Oh to have read this thread before I ever started breastfeeding!!!
I nursed my boys (age 16 and 15 now) with so little direction I can't believe they lived and thrived. And I soooo wish someone had told me that the painful nipple thing was very common. Even now most things you read say that the nipple pain means you're doing something wrong. That it should NEVER hurt. And I think that's kind of a disservice to moms who really want to breastfeed. I mean, we all know pregnancy will have some pain and childbirth will hurt, why not be completely honest about breastfeeding as well?
This baby (6 months old now) was so different in her nursing habits that this resource would have been wonderful to have found before she was born, so I could have asked questions much earlier. But we're making it.
So, bottom line: KNOWLEDGE is an essential item!
A comfortable place to nurse. I had a glider rocker that I thought would work, and it does, but my favorite rocker is this old beat up little thing that I dragged downstairs to be by my bed. And you'll have to experiment with pillows to get just the right "prop." My Boppy is great for certain chairs and in the car for nursing, but I needed a different configuration for the rocker.
A table or container with room for all of your stuff. The remote, Kleenex, small burp cloths, water, extra pacis if you use them, a light within reach, and we set the monitor on that table so that if I needed something, I could just talk into it and usually someone would hear me on one of the two receivers throughout the house.
Good luck and happy nursing!