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

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