I saw somebody suggest earlier that it shouldn't hurt if you're doing it right. I disagree and I used to give moms this advice. I had pain until 7-8 weeks, not as bad as the first two weeks when he had tongue tie but it was still bad enough to where I hated feeding him. Everyone kept telling me it shouldn't hurt if he's latched properly, that I'm doing something wrong which led me to constantly repositioning him, making him unlatch, etc to try and get the illusive pain-free latch. It stressed me out more. Finally a friend said sometimes it just hurts until around 7 weeks when you both are finally really good at it and also they are bigger, which means they're mouth is bigger. She was right. And her telling me that helped me make it through the next few weeks. It helped me feel normal, like I was doing it right and it changed my mindset. I started making my goal to at least breastfeed until 8 weeks and if I still hated it then then I'd look into formula. Every day I'd just say to myself, 'just make it through today.' Finally 8 weeks came and it was pain-free. His mouth had gotten big enough to where it didn't feel like a clamp.
I agree, there were times I wanted permission from somebody to be able to quit. There's so much pressure to continue. So if you need to, then stop. Do what's best for you.
But if you want to keep going just give yourself little goals, just make it through today or just make it through the week. It does get easier.
In regards to pain. My nipples healed and stopped getting damaged once I fixed my latch and his tongue was snipped. But there was still pain, like I said because his mouth needed to get bigger but also because the first week or two of breastfeeding your nipples can get bruised, so even if they don't look damaged the bruising still has to heal as well. If you're nipples are continuing to get damaged than something is wrong with your latch. But if they heal and it still hurts it may just be like how it was for me and also that you have some bruising that needs to heal.
I found breastmilk the biggest healer for the nipples. Cream did nothing for me.
The football hold also helped make the pain bearable.
Also, DS saw a cranial osteopath which helped a little with his mouth opening wider. He'd had a ventouse delivery which can make them feel a bit like they have whiplash and make it a little painful to open their mouth wider.