Re: just had baby 5 days ago and nipple question...
Mama, I strongly suggest that you see a professional lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, about your issues. When you have a newborn with a latching issue, nothing beats hands-on help! And IMO it is very likely that you have a latch issue, because a strong suck will not cause cracked nipples. When a baby is latching correctly, the delicate nipple is way back in the back of the baby's mouth, and the majority of the baby's sucking takes place on the resilient tissue of the areola.
Using the shield is okay for now, but it should be used with guidance from a lactation consultant. When a baby does not have a proper latch, the use of a shield can make the situation worse because sometimes the shield slows orinhibits milk transfer. If the baby's latch is already making milk transfer difficult... You get my drift.
I am with the PP on nursing frequency. Don't let your baby go more than 3 hours without nursing. The best thing you can do to establish a good milk supply is to nurse often.
Please let us know how it goes!
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"