His dark gray eyes were simply piercing. His little lips were so perfect, the way they curved so beautifully to fit his tiny mouth. I did it. I brought this amazing little boy successfully into this world and he is now resting against my chest, so calm and peaceful.
“We will take him back now” the nurse said as she came to my bed side. “Take him back where?” I asked , perplexed and encapsulated in the “new mom fog”.
“To perform your son’s circumcision.”
Ohh, right. The circumcision….I suddenly felt foolish. I had researched so much before the birth of my first baby. Car seats, the safety of vaccines, vitamin K, the best diapers, the most natural baby wipes. How could I have missed circumcision?
Should I Circumcise My Son?
If you are a Mom-to-be or just a parent who has decided to ask lots and lots of questions, then circumcision might be on your mind. Well if it’s on your mind, I want you to now erase every single thing you think you know about circumcision. Yep, pretend it doesn’t exist and no such act was ever performed.
Now that your mind is cleared, imagine that someone comes up to you tomorrow and said, ” Oh, you’re having a boy? Would you mind if the doctor cut off the most sensitive part of his penis a few hours after he’s born? Oh and it would be for no reason at all.”
I hope you have cleared your pretenses enough to go, “What???”. I assure you that you would think that is BARBARIC. Just TABOO!
Have you ever noticed that the more exposure you have to something, the more acceptable it becomes? Take those God awful “Mud Runs” that are all the rage right now. Since when did throwing on a bandanna and racing knee-deep in a trail of thick, filthy mud make you a hero? Or those color runs? Getting sprayed with artificial dyes from your head to your toes that take at least 4 washes in the shower to come clean. I am pretty sure they just make fun, vibrant selfies, and that is the only real reason everyone signs up. I understand that many of these activities are supposed to raise awareness for something meaningful, but I think that meaning has gotten lost somewhere along the way.
What about ruffs? You probably have no idea what I’m talking about unless you were alive in the 17th century. Ruffs were an unsightly human doily that looked like a cross between a paper fan and a piece of lasagna. Ruffs afflicted the necks of William Shakespeare, Louis XIV and any other men painted during the 17th century.
Now these examples might give you a little chuckle, and that’s a good thing, because although all of these things are completely pointless and incredibly dumb, they’re pretty harmless. A painful, senseless circumcision is not harmless.
The History Of Circumcision
Let’s go back to where it all began. The complete amputation of the prepuce organ (as performed in North American style infant circumcision) initially began in an effort to curtail masturbation and promiscuous behavior among boys and men. The prepuce (‘foreskin’) was well known to be the key organ at play in whole sexual health, and the theory was that if the prepuce was removed, men’s pleasure and sexual drive would also be hampered as well.(SavingSons.Org).
Honestly, does that remind you of anything? Because the first thing that comes to my mind is bringing Skippy the pup to get “fixed” so he would stop humping Aunt Sally’s leg. So we are going to use the same practice on a human that we use to curb a dog’s sexual appetite?
In America, circumcision became the norm after World War II, when soldiers were encouraged to have circumcisions in the belief it would cut down on rates of venereal disease and other infections, particularly among soldiers serving in North Africa, where the troops endured brutal heat, sand storms, and poor sanitary conditions. After WWII, the urban- and suburbanization of modern America meant that most babies were born in hospitals, and most—some say upwards of 80 percent—were circumcised. (Source)
Myths & Facts About Circumcision
I commend you for looking into circumcision a little deeper. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and if you look into the truth vs. the myths, I believe you will come to the decision that is right for your little one.
Myth – It’s just a little snip!
Fact – It’s much, much more than just a little “snip”. It’s actually a very invasive procedure that causes pain and immediate health risks like infection, hemorrhage, scarring, partial or total loss of the penis and even death. I would highly recommend starting your knowledge journey watching, “The Elephant In The Hospital” video, which can be seen here. Please know that the video contains graphic content, but If you can’t get through it, what makes you think your newborn son can?
Myth – Circumcision is recommended by doctors and other health professionals.
Fact – No professional medical association in the United States or anywhere else in the world recommends routine circumcision as being medically necessary.
Myth – The baby does not feel any pain during the procedure
Fact – Circumcision is painful. Babies are sensitive to pain, just like older children and adults. The “pain control” used for circumcision only decreases pain; it does not eliminate it. Further, the open wound left by the removal of the foreskin will continue to cause the baby pain and discomfort for the 7-10 days it takes to heal.(IntactAmerica.Org). It can also impact breastfeeding.
Myth – If I don’t circumcise my son, he will be ridiculed.
Fact – Times have changed, and so have circumcision rates. Many are realizing the senselessness of the procedure and the ratio of boys who are circumcised vs. un-circumcised are almost an even 50/50. Most medically advanced nations do not practice child circumcision. Three quarters of the world’s men are intact. (IntactAmerica.Org)
Myth – A boy should be circumcised to look like his father.
Fact – You wouldn’t remove his tonsils just because Daddy had his removed as a child, would you? If Daddy had lost a thumb in a hunting accident, would you want your son’s hand to look just like Daddy’s? We must use the common sense. Explain to them that this was a procedure that was common many years ago, but unnecessary and no longer something they need to worry about. (StopCirc.com)
Myth – Circumcising newborn baby boys produces health benefits later in life.
Fact – There is NO link between circumcision and better health. In fact, cutting a baby boy’s genitals creates immediate health risks. The foreskin is actually an important and functional body part, protecting the head of the penis from injury and providing moisture and lubrication. Circumcision also diminishes sexual pleasure later in life.
Myth – The Bible tells me to circumcise my son
Fact: – All the men who followed God in the Old Testament were certainly not circumcised. Adam, Able, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Shem (the father of the Semites), Terah, and countless other men, many of whom are listed in Scripture. In fact, conservative Bible scholars estimate that Adam lived in 6,000-8,000 B.C., and Abraham didn’t come onto the scene until 2,000 B.C., so that means the majority of men in the Old Testament (for 4,000-6,000 years!!), including those in the geneology of Christ, were not circumcised. Circumcision was also suspended by God for the 40 years in the wilderness.
When God instituted circumcision, it was as a symbol of the Old Covenant (sacrifice of one’s son, shedding of innocent blood, etc.), and as a prelude to the coming of the Sacrificial Lamb of God, Jesus Christ Himself. While the Old Covenant was symbolically pictured through animal sacrifice and infant circumcision, both were forever made obsolete by the dawn of the New Covenant. That is why the Scripture says that to shed the blood of a baby boy or an animal now, after Christ shed His own innocent blood once for all, would be blasphemous and mock our Lord’s sacrifice.
Circumcision did not begin with the Jews at all, but was practiced by pagan nations long before Abraham’s day. This barbaric, unholy, worldly connotation was precisely why God chose it, as a reminder of the commonality and baseness of sin. (Taken from StopCirc.com)
Myth – Circumcision is a parent’s rightful decision
Fact – Not so much. Don’t you think your child should make the decision for himself? Your son can always circumcise down the line if it’s something he wants to do when he gets older, but leaving his body whole and penis intact at birth is the first step to respecting his body.
Circumcision: A Dying Trend
The circumcision rate in the United States is now somewhere around 55% (and much lower in some parts of the country), down from 81% in 1981. This means that nearly half of all baby boys leave the hospital intact, as more and more parents are realizing that circumcision is unnecessary and harmful.
Children should be protected from permanent bodily alteration inflicted on them without their consent in the name of culture, religion, profit, or parental preference. Under accepted bioethical principles, parents can consent to surgery on behalf of a child only if it is necessary to protect the child’s life or health. “Routine” circumcision fails this test because it painfully and permanently removes a normal and healthy part of a boy’s penis, does not protect the child’s life or health, and in fact creates new risks. Removing the foreskin is no more justified than removing a finger or any other healthy body part.
If you are wondering how my personal story ends, I almost wheeled my son off to get circumcised. However, last minute, my husband spoke up and said he didn’t think it was necessary. You better bet your bottom dollar that after that day I dove into the topic of circumcision, and with all of the information I found, I was more than relieved that we didn’t go through with it.
Now that you have the facts, what do you think? Do you think circumcision is a necessary medical procedure? Do you think it will benefit your son’s health?
Thanks for letting me into your world awhile,
Naturally Nicole XO
This article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be providing medical advice and is not a substitute for such advice. The reader should always consult a health care provider concerning any medical condition or treatment plan.