Re: Healing a really stubborn crack
As long as you can bear to nurse on the crack, do it. If you need to use the shield to make it bearable, use it when necessary. As the PP said, pumping doesn't get the milk out the way the baby does, so it's always best to nurse, if you can. Having an open crack does increase your risk of infection, but that doesn't mean you're likely to get an infection. I never did, and I had horrible open cracks for 4.5 months (Don't worry- that is NOT a typical experience! Most moms do not have cracks for anywhere near that long.).
Self-care for cracks:
- My LC recommended a combination of 1% hydrocortisone cream and Bacitracin antibiotic ointment on cracks (use a pea-sized amount, mixed and applied using a clean finger). She said it didn't need to be washed off before nursing.
- Hydrate the crack before nursing by immersing the nipple in a shot glass of warm water or giving it a good soak with a wet washcloth. Softened scabs tear open less painfully than dry ones.
- Time!!! Cracks that are a product of latch issues go away as the baby grows bigger, stronger, and more adept.
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!"