Not all mothers are successful in breastfeeding, at least not immediately. For some mothers breast milk does not come the moment their baby is born, it takes time and possibly even days before the milk starts to flow.
During that time of "drought", the biggest concern is the fear of starving and causing harm for starving the baby. However, there really isn't much cause for worry as babies are able to go without food for days.
I was unable to produce milk for three days after my delivery. Only on the 4th day did I start to produce milk, even then it was not a lot. My son went without food for three days. A friend of mine could not produce milk until the 10th day, her son went without food for the whole ten days. Both our babies turned out fine.
The issue is more a matter of whether a mother is able to bear with the thought of their baby staying hungry and putting up with the baby's constant cries for food. The truth is, it can be discouraging, painful and even stressful for a mother, especially for a first time mother. Most mothers will cry over it themselves.
I would recommend that if a mother is able to remain strong, it would be best not to give in to formula milk especially from a bottle. Once your baby receives the bottle, it would make breastfeeding all the more difficult to succeed if when you start producing milk.
However, if you feel stressed and depressed over not being able to provide breast milk to your baby, know that it is quite a common issue faced by mothers and your baby will not be in danger. Seek out breastfeeding mothers' support group if there are any, there should be one at the hospital you will be delivering your baby. Make some enquiries before your deliver.
When the time comes and you are unable to overcome the stress and worry even after seeking help and support, don't be a superwoman especially if this is your first child. Your baby need a sound mother's care. If it is any encouragement, I wasn't successful in breastfeeding my baby until my third child.
It is perfectly fine to give formula milk to your baby but not completely. If you use formula milk, consider feeding your baby from a syringe. Continue to keep trying to breast feed your baby and rejoice in whatever amount of breast milk your baby is willing to accept.