Re: input on pumping to heal
When I was having very similar problems- major crater-cracks- I did EP for a few days in order to give my poor nips a chance to heal. It had pluses and minuses.
On the one hand, pumping was much less painful, I did get a little bit of healing to happen, and that break from pain gave me some of the strength I needed to go on. But on the other hand, the moment I resumed nursing full-time, the cracks went back to being just as bad before, and I risked my BFing relationship for what was for me a very small amount of gain.
I did very little true EPing. I always nursed at night, because it was the one time of day when I had enough milk for her. I believe that nursing part-time helped my daughter avoid nipple confusion, so that's one avenue you could pursue if you decide to try EPing (or mostly EPing) for a few days.
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!"