Hello :-) I have a nearly 3 week old little girl and we have been breastfeeding since her birth, however I am having some issues with one of my nipples.
My left nipple has a history of being inverted while the right has always been normal. With my older child (she is now 2) I exclusively pumped for four months (she was born at 29 weeks and we were unfortunately never able to transition to breastfeeding). After pumping for four months my left nipple seemed to sometimes be inverted and sometimes be "sticking out". I could also get it to protrude easily with my fingers, so I assumed I would have no problems breastfeeding with the new baby.
The current problem I'm having is that about 4-5 days after my daughter's birth my left nipple developed a large crack. I've been very careful with positioning and latch and I believe we are doing everything properly in that regard (particularly since I am having no issues on the other side). My thought is that the crack is caused by the same thing that causes that nipple to be sometimes inverted. I've been treating the crack with expressed breastmilk and lanolin and it doesn't seem to be getting much better (although it doesn't seem to be getting any worse either). I don't think it's bleeding anymore but it is still rather deep and very painful. The initial latch is VERY painful and while the pain does subside some after about 30 seconds or so, I do still experience pain the entire time she is nursing on that side.
I so want to have a long breastfeeding relationship but I'm becoming very frustrated by the amount of pain I experience when she is nursing on my left side. If you have any tips for ways to allow the crack to heal I would appreciate it very much! Thank you!