I need some moral and technical support!
Daughter is one month old today. I have had cracks since Day 1 and have seen LCs about 4-5 times since then, but all tell me the latch is pretty good. No tongue tie or thrush. I have been using the APNO since coming home from the hospital but I am not seeing much if any healing, and definitely no improvement in the pain. It is often excruciating and always at least very painful at the latch as the cracks are stretched out and only sometimes (when boobs are less full or she is sleepier) do I feel 'comfortable' while she nurses. I am crying in pain and frustration at most feedings. The cracks are on the part of my nipple that matches with her top lip (I am using cross-cradle hold mostly, but all positions are painful. I cannot figure out football hold).
I have a fast letdown and she chokes a bit during the beginning of feedings (esp at night/early morning) but she nearly always makes these clicking/slipping sounds (again esp when boobs are very full and less when supply is a bit lower, in late afternoon). Sometimes the slipping/clicking is painful on the nipple. I am now trying to nurse uphill but it doesn't seem to help much.
I have a hospital rental pump that we have been using intermittently (now about once a day) to give my nipples a break but I am worried that using it has contributed to potential oversupply. I can pump 4oz in 10 minutes on the right boob in the mornings and get about 1.5 oz on the other side.
I am getting lots of conflicting advice - stop using the APNO, go topless all day long, use Soothies all day long, use saline, use the pump only till they heal ( I have only managed this for 24 hours before I started panicking about loss of contact with her and her forgetting how to latch). She has good output and is gaining >1oz a day so she is doing fine. It's just me.
If one more person tells me breastfeeding isn't supposed to hurt I will lose my ****. I know something isn't quite right but I cannot figure it out and I am so frustrated that the cracks don't seem to be healing. I don't even know how long it should take to heal them. They often ache between feedings esp if exposed to air/breezes/ac (but I haven't seen any blanching/color change). I feel like a failure during the tough moments and really really want this to work, but it is ridiculous to keep going like this. It hurts worse than pushing her out!
thanks for any support,