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Moms Talk Q&A: Circumcision

This week's Moms Talk Q&A focuses on the controversial practice of circumcision.

Moms Talk Q&A is a forum designed to give hard-working parents a place to ask questions and have an open and honest discussion about the issues they face. You ask the questions and the offers their answers.

This week's Moms Talk Q&A focuses on the controversial practice of circumcision.

You're in labor giving birth to your new bouncing baby boy. Emotions are high, and after a long and productive labor, you spend the better part of a day getting to know your son. The two of you are blissfully happy, then in comes a nurse jolting you back to reality with the question:

Q: Are you going to have your son circumcised?

A: With all four of my sons, within moments of knowing I was bringing a baby boy into our lives, I had the feeling in my belly of dread and anxiety over circumcision. I was pretty certain it had to be performed, but not knowing how it would affect my son was horrible.  

Each time it was done, there were different protocols in place. Over the span of 14 years, the actual procedure was nearly identical, but the preparation of the baby was vastly different. Knowing what I know, I've compiled a few tips to help lessen the discomfort of your son (and his mommy!)

  • If it can be done in the presence of the baby's parents, insist on being next to your baby to soothe him and hold him.
  • Ask your pediatrician if it's possible to administer some pain medication (Tylenol) about an hour before the circumcision.
  • Time it to where your baby will be able to nurse (or take a bottle) immediately following the procedure (most nurses will let you know their schedule ahead of time so you can plan your baby's feeding times).
  • Depending on the current protocol in place, you will need to treat this area with antibiotic gel or something of the like, topped by a small square of gauze. Keeping the area protected from the diaper, and its contents will keep the baby comfortable after the circumcision is complete.

 

A: Well, not having sons, I have never had to wonder, but when I found out about both my pregnancies, the question came up for sure.

My husband, the naturalist, was completely against it. I was for it given my (few and far between) experiences working in a hospital and hearing horror stories of adult men who suffered the indignity of having it done as an emergency procedure. So there are a few considerations to keep in mind including: personal experience, religious affiliation and medical history.

The one point I would like to clarify is that circumcision should be discussed and decided upon prior to the day you give birth!

Craig Ginsberg March 21, 2011 at 07:59 PM
when the RCT's came out the first Cochrane Collaboration Report on circumcision cautioned about researcher bias, stating: “Circumcision practices are largely culturally determined, so there are strong beliefs and opinions surrounding them. It is important to acknowledge that researchers’ personal biases and dominant circumcision practices of their respective countries may influence interpretation of findings.”13 13. Siegfried N, Muller M, Volmink J, Deeks J, Egger M, Low N, Weiss H, Walker S, Williamson P. Male circumcision for prevention of heterosexual acquisition of HIV in men (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2003. Oxford.
Craig Ginsberg March 21, 2011 at 08:00 PM
why have i never seen a Japanese or Indian, or south American researcher publish a circ study that claims benefit?
Craig Ginsberg March 21, 2011 at 08:25 PM
also if you are to push the claim that there are no nerves in the foreskin you should try reading my research above, look up my references and read them, If i am wrong, which i am not, it should be easy for you to discredit this.
Michelle March 21, 2011 at 09:03 PM
The question: Should you circumcise your son? Its tragic its even a question. Being born healthy does not warrant surgery. The human blueprint included the prepuce organ for both females and males as a default setting. You're already born intact. Someone, a culture, the media, articles (much like this one) will try to influence parents to elect their son for the removal of a normal body part. Someone had to convinced the parents to sign a "piece of paper" risking the amputation of all or parts of his genitals. Some questions are subjective. Pro-cutting health care providers wishing to make an egotistical, as well as, a monetary profit will often phrase this question, "Do you desire to circumcise your son?" This is solicitation. FACT: The AAP does NOT recommend routine infant circumcision. They do encourage doctors to speak with their client's parents. At the same time, the hospital has a strict protocol that states: DO NOT TELL PARENTS ANYTHING UNLESS THEY ASK. You are forbidden to read a "consent form" until AFTER you meet your son. You've just given birth for goodness sakes! You and your partner is exhausted from an amazing feat! Are you really in your best mind frame to even consider an irreversible arbitrary genital surgery? Are doctors soliciting for the removal of any other healthy body part? There should be a SLEEPING DOG'S POLICY: Don't ask parents, "Would you like your son circumcise?" Are you keeping your son INTACT?
Hugh7 March 23, 2011 at 09:21 AM
Julieanne: "There are no nerve endings. " The research showing there are many thousands of nerve endings is Taylor, J.P., A.P. Lockwood and A.J.Taylor The prepuce: Specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision Journal of Urology (1996), 77, 291-295 If there are no nerve endings in the foreskin, why does arch-circumcisionist Brian Morris recommend circumcision "to prevent zipper injury"? Zipper injury in a part with no nerve endings would be painless. It is not. Please stop repeating nonsense. "The nerve endings are in the GLANS and the FRENULUM. WHICH is not removed during circumcision." The frenulum is a poor remnant of the ridged band, which Taylor discovered, and which encircles the inside of the tip of the foreskin. The frenulum is frequently removed by circumcision, at the whim of the circumciser, as you can see here. http://www.circumstitions.com/Restric/Images/Comparison/fren1-2.jpg (NSFW)

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