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Convincing Myself Circumcision Is Ok

My husband and I are expecting our first little boy soon and I decided to leave the circumcision decision up to him. He told me last night that he has talked to his friends with sons and has decided that if we don't circumcise ours, he will be one of the few different kids in the locker room some day. Now I just can't bear the thought that I've carried and protected this little guy for so long now and soon after he joins the world I am supposed to let something so traumatic happen to him.

I don't want to spark any debates; I just want to know how some other moms have dealt with the thought of having a painful, "cosmetic" (we have no religious reason to circumcise), procedure done to their newborns.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Just like any other hot topic, the people on either side find and embrace the information that supports THEIR decision. I did not have my son circumcised, a decision that came about after accidently walking in on a circumcision being done in the hospital after my oldest daughter was born. Say all you want about a boy/man not remembering that pain - I will never ever forget the sight of that baby strapped down spread eagle and the sounds of his screams. So, my son is now 20, and it's never been an issue for him at school nor has he had a problem with hygiene. If it bothered him, he could chose to have it done as an adult, and done with proper anesthesia, wouldn't be a big deal.

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KT
My son was born 7 months ago and we did have him circumcised. I actually did not give it any thought and had no idea it was such a hot topic. My husband was circumcised and all the boys/men I know are also circumcised and it just seemed like the "normal" thing to do.

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Well, if you don't feel good about the decision then maybe you should reexamine it. Circ is permanent. It can always be done later but it can never be undone.

I am an L & D nurse and after watching many circ procedures I can tell you there is no way I had my son circumcised. The reason babies sleep so well afterwards is becuase they are scream the whole time during the circ. Not saying that to make you feel guilty or bad about your decision, I am just pointing that out as a fact. However traumatic someone believes it is or isn't, the fact is that a baby spends the time naked, strapped to a board, having the skin pulled off the end of their penis. Even if they are given pain meds (which not all are) it is a still an injection of lidocaine in the base of the penis, which if you have ever had, it burns a lot. All of this in the first couple of days of life.

The Research that has been cited on HIV Transmission Reduction is from a flawed study- in fact the study was halted before completion due to its unscientific design. Circ rate in the US is currently about 50-50, and has been going down steaadily over the past few years. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend circ on the basis that there are no tangible health benefits.

I'm sorry to post all of this negative information- I really don't want to make you feel worse about this but I do think that people are entitled to all of the information. Perhaps have your husband watch a video of a circumcision and print off circumcision stats to show him. As for the argument that the son should look like his father- when was the last time your husband saw his dad's penis?

Anyway, I hope this post isn't too much of a downer and I do with you luck with your upcoming birth and making yourself comfortable with whatever you decide. Please send me a message if you want any additional circumcision resources.

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Hi K T,

I can't tell you what to do but I can tell you what I did. I have 2 boys. My oldest will be 4 next month and my youngest turned 1 at the end of July. My husband is circumsized. We did not circumsize the boys. I told my husband that my feeling is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. We don't remove any other parts of our body if there isn't anything wrong with them, unless we're doing it to donate to someone or something. So I told my husband that's how I felt but if he wanted them done then to go ahead but he had to be the one to take them. He couldn't do it either so that's how we came to our decision. I know alot of people today who didn't have their son done either. So I think by the time he's all grown up he won't be alone!!!

So I guess that's my opinion and my experience. Good luck with whatever you decide and it's only the first of many!!!

Take care,

N.

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There is always going to be a LOT of debate on this subject so my best advice to you is to do what YOU & YOUR HUSBAND feel comfortable with. We chose to have it done and it was done when our son was still in NICU (he was a preemie). I hated teh idea of that he was going to hurt but the procedure took less time that it did for me to pump (breastmilk). Afterwards when I came back, my son was fine - he wasn't even crying and we just cuddled the rest of the day. He's 15 months old now and if there were any lingering effects, I have yet to see them.

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We had our twin sons circumcised for two reasons. One was so they could fit in in our culture; most boys in the US are still circumcised and, whether it's fair or not, the uncircumcised boys are often the brunt of teasing (sometimes cruel taunts). I have a male friend who wasn't circumcised who was teased a lot in the locker room; partly as a result of his experience, he had his two sons circumcised. The other reason (and the main deciding factor for us) is that scientists have discovered that circumcised men are much less likely to get STDs and infections. Of course, this doesn't mean that circumcised men can't get STDs, but being circumcised does offer extra protection (and as much as we don't like to think about it, our sons will be sexually active someday). In the end, it's up to your husband and you; do your research, but whatever you decide, don't let anyone badger you about it. Good luck!

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Just like any other hot topic, the people on either side find and embrace the information that supports THEIR decision. I did not have my son circumcised, a decision that came about after accidently walking in on a circumcision being done in the hospital after my oldest daughter was born. Say all you want about a boy/man not remembering that pain - I will never ever forget the sight of that baby strapped down spread eagle and the sounds of his screams. So, my son is now 20, and it's never been an issue for him at school nor has he had a problem with hygiene. If it bothered him, he could chose to have it done as an adult, and done with proper anesthesia, wouldn't be a big deal.

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The research states that getting a circumcision does lower risk of UTI. I have done a few when I worked out in san diego and not a single baby cried for more than a second...usually we either used sugar water or a finger (glove on) for the baby to suck on. Once the procedure was done, the baby was swaddled and returned to mommy and usually asleep by the time he got there.. I am indian and not a single male I know has had one w/o issue...good luck making the decision, there are pamplets adn hand outs that go over pros and cons at many of the prenatal classes as well as doctor's offices...hope that helps!

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We made the tough decision to circumcise our son 6 years ago and although it was a tough decision, I don't regret it a bit. Instead I feel more comfortable that he will not feel different in the locker room or more importantly as an adult in an intimate relationship. Our physician recommended that we leave and walk around the area where the office is located because he knew it could be upsetting. He also has sons and chose to circumcise them as well, and said that he and his wife chose to not be present. Immediately after we returned, a nurse called us back inside, and I nursed my son for comfort and we went home. We followed the doctor's care instructions and never saw any residual trauma in our son who to this day doesn't remember it. I know that many hospitals do the procedure, if selected, before the baby goes home from the hospital. Our hospital didn't offer that option, so we had to go to the doctor's office a couple of days later for the procedure. Just know that whatever choice you make will be the perfect choice for your family. Good luck!

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Not to make light of this, but other kids will find something to make fun of your son about... kids are just cruel to each other!! No one is safe, and you shouldn't make a decision based on "what other people think." Trust your gut, and know that he will be just fine either way. Good luck!

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I don't have any sons, but my husband and I have dicussed this issue. He is strongly for circumcision. My husband was not. Given the fact that he was the only one of four boys who was not, we think that is may have been an economic decision for his parents. My husband said that being uncircumcised has always been a problem for him. The harsh fact of life is that anybody "different" for what ever reason, is usually ridiculed.

My husband has also mentioned that if he was circumcised, that he wouldn't have to deal with the yeast infections he gets whenever I have one.

Good luck. What ever decision you make, know you are making it with love and believe in the choice you make.

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we didn't do it. As for the locker room debate or Daddy looks different kids don't really have a negative opinion and these days no TEEN is going to admit he was checking out another kids member, he would be labeled gay, far worse than uncut. There is a great website that list a lot of famous men who are too. I recently read that being uncut is the greatest sex tool that money can't buy because the skin stimulates the womans clitoris. It is such a hard choice, if you Really feel good about it have it done, if not don't do it. He could have it done later and it wouldn't be more difficult than other cosmetic procedures teens have done these days.
nose jobs, implants etc... good luck

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Hi. Firstly I want you to know I am a nurse and I am biased. However, I will provide you with some unbiased information. It has been proven in multiple medical studies that people who are circumcised have statistically significant lower rates of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. From a hygiene standpoint, it is also much cleaner (I work in an ICU and I can vouch for that). We also see A LOT of adult circumcisions that need to be performed because of various problems which I will not go into detail on. From a psychological standpoint, it is nice for the son to have similar anatomy to the father. I will say this - there is a movement out there against circumcision (people feel it's cruel and unnecessary) and I don't believe your son would be the only one to be uncircumcised, if that is your decision. If you do decide to do it, ask that they give your son lots of numbing medication. I agree that the process itself is a little cruel. I decided to circumcise my son and they did it within 5 minutes (he was back in my room and acted like nothing happened). The doc promised to numb him up good and she must have done a good job. There is risk of infection but it does not often happen. I would recommend asking your OB more about this (and make sure that they are the ones that do the circ - not a resident). Also, if you are interviewing pediatricians, they might be a good resource. There is no wrong answer. If you decide to get a circ, your son will not be psychologically traumatized - I promise. If you decide to forgo, trust in your decision because it's the right one for you and your family.

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HI KT. You are doing what I think all moms do, worry. We will always worry about our children. I think that your husband has a good point about getting the circumcision done. Most boys have it done and it could be an issue when he is much older in the locker room and maybe even with the girls when he gets to that point (I know whe don't like to think about that). Anyway, my son (4) got circumcisised. There was never a debate about it. I told my husband it was his choice, like you, and he right away said we would have it done. I did not like to think about it, so I did not. We came to the agreement before our children were born that if it was a penis issue, he'd deal with it and a vagina issue, I'd deal with it. It has worked well so far.

As to in the hospital. I don't know if I was allowed to watch, but I DID NOT WATCH! I told them that I didn't even want to know when they were doing it, so they did not tell me. I had an idea though because he was gone for a while. They brought him back to me, and he was sound asleep, like an angel. Your son will most likely sleep A LOT right afterwards. That is normal, it's their defense mechanism. They also sleep a lot after they get their shots, which you are there for. The thing to keep in mind is, although the actual procedure is happening to him, YOU will hurt more. When you are holding him afterwards, he won't remember a thing about it...but you will. I still remember holding my son afterwards and the feelings that I had and it was 4 years ago. We always hold on to these things much longer than our children do because we do not want them to have any pain. For a few weeks afterwards, you have to "pull the skin down"...that made me sick to think about and I really couldn't do it...That's when the penis issue came up and my husband did that (we only had to do it once a day). I never saw my son cry because of the circumcision!

Something to keep in mind, like I said before, we make the things worse in our head and keep the guilt for ever when the child will never remember these things. My daughter (4 months old right now) was born with a tooth and had to have it pulled at 2 weeks old because it was loose. One would think that it is no big deal because kids lose the teeth all the time...yes but older kids who can talk and verbalize what is going on loose their teeth and you know what can make that feel better. But a baby, having a tooth pulled, was kind of tramatic for me. We took her to the oral surgeon and he said that he could probably pull it out right then and there...well, next thing I know I have two nurses next to me holding my arms and taking me to a chair. So, they did "surgery" instead of just pulling it out. She got a local anesthetic and got her tooth taken out. She was crying when she came out to me, but that was probably because they wouldn't let her eat and she hadn't eaten for 12 hours. Her mouth was bloody and you could see the stitch. I couldn't feed her, I was so limp because of seeing that. My husband had to feed her. She is fine and I know that she won't ever remember that, but I will always remember the feelings that I had.

It's natural to want to protect your child. We never want our children to hurt, but sometimes we have to have things done that will be better for them in the long run. That is what you should have running through your head. Try very hard not to think about the actual event, and just hold your baby when he comes back and tell everyone what a trooper he is. Give him extra kisses and hugs. Enjoy your new baby...they truly grow up too fast!

Best of luck!
A.

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Before our son was circumcised we thought it over too. Our thoughts came down to this---for some reason boys/men see each other naked a lot more often than women and as a part of that we wanted our son to be the "same" as his father/uncles/grandfather/etc. Mostly for future questions, modeling behaviors, etc. Also, there's a lot of cleaning issues that go along with being noncircumcised that while we could learn and reinforce for ourselves, we thought they would make potty training more difficult. When it came down to it the whole procedure was over in less than ten minutes and he only seemed uncomfortable while changing his diaper for the first couple of days. Then again changing his diaper before hand made him very uncomfortable too. Good luck with your decision.

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By all means have it done. Your husband is right--your don't want your son to be the butt of jokes in the locker room. Not to mention the health reasons for circumcision. My son had it and honestly they are fine right after---your son will be fine!

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I have always thought this was similar to ritual nonessential "procedures" done in third world countries.
Frankly it seem barbaric. There is some chatter about health benefits or something. AS far a different, I really think we live in a time where "different" is usually not a problem. Would he have some issues with others making comments? I don't know. I DO know that children taunt about anything and everything anyway so......Bottom line, do your research. One site I love is andrewweil.com or something like that. He is a Harvard Medical school graduate with one foot in Traditional medicine and one in alternative medicine. I find his imformation balanced and very helpful. He was on the cover of TIme Mag awhile back.....he is THAT well known.

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KT
My son was born 7 months ago and we did have him circumcised. I actually did not give it any thought and had no idea it was such a hot topic. My husband was circumcised and all the boys/men I know are also circumcised and it just seemed like the "normal" thing to do.

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Hey there, I hope you make the right decision for you and your family, but here's our story: My husband isn't circ'd and likens it to having (medically speaking) the hood of your clitoris cut off at birth. He says the foreskin keeps the glans protected, and how would you like it if your sensitive area was constantly rubbing on your undies... That said, we didn't have our son circ'd, not because of statistics or bec. my hub isn't, but because we don't think that it's a necessary pain that an infant should undergo. It's not a dirty thing; teaching your son to brush his teeth along w/ other general hygiene is part of growing up, as is showing him how to clean his "parts" (same as w/ girls). I see someone mentioned the SAfrica circumsision to help w/ HIV/AIDS, I'd have to argue that our country is far more advanced medically and hygienically, and that hopefully when your son becomes a sexual being, he will be smart enough to use protection. It's all just common sense to me. My husband said back in the 70s when he was in jr. high he was teased, his response was "why are you so interested in my penis?" which implying the gayness of the teasing typcially shut the boys up and he ended up becoming good friends w/ them. It seems most people do it just to conform w/ everyone else, fear of putting their child through "life", which is, in childhood, so rough. I would hope that the parents of those children who do circumsize also teach that everyone's different and NOT to make fun of the other kids. I fear that all those who do circumcise don't know that theirs are the kids who are the ones making all the fuss and pointing out the differences... I do know and understand and am not unrealistic about the passage of childhood -- lots of kids are mean, lots of them are nice, but I do hope we teach all our kids that being different is a great thing. Good luck either way, I know it's a hard decision to make. I Personally hope you don't do it, but am sure if your husband is circumcised, your son prob will be too, which i hope is fine w/ you, so long as he doesn't end up being cruel in the locker room later. :)

xoxo

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I don't think your question is, should you get it done or not - I think it's how to deal (in your own head) with your son getting it done, correct?

Circumcision reasons are irrelevant here, it's a medical procedure - look at it that way. If you are present when it happens, are you going to feel empathy? Sure. Are you going to feel "bad" - Yes, you will. Don't delude yourself and think there is a way not to. This is your son, and anytime he hurts - you will hurt. That's just the way it works as a mom.

But what you will find it that you are going to deal with similar situations throughout your child's life - medical procedures/painful situations - this is just your first one. So expect it to be painful emotionally. Yes, it will be hard.

Just my 2 cents. Alot of people unfortunately probably will turn this into a should you do it vs should you not do it. I don't think you are asking that. But of course I could be reading this wrong.

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We had our son's circumcision done in the pediatricians office when he was about 4 days old. We don't regret it, he did not act like he was in pain afterwards, they used the plastibel. They numb the baby with lidocaine really well, the whole procedure takes about 10-15 min. and about 5 min. of that is waiting for the lidocaine to take good effect. I work in a pediatric office and a lot of the circumcision I have been in with the baby will fall asleep. But it's totally up to you, our doctors say there is no real medical reason to have it done. The way I was able to deal with it is because I see them done all the time and I know that he will not remember, I know that he will be numb, and in our opinion it's what we felt was best.

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Do any of the men you know that are circumcised remember it at all? No. He'll never hold it against you if you get it done, he may even thank you.

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KT
My son was born 5 years ago, and I went through the same thing. Ultimately, I decided to do the circumcision. It is better for them hygene wise, as they do not get the infections that they could get from dirt, etc getting under the skin. I talked to my husband about it, and he told me that it was going to have to be our decision. If we left it up to him, not only would he feel different from the other kids, but even if he wanted it done, he would probably opt against it, since no grown man really wants anybody cutting their penis. Yes, it was hard on him and he cried, but once they were done, they let me hold him and comfort him and he was fine. The best part is that since it was done so early, he doesn't remember it. My advice would be to have it done. Even though he may never formally say thank you, I am sure he will be glad that you made the decision for him at a young enough age that he won't ever have to worry about it or feel the pain from it later in life. Ask your hubby if he had the choice right now, would he do it or prefer that it was done when he was a baby? It may let you know how your son would feel. Good luck with your decision.

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Okay...is it really any more traumatic to them then the experience of CHILDBIRTH??? Really...they don't have the cognizant thought process like a grown adult or even a toddler and they have just been through what cannot be a pleasant experience, being born. Besides, it is healthier to have them circumcised. I did it with both my boys and don't regret it for a moment. I talked with my ped and he said it is WAY worse if they want to have it done as an adult...and it is cleaner.

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We circumcised my son when he was born (they did it in the hospital the day after his birth) and honestly, this may sound cold or uncaring...which I'm not,but I just didn't think about it. The Dr. took him away for about 10 minutes, brought him back, and he slept the rest of the day. I think the more you agonize over something...the more worked up you will get about it. If the decision has already been made, either way, then done! Don't even fret over it anymore because you will drive yourself insane! If you do it, he will be fine and won't even remember. Good luck! And cograts on a new baby!!

We went through a similar situation since we didn't know what we were having and had to come to a decision. After a lot of research, we decided that it would be okay and that if there was a dural block to stop the pain that we would get it. I know that there is information going both ways and ultimately it is a personal decision. We didn't end up having to do it b/c our baby was a girl. I wish you all the best in your decision.

I had a hard time too. I tried educating myself on the process by reading about it on the Internet. That only grossed me out more. Finally I just accepted the fact that however Daddy was, that's how my son should be. If they're not, one day they'll be the shower together and your son will wonder why Daddy looks different than he does.

Hi KT

I posted this very same question about 14 weeks ago before expecting my new son. I had the exact same misgivings as you and got a lot of helpful advice here. We did end up having our son circumsized and I do not regret the decision. I too spoke to several people about it and the overwhelming majority advised to circumsize. I decided to circumsize because of cleanliness concerns and I didn't want him to be "different" in the locker room or bedroom later. Plus, my husband is circumsized and wouldn't hear of not having it done for his son. I also heard from wives whose husbands had not been circumsized when they were babies and decided to have it done later in thier lives and it was apparently very painful. When they brought my son back after his circ he seemed fine. He didn't seem to be in any pain, even when I changed him and it didn't take long to heal. I think it's much much less traumatic for them when they are babies then when they get older and they decide they want/need it done. It's a tough decision......good luck!

A friend of mine had to wait to circumcise their son and it was painful when they had the procedure done when the child was older. I would make the decision for them while they are young enough to have no memory of the circumcision.

First off, congrats on your new addition. I fekt the same way you do, and I chose not to circumcise for a myriad of reasons, and everything has worked out great..he's almost five now. My hubbt was very against it for similiar reasons as your husband's until I made him watch a video of a circumcision, and backed up things with faacts for him on paper, then he was nopt so keen on it. Just so you know a recent statistic I read said that it is about 40 to 50 percent of newborn boys are not being circumcised now, so he would not be the only one in the locker room, also most of the world does not circumcise. The only thing I will say is that all my friends that have had that procedure done for their sons have made it through oksy, and baby will not remember, just you :(. Good luck.

Well, he's wrong unless things change a lot in this area soon. It's about 50/50 around here (Oak Park), according to our pediatrician and daycare provider. I think national statistics run about 60 (circ)/40 (non-circ). No matter what you do, he won't be the only one in the locker room.

My boys aren't circumcised and it's pretty much a non-issue as far as hygeine, etc. is concerned. No infections or anything.

For me, it was an emotional issue to not cut off part of my kid the moment he got here :-) so I understand where you're coming from about it being painful for you to go through. But I think if you are prepared for it you can just tell yourself that it's not a huge deal, and I really don't think it is. I'd make him go with the doctor for the procedure, though, not you. Also, make sure they use a local anesthetic.

Hi there! We went back and forth on this - not arguing - but because either way it didn't really matter to us. In our case my husband is not circumcised and he didn't really have any ill feelings. So, we finally decided, in the hospital after he was born (like a last minute - the dr. is here are ya gonna sort of thing) to do so. It really didn't even seem to phase him at all and it was healed within a couple of days. We struggled with - Will he worry about being different? - or - What if he worries about being different from daddy?

Hope all goes well. And congrats on the baby on the way!

KT,
I have a little boy and a boy on the way, and I felt the same way. I left it up to my husband and my husband is circumcised. My thoughts were I wanted my son to look like his father so when the potty training began, they would have the same "equipment." I know it seems and is painful, but truly they won't remember. On another note, my college boyfriend was not circumcised and he made every effort to appear like he was. He seemed almost ashamed that he was not circumcised. It's a very tough decision and I wish you the best of luck. Good luck with delivery too!

Just make sure your husband is sure. My family is all for circumsion but my husbands side is not. So I decided to do some research and it was pretty interesting. Hopefully boys aren't looking at eachothers penises in the locker rooms. My stepson I asked him if he felt different he said no, cause I too wondered. There is no way to deal with the painful surgery. If it is unnessary a person probably couldn't help but to feel awful. Either way good luck.

Many moe people are NOT doing it now, seen as unnecessary. But some say (and I agree) that son should look like daddy. Whatever that is ; ).
Better to do now then when he can remember. It was very difficult for me afterwards seeing how purply it was, it suprised me. I felt like I hurt him. But looking back we're glad we made that decision. Save infections for him and his future wife! It's only extra skin...

I too struggled with this for MONTHS! Luckily, I have a brother who is only 21 who my parents did not circumcise. After speaking with him at length about weather he was happy with their decision he said no. That it was hard going through life "different." He said that it didn't bother him quite enough to go through with the surgery at this point, but that often times throughout his life, he had considered it. That was enough for me. I decided to go ahead and proceed with the surgery.

I couldn't pass him off while they did it though, so I actually insisted on going with them when they did it. The doctor numbed the area that they used the anesthetic on, gave him a pacifier with sugar water, and he barely made a peep. It is a completely different world than it was when we were kids.

On the flip side, I have several friends who chose not to circumcise, so if you decide not to, then the likelihood is that he would not be the only one.

On another note, my brother also had frequent issues with infections growing up, and a day care worker recently injured a friend of mines son on accident trying to clean inside the skin flap. I am in a nanny share with another little boy who is not and his gets dirty all the time, my brother (also my nanny) had to teach the parents how to properly keep it clean. So, it is not completely cosmetic, because it really does help to keep the area clean.

Good luck, it is a tough decision, and nobody can make it for the two of you but you. As long as you educate yourself if you don't and make sure they take measures to make him comfortable if you do, you will all be fine either way.

Jen

Thanks,
Jen

we went through the same thing but ultimately we both agreed with your husband.
and I'm a totally organic mom---planned on delivering without an epidural... all of that.
we had an amazing family practitioner at the hospital who convinced us that it wasn't the tramatic event that some would have you believe. they numb the area up first before cutting. talk to your pediatrician about it. you'll feel better.

I decided to respond to this because I felt like I was in your exact position 6 months ago before my son was born. After reading about circumcision a ton and talking with my husband at length about the pros and cons, we decided that we would not do it. We also had no religious reason to do it. I was also worried about the "locker room" situation and talked to my brother about it who is a Jr. High physical education teacher - he said that the boys don't even care or talk about that and the kids usually shower with their bathing suits on (which I thought was weird). But nowadays, the percentage is growing for parents choosing against it (I think it's only about 60% of newborns getting routine circumcision)and the kids are used to having differences from each other.

Who knows...you have to do whatever feels right to you and your husband - babies seem to do well either way. I do know someone though who had a problem with the circumsision and her little boy (1 year old) is going through a tough time as they are trying to correct the problem. On the other hand, my sister chose to circumcise her son (who is now 2) and hasn't had any issues. ??? Good luck with your decision!

I too thought how could I possibly do this to my brand new baby son. I went back and forth and back and forth and after talking with the doctor decided to have it done. It is a very fast procedure that took less than 5 minutes and it is better for your child to have it done. Speak with you doctor and he will help you make a decision. Actually my son had it done and we went home 20 minutes later. There is no blood it just is red. Congratulations and enjoy being a mom.It is the best...

KT,

I have two sons, 2 and a half and 4 mths old, and neither one of them are circumsed. Both my husband and I feel it is an unnecessary procedure, although at first I wanted my sons to be circumsed. I left the decision up to my husband and he is not circumsed either. Neither of my sons have had any infections. My brother and nephew were circumsed and they both had to have their penises recircumsed later and it was very painful. HTH!

K.

KT,

We went thru the same thing 2 years ago. I wanted the procedure and my husband did not. I had a doctor come in an explain everything to my husband. Since the child is so young they do NOT remember it. They numb the area and it takes about 2 weeks to heal as long as you do your part to replace the gauze and put more vaseline on there. The more you change the gauze the faster he will heal. The reason we ended up doing the procedure is because my nurse at the time came in and said that she could not help but to overhear our discussion and wanted to tell us what happened to her son. Her family decided not to do it and without the procedure being done you have to clean 10X better well when her son was 9 he ended up getting an infection and had to have the procedure at that age. He remembered the whole thing and was in tons of pain for weeks. That made up my mind for us. I would rather do it the day after he was born and hardly any pain then down the road lots of pain and the memory. I hope this helps.

We researched this extensively before we had our son, as well. My husband felt that he might be "left out" if he wasn't circumsized, but after all of our research (and a couple of friends having problems with the circumcision of their boys) we decided that since there was no "proven" medical reason for the circumcision, we would pass on it. I have one friend who's son had to have his circumcision redone at 14 months old...and he was miserable...and that cemented my decision that our little boy would not be circumsized. It IS a personal choice...and one that is right for each individual family. And, more important than doing it or not doing it, is the research you put into it. No matter what you decide to go with...make your decision based upon the facts. I have some friends who feel very strongly for circumcision...I have some friends who are very against it. They can all find the appropriate material to back up their claims. The important thing is that you research all of the pros and cons of this...and then make your decision based upon your "gut feeling". A mother's intuition is never wrong.

As for the "different" aspect...I do not believe that I should encourage my children to have cosmetic procedures done so that they can "look like everyone else". I stated as much to my own husband. If our daughter has small boobs and all of her friends have big boobs...would he encourage her to undergo major surgery so she can feel like "everyone else"? Or would he encourage her to embrace her body and learn to love the way she is?

In response to the "whether to do it or not" issue, I do not feel its fair for me to comment because my reason for doing it is rooted in a religious practice however there is definitely medical reason to advocate circumcision. Thats a whole other thing...
The reason why I am writing is because I am genuinely shocked by the number of posting mothers who spoke of problems or errors made with circumsions they know of. I find that unnecessary or maybe done by someone who does not do enough of them because that should not be the case ever. Circumcision is a simple procedure and in my religion all boys have it done within the first few weeks of life. I have never ever heard of an incident like this. Never. One of the key reasons I believe is that they do atleast two circumcisions each week if not more and they practice this surgery exclusively for years and years. They are, if you will, pros at this and can do it in their sleep. Make sure you are having someon who really does it in numbers and with a lot of experience, the same way you would be if it was any other surgical procedure. But honestly, you'll be fine and so will he. Promise.

I totally understand where you are coming from. We left the hospital and he wasn't circumcised and I had to take him back to get it done. Now you know those big door they have at the hospital... they took him through two doors and i could still hear him SCREAMING!!! He won't remember it though THANK GOD but I will. If you do it while you are at the hospital it won't be bad and i won't even bother him. It is the best for him however...

Your decision whether to or not to circumcise is up to you as a couple, but if you decide to do it, here is something to think about.... Even though circumcision is not a pain-free process by any means, one thing to remember is that pain is a learned response. While your son will feel the discomfort of the procedure as it occurs and for a few hours afterwards, if you have this procedure done while he is still just a few days old, it will likely be easier for him.

Birth itself is a traumatic process, and that's one of the reasons why newborns sleep so much in the beginning. Likewise, if you have your son circumcised right away, again, he is likely to sleep off most of the discomfort of those first few hours, and then never know the difference afterward.

It was with this knowledge that we circumcised our son. If you decide to have the procedure done, I hope those thoughts will be of some help to you too. Good luck making your decision....

Some people will tell you that all babies scream and cry during a circumcision. Not true - our baby didn't make a peep before, during, or after and he was awake.

Some people will tell you that all babies are traumatized because they have a circumcision. Do we really have a nation of about 50% of the male population walking around depressed and emotionally damaged because of being circumcised? I don't have any research to support that but anecdotally, I don't believe the circumcised men in this country are suffering because of this (well at least my family members who were circumcised haven't ever come out and say "you know, I'm not complete because I had a circumcision. I harbor negative emotions toward my parents because I am circumcised").

My husband and I both supported circumcision and yes, I felt a bit guilty that he would be in pain. I also feel badly when he gets his shots (yes, I know the shots are considered 'more necessary' as opposed to a circumcision which is not). But, like another poster said imagine how traumatizing the DELIVERY was for the child. My son was in my vaginal canal for 3 hours being pushed, squeezed, and contorted - without any pain medication! I'm sure it was very uncomfortable for him yet I highly doubt he will remember it nor will he suffer any ill consequences as a result.

Some people are opposed to circumcision which is fine - they should make that decision for their family and quit trying to guilt other mothers who decide this is appropriate for their family. If you want to circumcise, fine. If you don't want to circumcise, that's fine too. Do what's best for your family as you see fit and no matter your decision I'm sure your child will be just fine!

There is a book called "It's a Boy" in which women authors have submitted essays about raising boys. There is one essay called "Making the Cut" and it is about this topic - the mother didn't want to circumcise but the father didn't. It was a painful and emotional read, but at the end her conclusion was that they were both making this decision out of protection and their love for their son. The only difference was "when" - she wanted to protect him from the beginning from the physical pain and he wanted to protect him at the end from the emotional pain. Which is right? That's absolutely up to you and your husband. This is a very difficult decision, so much so that I sort of pray that our next baby is a girl (we have a boy who is circumcised). But in the end it's a personal decision so after having weighed everyone's input, I wish you the best of luck and peace as you come to it.

My sister decided not to circumcise her son. When her son was four he started getting infections that were painful. Her doctor recommended the circumcision. It did hurt him because he was older, but now he is fine. Her son no longer gets infections.

Hi,

My sister did not have the circumcision procedure done on her 2nd boy. Something that she totally regrets now. At the time they had no insurance and paid for the birth out of their pocket and did not want to add he extra expense of the circumcision. Her son did go through highs school as the different kid and hated it he was picked on by the other students. He is now going into the Navy in January still feeling very insecure of himself and that he is cosmetically different than the other boys (men). He himself has talked about getting the circumcision on his own.

J.
www.noahbyjodi.com

Like you, I left the decision up to my husband. Your husband feels he wants it done, so you should probably respect that. We did have our son circumcised and don't regret it. If we have another son we will have it done again. There is actually good reason to do it- reductions in STD and HIV. I am not sure the 50/50 quote is it true. I have never found any research to support that. I know of only one person who didn't circ their son. Good luck to you.

Well, we adopted our son from Korea last year. He was 6 months when he arrived in Chicago and uncircumcised. Our pediatrician told us there is absolutely no reason in the world to do it (unless it was for religious reasons). So, after much research and thought, we didn't do it. Only about 50% of boys in the U.S. are circumcised these days anyway, so depending on how diverse your area is, he may not be all that different.

Having said that, it's a personal choice. We were told it was "easier" to circumcise a newborn than a 6 month old and that they forget the pain faster & it's easier to heal.

Good luck with making your decision!

M.

Do some research and present it to him. Nearly everything in the medical literature will tell you it is at best unnesscary, at worst even harmful. And, if you do some research on the statistics he will see that it is becoming more and more common these days not to be circumsized. My 3 year old isn't, and neither is my best friend's son.

I know my husband felt the same way but we took some very indepth birthing class (12 weeks) and once he read the information about it he changed his mind. He knew I didn't want to do it, and after reading everything he understood why. Just to be like everyone else is really a very inconsequential reason to make a decision without being informed

I don't know if it's true or not, but they say sometimes that more infections can start under the skin if they aren't circumsised. My son has been, and I wouldn't be able to tell you any difference. I'm not sure how things would be later on in life. When they change for gym I'm pretty sure they don't shower naked. The only time I heard of people showering was in swimming classes for gym if the school has a pool. However, most of the kids just leave the bathing suits on. Good luck on your decision, and if you do decide to remember it's been when they are little because they don't remember the pain or the event. Their memory really doesn't kick in until they are around 3 yrs old.

Well I was on the same debate as you but I know of 2 circumstances in which it was done later in life.

1. A close friend of the family did it in his mid thirties. He would not say exactly why except that he had to have it done, I am assuming it was an infection but does not want to go into details. When my son was born, he was very adamant about my son having this done, he said it was so painful when he had it done.

2. My nephew had his done at 5 because he had an infection and the doctors suggested this to be done.

It did hurt my son for a couple days but looking back, to me it was worth it.

They give the baby a numbing cream so that there is little to no pain. I used to take the newborns pictures at the hospital and I had gone into the nursery at one point and the dr was giving one of the babies the circumcision and he wasn't even crying. My son however was allergic to the cream they used so he was all swollen. Yes, it will be a little painful I'm sure afterward, but it's seriously almost healed in a week! Believe me, I've heard of all the locker room talk and kids can be cruel. I had no religious reason to do it, but I also didn't want him to have to deal with all of that later in life. PLUS, leaving the skin can invite infection and disease there, or so I've heard. But let it be up to you and your husband!

This is a very personal decision. We decided too, not only because my husband is, but also we didn't want him to get teased. I don't for one minute think that it was tramatic for our son. He slept most of the day. I also always knew that when I had a son that is just what I would do. I grew up around circ. males, and honestly never seen one not (he he). Good luck with your decision whatever you decided don't let anyone make you feel bad about it.

My doctors did not believe in circumcision so the decision was a lot easier for me. Also, I researched the percentage of babies getting circumcised vs. not and was pleased to find out that it was about 50/50. Your son will NOT be alone in the locker room. Also, from what I am hearing, locker room talk is the oposite. The boys who were circumcised are being teased - they have something missing, they are not whole, they are not a "real man"...etc. So, it does go both ways.

To make it short, my husband (and I) felt it was best if our son looked like his Daddy. Plus, in doing so, my husband (and me) would be better able to answer questions. Lastly, I still believe more children are circumsized than not so in that area, we wanted him to be with the majority. Our son was circumsized around 12 days. He did fine! :) Good luck and congrats.

i was worried also. i just decided one day that it needed to be done. my cousin didn't get it done and has more than his fair share of problems,i.e. infections,sores. it only takes af ew minutes and your obgyn does it. my son didn't seem very uncomfortable at all, even right after it was done. they told me to give him tylonal if he seemed to be in pain. you won't even really notice that it was done either. good luck in you decision.

I watched as my son was circumcised. He was perfectly fine. It literally took a minute, if even. Our Dr uses the numbing cream and injection. My father-in-law had to be circumcised as an adult for medical reasons. He strongly urged us to have it done when our son was a baby.

I think this is a very personal decision and is different for each family. I would never look down on someone who chose not to circumcise their son because of their personal beliefs. We chose to circumcise our son. We chose to circumcise due to the HIV/STD prevention related to circumcision (yes, I know behavior also plays a big role in transmission too). If you'd like to learn more regarding HIV/STD prevention please read the following:

http://aidsvaccineclearinghouse.org/MC/index.html
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/PDF/circumcis...

We had our son circumcised about 36 hours after birth. He didn't even cry during or after the procedure. Additionally, it never appeared to bother him during changing, etc.

As for the locker room thing, I'm always baffled by this one - maybe because I'm not a boy hanging out in the locker room and only have my experience as a female to fall back upon. Don't most boys in the locker room, say in junior high or high school, keep their underwear on? I can't imagine a whole lot of boys who get 100% naked (unless of course if they shower). I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I know that as a female in a locker room in high school none of us ever took off our bras and panties.

Talk to your OB and your pediatrician about it. At my hospital, that is who does the circs because they are the surgeons. (I thought it would be a pediatrician) Find out what type of pain relief they use - or if they use any. Some insurances are starting not to cover this procedure - and I also got a vague sense from the OB who did it as well as my ped - that they didn't think it necessary. I ended up doing it with my son - wish I had asked some of these questions. In the end, my son was fine - he came back to my room and wasn't crying and had no further complications.

Congrats on your son. I think it is a personal decision. My nephew is not, and he is not having any problems. I had a son last year and we got him circumcised. I did not want my son to have to be super clean, just in case he may not be. I am hoping he takes after us, but you never know and it has been medically proven that some boys that are not have problems, but I do not believe any of that. That is a personal and delicate situation. I do not think it would hurt either way. It is just a hygene issue, that I know.

Best wishes to your and your family.

You have received many responses and I have not read through all of them so I apologize if this is a repeat.

Our son could not be circumcised in the hospital because they thought he had a problem (hypospadia (sp?). It turned out he did not which we are thankful for. We had Lukas circumcised at 4 months of age and it was more traumatic for my husband and myself than it was for Lukas, (especially my husband!). His recovery was really, really quick and for pain the first 24-36 hours we gave him Motrin.

Cleanliness is also an issue with not getting a boy circumcised and there is the increase risk of infection. My doctor's nurse told me that there is an increase in the US of kids not being circumcised mainly because of all of the different cultures represented here and many do not circumcise.

Ask your doctor about the risks of not having it done. If you want to have it done then have it done in the hospital after the birth, don't wait.

I had my son circumcised when he was born. I felt just like you. His father was circumcised and I thought okay lets do it. I was told he wouldn't remember the pain and that it would heal fast. I was also told that it was for hygene purposes, etc. The doctor apparently did not cut enough skin and it looks like he never was circumcised. I now know that it did not even heal properly and that he might have issues down the line. I have to get on the ball and have him check out. Anyhow, the doctor at that time told me it would eventually and with time look normal. 6 years later and it still looks the same. Too bad she does not practice anymore. I would have sued. I have two other children and I prayed that it would be girls because I did not want the question to come up again as to whether to get them circumcised. I would probably wait and let him decide. I have 3 brothers and none of them were circumcised and they have not had any problems hygene or otherwise.

K.T.,

I had no problems having my son circumcized right after he was born. My line of thinking was that he didn't really know what pain was at that early stage and even though I'm sure he'd feel it, he certainly wouldn't remember it. The doctor warned me that my son would probably cry and cry for about an hour, but then he'd sleep for most of the day. I don't even know if my son cried at all...he was already asleep when they wheeled him back into my room. Now either my son has a high tolerance for pain, or it's not as bad as we are afraid it is for them.

Having said that, my son's circumcision was not done perfectly (apparently many of them aren't, since it's hard to determine where to snip on a baby...and it's certainly better to err on the side of caution!) So my son will grow up looking like he's only half circumcised. We spoke to a specialist about this and we were told that a) there is no medical reason to have it done...we would need to make the decision based on what WE think life will be like for him if we don't and b) if we were going to have it redone, we needed to do it prior to 18 months (my son is 16 months old now), since any later than that and they may remember having it done. While my husband and I ARE concerned about how cruel kids can be (both in the locker room and when he becomes sexually active), we have a hard time doing it NOW, since he DOES know what pain is and it's a much more difficult healing process.

Your son will not be terrorized by this procedure, so put your mind at ease about that! And right after birth is the best time to have it done. But he is your child, too. If you have misgivings about it, talk to your husband (and your doctor, if it helps to get a medical perspective) to come to a decision that is mutally agreeable.

Good luck!

I don't know if it will change your husband's mind, but my son is not circumsized & most of my friends chose not to circumsize. In fact, I only know one person who did. You might want to find out if the people he talked to have circumsized boys or if they were just talking about their personal feelings.

If you're definately going ahead with it, then just be aware that the child will not remember it and all you have to do is keep the area clean and dry -- same as you will the umbilicus. Since I didn't do it, that's all I know. Good luck!!

I am not lecturing, just want to remind you that worldwide far more men are intact than circumcised. Don't know if you are in the suburbs or city, but I am in Berwyn and have no doubts my uncircumcised son will fit right in with his classmates in the locker room. I know a lot of modern moms who are opting NOT to circumcise. Congratulations on your soon-to-be-newborn.

Dear K T,

Is this your first son or your first child? I have a son and I had him circumcised without hesitation. He does not remember it. It is not traumatic. Your husband is right. Get it done and don't worry. I think sometimes we worry too much. Your son will never remember it. The more painful and traumatic scars will occur when he is in the locker room with the other boys and they realize he is different. One little snip at birth will save him years of ridicule when it really matters.

Good luck with your decision. Please don't stress too much. My kids are 14 and 11. Circumcision will the least of your concerns.

L. :)

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