Sunday, October 31, 2010

Circumcision Myths

.....also see Part One - To cut or not to cut?

I want my son to look like daddy. Personally, I believe two wrongs don’t make a right. Over time society has become more advanced and we can admit that things that used to be acceptable and common place no longer are. I know of no man who compares his genitals to his dad’s to get self worth. Perhaps a question from a curious three year old will occur but a simple “daddy had surgery when he was a baby will suffice.”

Won’t he be teased in the locker room? The most recent statistics show that circumcision has dropped to record lows in the United States and stands at just 33% (for 2009). This means that when the 2009 babies get to the locker room only 1 in 3 will be circumcised. If your son chooses to leave the country, the number of circumcised males will likely be even less (75% of the world is intact).  

An intact penis is unhygienic and dirty. Prepuce amputation is no replacement for proper hygiene. Regardless of if your son is circumcised, proper washing is important. Amputating a portion of the penis for a slight UTI reduction is seems absurd when males contracting UTIs is rare. Again in this instance circumcision is a “cure” looking for its “disease”. 

But doesn’t it help prevent HIV? ( The journal of AIDS has actually published a paper doubting the use of circumcision as an HIV reducer. The study that resulted in all of the press has been found to be questionable and flawed. Even if that study did have accurate results, it found circumcision to only be effective in reducing the risk of transmission of HIV from an infected female to an unaffected male and it was less effective than condom use. Real world studies actually show opposite results. Even in Africa the countries with higher percentage of circumcised men have higher rates of HIV. The United States has higher rates of circumcision than Europe and also higher rates of STDs. Circumcision has also been shown to increase the infection risk for women. I plan to teach proper sexual health and condom usage instead of body alteration.

The final consideration I made when making my decision happened after actually watching a circumcision procedure performed on a newborn. This is one of the most heart wrenching things I have ever seen. I did not want my son out of my arms after birth let alone strapped down while undergoing surgery with no anesthesia in a room far away from me. 

Regardless of what you decide, please take the time to thoroughly research circumcision before making your decision. If you can’t stomach watching a clip of the procedure then perhaps your baby can’t stomach the actual procedure. Throughout this post I’ve cited a few resources and paths for further information but there is much more information out there.

Friday, October 29, 2010

To cut or not to cut?

Okay so if you read my blog you know I alternate between family update type posts and then posts on my opinions and views on raising children. This is one of the latter.

Before becoming a mom, there were lots of things I never thought I would have to research and consider. Top on that list is the act of circumcision. Most people my age grew up with circumcision being the norm. Due to my blended family background, however, that wasn’t the case for me. I changed lots of diapers on my intact brothers and also on the circumcised ones. It really wasn’t a big deal that they were different and I never remember even questioning it.  

If you asked me before pregnancy if my son would be circumcised, I probably would have admitted I hadn’t really thought about it. That fact alone is the reason I first started researching the act. Hubby and I aren’t ones to do something, especially as serious as altering the body of our newborn, without making an informed decision. I think so many things in this world would be much better if everyone took the time to research what actions they were taking instead of just doing something because that’s how it’s usually done. Here are some of the key reasons we decided to keep our son intact.

1.)    No national medical association in the world recommends or advocates routine newborn circumcision. In fact, in 1999 the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement saying that existing data was not sufficient to recommend routine newborn male circumcision.

2.)    Circumcision began as a religious ceremony, was then promoted as a medical procedure to reduce masturbation, and has since morphed into cosmetic procedure. Many other have said this before but circumcision is a “cure” looking for its “disease”.

3.)    Circumcision actually amputates an organ, the prepuce, which is one of the most sensitive and nerve laden areas.  It protects the head of the penis and is important in sexual pleasure for both males and females.

4.)    The trauma of circumcision and being removed from mother after birth can negatively impact the breastfeeding reationship. 

5.)    It is painful. Circumcision actually alters the brain and the effects are visible on MRIs. This sounds strange but the intense pain and trauma has a visible effect on the newborn brain. and
….stay tuned for part two – Circumcision Myths

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Well, he had a very healthy first year but picked a doozey of a date to get sick for the first time. Literally, the night before his 1st birthday party!! For something quite common, Croup sure is scary!! Nolan sounds like a barking seal who can't breathe. Most of the day he is okay, active, and happy. He might cough once or twice but for the most part until he "talks" you can't tell anything is wrong. When he nurses, he gets winded a bit easily.

Night is a whole different story. He turns into a very sick baby who can barely breathe. He wheezes with each breathe and continually does the seal bark sound. I spent most of last night holding him and trying to get him to sleep. The Doc says it is basically a viral cold and we just have to wait it out. We have a cool mist humidifier going and tried breathing some from the fridge/freezer too. I hope tonight goes better.

Tomorrow morning at ~6am it will be one year since my water broke and Nolan started his giant descent into the world! I can't believe I have a one year old!!!  Where has my tiny baby gone?

Thursday, October 21, 2010


October is probably my favorite month of the year. The Holidays are coming, the weather has finally cooled off...well not so much here in Florida, and it's BIRTHDAY month. Not only my very own birthday but now my darling little boy's. While it is something to look forward to, as a mom it's also sad as the passing of time seems way too quick. Here are just a few of our celebrations I have to look forward to this month.

October 6 - My birthday!!
October 8 - My second birthday. When we were in our early years together, Tim wrongly stated that my birthday was the 8th numerous times. I now joke that it's my second birthday and I need two gifts from him!
October 23 - Nolan's birthday bash
October 25 - Nolan's bithday! (The big Numero Uno) and the day on which I will have been successfully breastfeeding for one whole year.
October 27 - Tim and I will have been together for 10... yep TEN... years! A few days later on Nov. 4th we celebrate the official anniversary while toasting to our 4th Wedding Anniversary!

It's a busy month and almost over!

Friday, October 15, 2010

On Babywise

I've had this blog written for a few weeks but held off publishing because it always seems to be controversial. Well again today I saw this book being touted as the bible for new moms so I couldn't hold off anymore!!

Every mother chooses to raise her baby differently but there is one catch phrase that makes me cringe every time I hear it. If you are an new mom, or old mom, and getting advice to check out Babywise to magically solve all your parenting issues...RUN!

The Babywise book, a secular version of the growing Kids God's Way series, is written by a pastor and co-authored by a pediatrician. Marketed as supported by the medical community, unsuspecting parents often believe they are doing what is best for their baby by following the information within.

Now I know my own philosophies won't be followed by all or even accepted by all but this specific book and baby training initiative has actually been deemed harmful by the AAP and goes against recommendations made by AAP, La Leche League, WHO, and other reputable organizations. It also goes against a mother's natural instinct. If my baby is crying, I comfort them. If my baby is hungry, I feed them. Biologically speaking it does not promote healthy lactation and does not account for differing bodies and milk production in mothers.

Basically Babywise promotes placing babies as young as newborns on a strict schedule for feeding, sleeping, and awake time. The "Parent Directed Feeding" is said to lead to babies sleeping through the night at 3-8 weeks and simplicity for parents. Concepts such as "infant management" and allowing a newborn to cry because it "should" be sleeping and isn't time to eat are barbaric. Even proponents of the "Cry-it-out" Ferber method of getting a baby to sleep do not recommend beginning sleep training until 3-4 months of age.

If you choose to purchase this book, please do so knowing that it has been linked to failure to thrive in infants and breastmilk supply issues in mothers. As with anything, you should do your own research!

Want more info?
American Association of Pediatrics -

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Even cuter bums!

So if you've been reading this blog at all or know me, you've certainly heard that we cloth diaper Nolan. I made the decision very early in my pregnancy and stuck with it. I've never bought a disposable diaperand love to have the opportunity to talk to any and all moms and expecting moms about cloth! In the beginning. I spent hours scouring websites trying to figure out why there were so many types and which would work best for me. A lot of it comes down to pure preference but... there are some tried and tested favorites out there! I go into detail on the different types of cloth diapers, benefits in general, and even how best to put on the old fashioned kind in archived posts if you're interested.

Today is my "bare bones if you only have five minutes to decide which type of cloth diaper to use recommendation" post. The BumGenius brand makes great staple diapers that will last, holds in messes well, are affordable, easily available, and today got even more adorable!! If you find out it's not your favorite later on the resale value is also high. I prefer the 4.0 pocket one-size diapers and the Flip (even more economical) line.

Today BumGenius released information on their new designer line which features prints versus solid color diapers!! The prints are available in the new 4.0 version which has velcro or snaps, you pick.

They are available for pre-order now and will be shipping in mid-November. Maybe a birthday treat for myself is in order!!