Tackling a tough topic: circumcision

November 28, 2017

(An old pic but one I love by Emily Rumsey Photography) Oh do I dare even type that word out? I know everyone (almost everyone?) has passionate feelings about circumcision. But if you’d asked me when I was pregnant with our oldest (8 years ago) if we were going to circumcise him, I would have shrugged and said, yeah, probably, ask my husband? I mean, it sounds like it hurts but I’m sure they give the baby medicine and it’s for sanitary reasons or something? Clearly I had done a lot of research. Gulp. A few people in our lives mentioned that maybe researching it and the recommendations (AAP said not!) at the time were of value. After all, this is the same pregnant woman who thought she was going to waltz into a maternity ward PUSH PUSH PUSH and have a baby in an hour or so. I really hadn’t known anyone who was pregnant (well) and really hadn’t read much about it (at all) and spent the first many months throwing up so I had little energy to do anything other than complain to my mom. All this to say, two women I know and very much respect who are both media producers and certified nurse midwives are working on a documentary. It’s about making informed decisions on circumcision. I urge you to visit the site and watch the trailer. It’s a very medical approach, acknowledges some determining factors and debunks a lot of myths. Whether you’ve already…

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The Case Against Circumcision

May 7, 2011

To many parents of a newborn boy circumcision seems like the thing to do (aside from religiously motivated parents). Why? Oh, because . . . it’s more hygienic (not true), it’s more common among little boys (not necessarily true), everyone else did it in the family (is this ever a valid reason?). Up until the week prior to J’s birth, we were set on circumcising him. Not for religious reasons, but for most of the other reasons parents come up with. It’s easier to clean, we don’t want him made fun of in the locker room, etc. Our doula suggested that we do a little reading and thinking about the reasons against circumcision. We begrudgingly did so. To our surprise, we discovered a whole lot of facts out there that changed our mind. 1) Religious reasons. We are not Jewish or Muslim. The Catholic Church has no definitive stance against circumcision, and conversely it does not require it. So religious reasons were a non-factor for us. 2) Health benefits. The American Pediatric Association no longer recommends routine circs. Instead it states that there aren’t any significant benefits that make it worth doing. Health is not a factor in circumcising! Infections that may occur in that area of the body would be tended to like infections elsewhere. In the rare event someone needed to be circumcised later in life for health reasons, it is readily available at your local urology clinic. Yes, there was a recent study about reducing HIV infection…

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