Membuat Puting Menjadi Kebal—Perlukah?

Kehamilan saya sekarang memasuki trimester akhir, dan seperti para ibu lain, saya berniat memberikan ASI ekslusif langsung dari gentongnya. Saya pun sudah mempelajari berbagai hal tentang menyusui, termasuk dukanya.

Salah satu cobaan ibu menyusui yang sering terjadi adalah ‘hancurnya’ puting. Entah itu cracked nipples, lecet, bahkan luka parah sampai bleeding. Semua sumber mengatakan, hal tersebut diakibatkan oleh latch-on yang salah ketika menyusui. Namun kalau saya perhatikan pengalaman para kerabat di lapangan, kok kayaknya banyak faktor X, ya, di luar salah latch-on?

Lalu, apakah busui punya pilihan lain? Ya, nggak. Maju terus pantang mundur, dong. Memang sih, ada berbagai alat bantu seperti nipple shield atau breastpump untuk mengistirahatkan puting sementara. Tapi tetap saja, luka seringkali tak terhindarkan.

*gambar dari sini

Dulu, Mama menyusui saya selama 2,5 tahun, dan juga mengalami kehancuran puting. Tentu saja, saya jadi curhat ke Mama soal ini: apa dong pencegahannya?

Jawaban beliau, “Buat puting kamu jadi kebal dari sekarang!”

Hah? Gimana caranya? Beliau lanjut menjelaskan, dari sekarang saya kudu rajin menggesekkan kain kasar ke puting. Saat mandi, gosok dengan washcloth kasar. Selesai mandi, gosok lagi dengan handuk lembab. Gerakan menggosok bisa diganti dengan gerakan lain, misalnya mencubit atau menarik puting. Tidak perlu keras-keras, karena bisa memicu kontraksi. Yang penting tujuannya satu—membuat puting ‘kebal’.

Ya ampun, ngeri amat! Apalagi saat hamil begini, payudara ‘kan terasa lebih sensitif! Saya bergidik setengah mati, dan menolak mentah-mentah ide tersebut. Saya yakin 100%, ritual tersebut hanyalah mitos para ibu di kampung zaman dulu.

Maka kagetlah saya, ketika saya menemukan bahwa bumil-bumil di Barat juga mengenal konsep ini. Memang, ini konsep jadul, sering dipraktikkan pada tahun 80-an. Tetap saja, jaman sekarang masih ada yang melakukannya. Hasilnya pun bervariasi. Ada yang mengaku ritual ini sukses membuat putingnya kebal, ada juga yang bilang nggak ngaruh.

Tengok beberapa testimonal dari ibu-ibu di babycenter.com:

There is absolutely NO need to “toughen” your nipples. My wonderful friend told me that instead, it is much easier to “soften” them. About 1 month before your due date, rub Lansinoh on your nipples about 2 times per day, especially after your shower. Once your baby is born, continue using Lansinoh. You can put it on after every feeding if you need. I breastfed my daughter every 2 hours for nine months, and I NEVER cracked or bled. You don’t even need that much, just enough to cover your nipple with a thin layer. Please don’t hurt yourself in preparation. Just moisturize, it’s much more pleasant and just as effective, if not more.

posted 1/13/2008 by Alimom06

Toughening up your nipples is very unnecessary. Skin stretches better when the skin is healthy and moisturized. To pull on and scrub will only damage and dry out the very sensitive skin. Soft supple skin will aid your baby (who will need time to learn) in drawing the nipple in to his/her mouth. Use a lanolin product to keep the skin on your nipples healthy while you are pregnant, nursing, and pumping. If the skin starts feeling sensitive (which is bound to happen) use a breast shield just to give the skin a chance to rest and recuperate. All the women who told me to toughen up my nipples did not have as successful a time breastfeeding as I did. I nursed my son to 11 months and self weaned. I was also able to pump and fill my deep freeze with breast milk. I used Lansinoh before a shower to lock in natural moisture, before and after nursing for the first 4-6 weeks (my skin didn’t need it after a while), and every time before I pumped. Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be painful. Toughening up the nipple can also cause changes in your cervix. That can pose many problems for your baby unless your baby is full term.

posted 7/31/2008 by a BabyCenter Member

My OB nurse said DO NOT try to scrub your nipples with a washcloth to toughen them up (something they used to teach people in the 1980’s, apparently). This can actually induce premature labor in some people. Scary!

posted 2/28/2012 by tngomaureen

I toughened up my nipples before both of my children, and will do it again! While breastfeeding, I never had any pain or discomfort, or suffered from cracked nipples or other problems. People will tell you that your body was made to nurse so it won’t hurt. Your body was made to have a baby, too, but I can assure you, you will be sore! About 6 weeks before my children were born, I began roughing up my nipples with a washcloth in the shower. I also would pull on them at least 100 times a day, usually while going to the bathroom or right before bed. This will make you sore, but it is better to get it over with while you have an option to stop, rather than be in agony while you are nursing every couple of hours. Also, when you begin nursing if you ever notice a sore spot in your breast, this could be the onset of a breast infection. I had this with my second child. All I did was massage the tender area while he was nursing to help unclog the duct. It helped, and it never got worse!

posted 1/11/2008 by haleyhutch

Murni karena penasaran, akhirnya saya coba mempraktekkan metode Mama, hehehe. Ngilu sih, mencubit-cubit puting sendiri dengan washcloth kasar. Awalnya saya cuma bertahan beberapa detik, tapi pernah juga kuat melakukan 50 cubitan (halus) di masing-masing puting.

Saya nggak rajin melakukan hal ini karena malas, ngilu, dan skeptis dengan hasilnya. Meski demikian, saya tetap sangat takut dengan yang namanya puting luka, entah karena susahnya latch-on nanti, atau karena faktor lain. Maka dari itu, saya tetap rutin mengoleskan nipple cream dan tidak menyabuni areola saat mandi, agar nantinya tidak kering.

Sampai sekarang, saya masih pesimis dengan keuntungan ‘mengebalkan puting’ ini, tapi belum merasakan kerugiannya juga, sih .…

Bagaimana dengan calon busui lainnya? Persiapan apa yang para bumil lakukan terhadap puting sebelum menyusui? Would you toughen them up?


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