for "practicing". Pricewise, do the math, if you aren't sure if you think it's going to work out then rent, but then consider that you will want to buy. My attitude was "it's my first but hopefully not my last kid". So factor the cost of formula against the purchase of the pump and after 4 months on kid number 1, everything else has been free woooHOOOOO! Pumping is a really great way of soothing "mommy guilt" when you go back to work. I've had all of my kids in daycare by 14 weeks (less 10-12 for the latter two) and it is hard to hand over their care and you do feel better when they are getting something that important and unique from you. Not to mention wonderful immunity that you really need in the daycare situation.
DH, Dave (40)