To Circumcise Or Not
 
Quote · 885 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

 

 

I personally have a hard time talking about this subject because we decided to have our son circumcised at the hospital.  Of course, again, in hindsight (just like going to the hospital) I realized that if I had the information I know now, we wouldn't have done it.

At the New Baby Expo I know there's a group there advocating to keep baby boy's whole and not circumcising.  So I wanted to see what other moms thought about this.

This is a very touchy subject, like I said even for me, so let's be respectful of each others choices and just share what brought us to the decision to have it done or not.

Here is a website that offers information and videos but WARNING ahead of time, there is a reason why they usually don't let the parents watch the procedure...it breaks my heart when I see it and knowing I put my son through that.

http://www.circumcision.org/

How did you decide whether to circumcise or not?

Quote · 885 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

I missed that booth, and I walked around the entire Expo!

 

For us it was ultimately an easy decision. I have a sister, and never gave the subject any thought until DH and I discovered we were expecting a boy. From there I just figured I'd let DH decide since what did I know about boys? He was mostly indifferent & didn't see a need to, so odds are we wouldn't have anyway.. but DS1 was born 2 months premature and in the NICU for his first 12 days of life. After watching two or three nurses try for 45 minutes to replace his IV and listening helplessly to his screams, there is NO way I would have chosen for him to undergo a voluntary procedure that would cause him pain and suffering.

 

Just before he was released from the NICU, a grandfather of a baby across the aisle away kept asking when his grandson would be circumcised. The nurses kept telling him "Not until he's ready for release." That day came, and they set up the CircumStation barely more than an arm's length away from my son. They strapped the baby down as he screamed, and walked away, leaving him there alone, naked and screaming. I was horrified. The nurses returned with the surgical tools, the doctor arrived, and they pulled a curtain around. I heard the entire thing and cried, holding my baby tighter. It was probably the most horrific experience of my life. I am still very angry at the hospital for putting me and my baby through that stress- I understand that a NICU is not a quiet place and many procedures are done that cause pain, but for them to do an unnecessary procedure in front of other patients and parents is completely inexcusable.

 

That was the day I became an advocate for keeping infant boys whole. I do not judge parents who have done this to their sons, and I honestly believe if parents were made to watch and listen to the procedure they would not choose to do it. No matter what doctors say, it is painful and the baby will be in pain. It's been shown in studies to cause breastfeeding and bonding difficulties as babies process the pain and suffer effects from the stress. And as someone who regularly works with babies under 2 weeks of age, I can spot the circumcision traumatized babies almost immediately. They are more "twitchy" and restless in their sleep, and frequently seek comfort more often. It's a definite set of behaviors that I've only observed in circumcised boys- and some of my NICU babies.

 

I truly wish more doctors were forthcoming with the facts- that there is no health benefit to infant circumcision, and that there are very real risks ranging from partial amputation to severe blood loss leading to death, as well as infection and either removing too much or too little, requiring a repeat procedure when baby is older. Instead parents of baby boys are just asked whether or not they plan to, and are given no resources to make an informed decision.

Quote · 885 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

I completely agree with you

 

There is NO information given to parents at all about the procedure and it's possible effects

That's why I was SO glad to see DrMomma.org here at the expo, I walked the entire thing and yeah...I missed it too and they were only 2 stalls away from us! LOL

 

Glad more people are getting informed and making the right decision for their family

Quote · 885 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

I hope I didn't scare anyone off! I think it's great to discuss the topic, because we're all coming from different places. I have a friend whose husband believed in it very strongly, and I learned a lot from her on how she handled the situation, choosing to wait until her son was a year old and going to a specialist vs immediately after birth.

Quote · 885 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

Oh interesting, haven't heard of anyone waiting until 1.  Did they give him localized anesthetic or anything?

 


I hope I didn't scare anyone off! I think it's great to discuss the topic, because we're all coming from different places. I have a friend whose husband believed in it very strongly, and I learned a lot from her on how she handled the situation, choosing to wait until her son was a year old and going to a specialist vs immediately after birth.

 

Quote · 884 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

I didn't get to watch the video yet, but its nice to hear both sides.

 

For some, its a religious/cultural ritual.

 

For others, its a matter of choice/preference.

 

Either way, I'm so glad that we are respecting each other's decisions and not condemning anyone.

 

Hindsight is everything.  Gosh, there are so many things I would change being a first time parent.

 

However, circumcision was a choice that I knew I would make for my son and is not one of the things that I would change.  He is happy with the decision and actually thanked me for having it done for him.  They don't tell you this at the hospital, but I learned about this while pregnant, that they do not give an anesthetic unless one is specifically requested.  So I did request for my son to get a local anesthetic for his procedure.

 

Quote · 883 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

 

I didn't get to watch the video yet, but its nice to hear both sides.

 

For some, its a religious/cultural ritual.

 

For others, its a matter of choice/preference.

 

Either way, I'm so glad that we are respecting each other's decisions and not condemning anyone.

 

Hindsight is everything.  Gosh, there are so many things I would change being a first time parent.

 

However, circumcision was a choice that I knew I would make for my son and is not one of the things that I would change.  He is happy with the decision and actually thanked me for having it done for him.  They don't tell you this at the hospital, but I learned about this while pregnant, that they do not give an anesthetic unless one is specifically requested.  So I did request for my son to get a local anesthetic for his procedure.

 

Was there a particular reason why you knew you wanted to?  Smile

Quote · 847 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

Moms, thought you'd be interested to hear about this development:

 

German court rules religious circumcisions a crime (via BabyCenter.com)

http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/06262012german-court-rules-religious-circumcision-a-crime/?scid=bcToday

 

The original care2.com story that the BabyCenter story based its report on:

http://www.care2.com/causes/german-court-circumcision-for-religious-reasons-is-a-crime.html

 

(Note: When I post story links like this, it does not signify I'm advocating one way or another. The purpose is to provide information.)

Your Moms In Hawaii Editor, Founder & Chief Executive Mom ... at your service!
Quote · 847 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

I saw that and thought it was very interesting. I can see how many would view it as a type of religious persecution, but let's say a religion wanted to trim the tops of babies' ears, for example. Would that be okay? Lots of people believe cropping a puppy's ears is wrong and it's illegal in some places, and nobody would dream of doing it to their child. We're horrified at the practice of foot binding, and FGM (female circumcision) is illegal in the US and most of the world.

 

I am conflicted, but ultimately the question is what's best for the child, not the parents. We made that decision on FGM despite longstanding cultural practices and traditions. And as someone pointed out, it's not illegal to get a circumcision in Germany, only for parents to circumcise their children before the age of consent.

Quote · 833 days ago · 1 people like this ·
 

Our pediatrician called it "cosmetic surgery."  I wouldn't have it done on myself (well, barring crazy circumstances) so I wouldn't and didn't choose it for my son.  If he wants to have it done later on in life, that's his choice.  :)

Quote · 827 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

I considered this issue very much with my son.  After all the research I did, I agreed that it was a unnecessary cosmetic procedure.  However, in the end, we did circumcise our son at the hospital.  In a way, I kind of felt bulldozed by the social and family pressure to circumcise.  I'm currently expecting and if the next baby is a boy, he will be circumcised as well,  mainly because my husband and first son are circumcised and for cultural reasons.   Personally, I think it looks better too.

Quote · 825 days ago · 1 people like this ·
 

I find it so interesting how we as a society can be OK with something that has evidence of damaging a human being. Not only physically but for the.rest of their life...there are nerves in that area as you can imagine that effect sexual function and all our life experiences are kept with us the rest of our lives. Not only consciously but in our cellular memory as well. We don't do it to females (unless it somehow made us look better) yet we do this to males.

Quote · 824 days ago · 2 people like this ·
 

Personally, I wouldn't circumcise. Currently I have two daughters (and thankfully in our country it is not customary to circumcise girls) but I've done a great deal of research and simply couldn't take that choice from any of my children nor subject them to the pain and long-term effects of circumcision.

 

I know in our country this is a very sensitive topic, we've all been so conditioned to think circumcision is normal or beneficial, but the reality is that the majority of the world doesn't circumcise and many other countries don't understand why it has been common place in the US (the rates are falling, it's actually shifting to where most parents don't circumcise).  I think moms should definitely be encouraged to watch the procedure and research first, there are just so many myths out there and I truly believe that if more moms were informed they'd choose not to circumcise. Some of my best friends are very vocal now about circumcision because they circumcised their son without information and their baby faced complication, my heart goes out to them.

 

I was actually at the booth for DrMomma.org at the New Baby Expo, handing information out and explaining the procedure. There are a lot of things I think moms don't know and it breaks my heart when someone tells me that they wish they'd known before hand. Particularly as a CLC I find that many moms wish that someone had told them that circumcision can make breastfeeding more difficult :( I know we all make choices that we later regret, and wish we were better informed on. I hope anyone stopping by here takes just a moment to take a look at the links below, particularly any moms hoping to breastfeed. There is also a local chapter for information on this topic, called Intact Hawaii (facebook.com/IntactHI)

 


http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/are-you-fully-informed.html

 

http://www.drmomma.org/2012/06/womanly-art-of-breastfeeding.html


 

Quote · 814 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

 

I didn't get to watch the video yet, but its nice to hear both sides.

 

For some, its a religious/cultural ritual.

For others, its a matter of choice/preference.

Either way, I'm so glad that we are respecting each other's decisions and not condemning anyone.

Hindsight is everything.  Gosh, there are so many things I would change being a first time parent.

 

However, circumcision was a choice that I knew I would make for my son and is not one of the things that I would change.  He is happy with the decision and actually thanked me for having it done for him.  They don't tell you this at the hospital, but I learned about this while pregnant, that they do not give an anesthetic unless one is specifically requested.  So I did request for my son to get a local anesthetic for his procedure.

 

Couldn't agree more!  We chose NOT to circumcise DS.  When we were talking to his ped. while I was still pregnant, this was one topic she brought up.  Interestingly enough, while she didn't flat out state it, she definitely seemed to be against circumcision.  She basically told us there was no medical need for it, it's not necessarily cleaner, etc.  She said the number of boys that are UNCIRCUMCISED are going up.  The main reasons for doing it are cultural/religous.  Etc.  She also said that even though she could numb it, they could still feel it.  So we decided against it.  He was born with it, he'll keep it.  LOL.  I must say though, for some boys, it's medically necessary.

Whoa, I didn't even know that it could interfere with breast feeding!  I guess I never thought about it!


There's so much we need to know as parents, before becoming parents!  :(

I think as parents, we all try to do the best to make the best choices for our children.  The thing that bothers me the MOST is hearing people (and I hear it A LOT), who talk negatively about uncircumcised penises.  It makes me really sad, actually.  I know these people who are saying it don't even realize the my son isn't circumcised, but it bothers me.

Quote · 814 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

 

 

I didn't get to watch the video yet, but its nice to hear both sides.

 

For some, its a religious/cultural ritual.

For others, its a matter of choice/preference.

Either way, I'm so glad that we are respecting each other's decisions and not condemning anyone.

Hindsight is everything.  Gosh, there are so many things I would change being a first time parent.

 

However, circumcision was a choice that I knew I would make for my son and is not one of the things that I would change.  He is happy with the decision and actually thanked me for having it done for him.  They don't tell you this at the hospital, but I learned about this while pregnant, that they do not give an anesthetic unless one is specifically requested.  So I did request for my son to get a local anesthetic for his procedure.

 

Couldn't agree more!  We chose NOT to circumcise DS.  When we were talking to his ped. while I was still pregnant, this was one topic she brought up.  Interestingly enough, while she didn't flat out state it, she definitely seemed to be against circumcision.  She basically told us there was no medical need for it, it's not necessarily cleaner, etc.  She said the number of boys that are UNCIRCUMCISED are going up.  The main reasons for doing it are cultural/religous.  Etc.  She also said that even though she could numb it, they could still feel it.  So we decided against it.  He was born with it, he'll keep it.  LOL.  I must say though, for some boys, it's medically necessary.

Whoa, I didn't even know that it could interfere with breast feeding!  I guess I never thought about it!


There's so much we need to know as parents, before becoming parents!  :(

I think as parents, we all try to do the best to make the best choices for our children.  The thing that bothers me the MOST is hearing people (and I hear it A LOT), who talk negatively about uncircumcised penises.  It makes me really sad, actually.  I know these people who are saying it don't even realize the my son isn't circumcised, but it bothers me.

(((HUGS))) amazing the mean, hurtful things parents say to other parents about other's children! Frown

 

Could you PM me your Ped's info please?  I'd love to keep track of which pediatricians are actually practicing using evidenced based care Smile

Quote · 809 days ago · 1 people like this ·
 

 

The thing that bothers me the MOST is hearing people (and I hear it A LOT), who talk negatively about uncircumcised penises.  It makes me really sad, actually.  I know these people who are saying it don't even realize the my son isn't circumcised, but it bothers me.

Oh, I would LOVE to hear someone say something negative in front of me (and my uncircumcised kid)!!

Quote · 809 days ago · 1 people like this ·
 

 

 

The thing that bothers me the MOST is hearing people (and I hear it A LOT), who talk negatively about uncircumcised penises.  It makes me really sad, actually.  I know these people who are saying it don't even realize the my son isn't circumcised, but it bothers me.

Oh, I would LOVE to hear someone say something negative in front of me (and my uncircumcised kid)!!

Something I often find myself telling DH when we argue about things...if it's not yours, related, associated or otherwise...best keep your comments (especially negative ones about sensitive topics!) to yourself Wink and stop judging and being negative about something that has no effect on you or our family's welfare and educate yourself!

 

Quote · 808 days ago · 1 people like this ·
 

I think it's so sad that adults make negative comments.  For cultural reasons, our dear friend chose not to circumcise her 2 sons.  My son was around them and when they were younger did see each other.  Neither my son or my friend's sons ever ridiculed each other.  They did notice that they were different from each other, but never really even made any comments other than notice that they were different.  Had either of them even began to comment about the other negatively, we as parents would have definitely stepped in.  For an adult to be the one making the comments, how shame.  We should be the examples.  I have my own personal reasons for allowing my son to be circumcised just as my friend had for having hers not.  We never judged or questioned the other, it was just the way it was and I think that's the example that we should be setting for our kids.

Quote · 808 days ago · 2 people like this ·
 

Totally agree!! Oh, and just to be clear, the people who made comments were nowhere near my son, nor did they realize he was not circumcized. If that WERE the case, it totally would have been on like Donkey Kong! It was just sad to hear them comment so negatively, especially for such superficial reasons! I did let them know, though, that I chose not to circumcize him, and why. Parents shouldn't have to explain themselves with such an issue, but I thought I'd educate them a little. :-P I remember a friend once asking my opinion about circumcision. I told her, and I also told her to just do some research and talk to the pediatrician about it, and make an educated choice about what would be best for HER baby. :)

Quote · 795 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

Ladies, I meant to respond to this thread a long time ago, and I drafted a response on my desktop and then actually forgot to post it! So sorry! =P

First I want to say that I'm glad this topic has been brought up. Very important discussion for us all to have. Because there really has been a shortage of information out there about this until recent years. Parents need to hear all sides and stories so that they can make the best-informed decision that feels right to them.

In our family's case, my husband was adamant about having the procedure done. He'd grown up around boys who teased un-c boys unmercifully. I wasn't going to argue with him because I felt that that the male-socialization issue was something that I, lacking the equipment and Y chromosome, could not fully understand and appreciate.

Still, I did do a ton of reading about the issue beforehand. Our pediatrician, an extremely gentle man whom we adore and trust wholly, pledged to do the procedure himself and was happy to sit patiently with us for a loooooong time while we asked a million questions. I asked if I could breastfeed while it was done, and he said no; he did need to strap in my son, but that is so that he could be very precise and quick about the procedure. I saw his point; we sure did not want any accidents to happen if my son flailed around. We also talked at length about different painkilling methods. In the end, DS got a numbing cream, and a pacifier with a little sugar water on it to help distract him. Our doc and the nurse said our son actually did not cry. My son was brought back to me as soon as he was cleaned up, and honestly he did not seem overly perturbed or uncomfortable, then or in the days afterward. (Maybe it's because he was an extremely mellow baby to start with.) The healing was quick and uneventful.

But again ... this was our experience. I'm definitely not saying everyone should do it this way. I'm just sharing how it went for us, to add to the bank of knowledge and stories on this topic.


Your Moms In Hawaii Editor, Founder & Chief Executive Mom ... at your service!
Quote · 795 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

Great topic!

I had both my boys circumcised.

I don't regret my decision though.

It was something I knew I wanted to do.

However, I totally respect people who chose not to either, it's their choice.

Quote · 795 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

So, what does everyone think about their childs right to choose.  Rightly, it is their body that they have to live with for the rest of their life...should they be the ones to choose when they are old enough to make an educated decision?

 

Or is it the 'right' of the parent to say how their son's body should be?

 


Quote · 794 days ago · 1 people like this ·
 

Interesting way to look at it.  However, as parents we make so many life changing decisions for our kids when they are babies -- to breastfeed or bottlefeed -- or both, to make our own baby food or purchase, to give meds/vaccines or not.  Many parents also pierce their children's ears.  So for me that was just one decision that I made and my son thanked me for.  It would seem more traumatizing to have it done say as a coming of age thing where the child gets to decide -- or even if there are people who would perform it.  Interesting to think about, though and find out more about for those who are still having kids.

Quote · 793 days ago · 0 people like this ·
 

MamaMia, the big difference between circumcision and the other things you mentioned is that (with the rare exception of extreme vaccine reactions) is that circumcision is NOT reversible. Even with ear piercings (which I would not choose for an infant or young child), they'll heal when you remove the earrings. So I believe in erring on the side of caution and NOT doing it so my boys can choose for themselves when they're older. I'd rather tell them that I wasn't comfortable putting them through the procedure (which does have real risks) when I didn't know what they would want as adults than feel guilt when they realized they were missing a part of their bodies and felt incomplete. Should they decide to have it done later in life, I'm sure there are plenty of skilled urologists who could perform the procedure and the complications are fewer than for infants since they're fully grown and there is a much lower risk from blood loss.

When my oldest was 3, he was flipping through a small album of his newborn photos. As he was born 2 months premature, they were hospital images, and in one the photo had cropped right at his belly and the umbilical clamp was visible. He burst into tears and asked what happened to his penis. I had to reassure him absolutely nothing had been done to him and explained what the clamp was. At that moment I knew, without a doubt, I'd made the right decision.

Quote · 793 days ago · 1 people like this ·
 

I think most of the decisions we make do stay with our children in some way forever.  Like about feeding and immunizations, those are also irreversible.  About what kind of food you choose to feed your children.  And I had an wrong ear piercing when I was a baby and my scar is still there.  Sure, I still have an earlobe, but it hasn't retained its shape.  But most definitely I understand that we're talking about something different here and I think it's great that you are happy with your decision just as I was happy with the one that I made.  And I'm happy that we are able to share without judging each other for the decisions that we made and can be comfortable just to share in our whys.  Perhaps it will help another mother who is facing the decision to make a more informed choice.

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