Should You Circumcise Your Baby? Six Parents Share Their Stories

Should You Circumcise ~ http://www.incredibleinfant.com When I was thinking about how to start out this article, the mental image of a wheat field came to mind.

I was standing in the middle of it….with a massive flame thrower.  

That’s what this topic “should you circumcise” feels like.  Like I’m about to ignite a 40-mile-radius with liquid petrol. 

And yet…I’m still bravely standing in the middle of what’s about to happen.  Unafraid.  The thing is, I have a fireproof suit.  It’s called daughters.  Three of them.

I can safely stand in the middle of this firestorm because I have never had to actually make the circumcision decision.  

I’m 100% neutral.  I can blandly state the arguments because I will never have to commit to a side.  In other words, I’ve got no skin in the game.  (Ha!  Pun totally intended.)

I’m going to state the sides, and then sit back and let you ponder out your own convictions.  But before I flip the “on” switch, we need to get a few things firmly in mind.

#1) Decide where you are on the medical spectrum.

  • Do you tend to agree with and rely on traditional medicine?
  • Or prefer to look at homeopathic paths instead?

Why is this important?  Knowing your own personal natural bent will help you sort through the (possibly overwhelming) information ahead.

Like most medical topics, it often comes down to “whom do you trust.”  Knowing ahead of time which direction you lean can help you wade through the arguments.

#2) Decide what role emotions are going to play.

  • Do you want to make this decision solely based on research and data from both side’s arguments?
  • Or is this more of an emotional decision?


#3) Decide who’s deciding.

  • Is Mom going to step aside and let Dad make the decision (or vice versa)?
  • Or are you going to decide together?

Circumcision should not be something that breaks a marriage apart.  Does one parent feel more strongly about this than the other?  Allow that parent to guide the decision.

If you’re both passionate about it (on different sides), commit to working through the decision together, laying aside emotional trigger words and accusations until you can reach consensus.

Should You Circumcise:
Yep!

Which Medical Experts Lean Yes:

Why Parents Choose Circumcision:

  • “There is a drop in the risk of urinary tract infection in the first year of life by up to 90 percent,” ~ Dr. Susan Blank, AAP
  • “It drops the risk of heterosexual HIV acquisition by about 60 percent. It also reduces the chances that men will spread HPV to their wives and girlfriends, protecting them from getting cervical cancer.”” ~ Dr. Susan Blank, AAP
  • For religious reasons. (Muslims and Jews both have circumcision requirements.)
  • Fear of the child being mocked later in life, for looking different than the rest of the locker room.  (This could also be a reason against circumcision, based on where you live.)
  • Desire for baby to grow up looking like Dad.  (Also a reason against, if Dad is uncircumcised.)

Make Your Baby's Naps Longer

Three Families Who Said Yes:

If you do decide to circumcise your son, this article on Medic 8 can help.  It suggests different questions you can ask your clinic and doctor to make sure they are qualified.  (After all, a botched circumcision is not something you want to deal with!)

Should You Circumcise:
Nope!

Which Medical Experts Say No:

Main Arguments Against Circumcision:

  • “The penis — like the vagina — is self-cleaning. The penis is bathed daily with sterile urine, which often balloons around the intact foreskin. The foreskin retracts when it’s time,” ~ Dr. Christiane Northrup (on why she believes removing the foreskin isn’t necessary for good hygiene)
  • Parents are concerned about the pain baby will feel.  (Many doctors now use local anesthetics, but it’s worth asking about.)
  • Fear that circumcision will make the tip of the penis less sensitive, causing a decrease in sexual pleasure later in life.

Regarding sexual pleasure…this study said it makes no difference, but this press release says there is. Click through and read the abstracts for both to decide where to land on this issue.

Three Families Who Said No:

What Did You Decide?

Like I said above, I don’t have a son.  My helpfulness in the “should you circumcise” question can only go so far.

That’s where my awesome readers come in.  Those of you with sons, I’m counting on you to fill in the gaps.

Add your comment below and share how you came to your circumcision decision!

That will keep this dialog going, helping other parents who are trying to wade through this firestorm without triggering an inferno!

I ♥ Citations

Besides the citations already linked in the article above, here are a few other resources I used in writing this article.  You may find them helpful!



Meet Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor

Heather is the Chief Encouragement Officer here at Incredible Infant and has been writing and encouraging parents online since 2007.  She's certified in baby sleep coaching (yes, that's a real thing), has served as an Expert Parenting Panelist for numerous events, and has been a featured writer on blogs like DaveRamsey.com, SimpleKids.net, My Kid's Adventures, Cafe Mom, and others.  If it's 2am and you're desperate to read SOMETHING, click here for all her darkest secrets, including why she really shouldn't be allowed to blog.  


 

Should You Circumcise ~ http://www.incredibleinfant.com

Comments

  1. I really love this post, and thank YOU for not telling people what to do or not do. The question of whether or not to circumcise was a tough point between my husband and I (he was for it, I was against it).

    When it came down to it, he convinced me that it was for the best and that he himself was glad that he was circumcised. But this is definitely down to the individual parents and I completely understand if some choose not to circumcise.

  2. Circumcision is recommended for the boy kid but you should know how to go about it. There are many myths and perceptions surrounding male circumcision and as parents we must take a decision after weighing the pros and cons and certain links can help.Awesome article.

  3. I was on the fence, but it was important to my husband so we had our son circumcised. The actual process was harder on me than the baby, haha. Anesthetic was used and it healed very quickly. No regrets.

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