Re: my nipples are cracked--- OUCH!
We've been dealing with this too.
First, I found the cross cradle hold to be most effective. If he's nursing on my left breast I hold his head with my right hand and squish my breast like I'm holding a hamburger with my left hand. Supposedly this doesn't restrict the milk flow as much as if I was pinching it with forefinger and thumb. I wave my nipple around in front of his mouth until his opens really wide and then I push his head into my boob so he gets a good mouthful. It has helped SO much.
Also, can you get someone to write you a prescription for APNO cream? The hospital gave it to me as soon as they saw just a spot of blood. I didn't use it until they were actually blistered and cracked. The LC said it's great at healing things quickly but not to overuse it. It should also help prevent infection/thrush. When they're only mildly chewed up I've been using lanolin.
Also if you can get some soothies it does help with the pain between nursings.
I know how painful it is!