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The Circumcision Decision

Is your inner Mama Bear hungry for the 'whole' story?

Welcome to guest blogger Jenn D'Jamoos CCCE, Co-Director of Intact Michigan.  Jenn will be presenting the upcoming seminar 'The Circumcision Decision' on Mon. June 25 at Live With Awareness in downtown Rochester.  Her passion is to support families to discover fact based information to make an informed decision whether or not to choose circumcision.


I’m not going to lie.  I was a nervous wreck when we found out we were expecting.  I had several friends who all seemed to be navigating parenthood fairly well, but nobody I was really close to that shared with me all of the nervous discussions between couples in those last few weeks before the baby arrives.  I would have liked to know how to handle talks about vaccination, circumcision, breastfeeding, co-sleeping and all the really emotionally charged topics that new parents face today. 

When it comes to these sometimes volatile subjects, I discovered that most family and friends fall into one of two camps:  they don’t want to offend you by offering their perspective OR they really don’t care if they offend you by offering their opinion!  This made it difficult for me to get some honest-to-goodness objective information because frankly, you don’t know what you don’t know.  How was I supposed to know that there were risks to formula feeding?  Nobody told me that.  How was I supposed to know that circumcision had no proven benefits?  Nobody told me that either.  Vaccination?  Don’t even get me started.  To make a truly informed decision on behalf of my children, I needed more information than I was getting from my doctors and BabyCenter, but I didn’t realize this until well after we had our first child, a daughter.

Becoming a mother does this funny thing to you.  It makes you super protective of the little people you give birth to.  It’s called ‘finding your mama bear.’  Some mama’s find it when they are pregnant, others find it when they are in labor or giving birth, and yet others find it in the first days, weeks and months of their new life with baby. I realized at some point after having our daughter that protecting my children meant becoming an informed healthcare consumer; and that meant I would become a voracious learner. 

Becoming a mother again would give me another chance to put in my due diligence and this time, no stone was left unturned.  So, after we discovered that we were expecting a boy, I delved into the topic of circumcision.  What do you suppose I discovered?  Well, the long and short of it is . . . it’s terribly painful, it carries great risks and it takes away the most sensitive part of a boy’s/man’s body.  I could not fathom doing this to my son.  Alas, I needed to have “the talk” with my husband.  I approached him gently, praying that he would be receptive.  He asked if I could give him some time to look into the subject himself and I encouraged him to do so.  Some weeks went by and I nervously awaited his answer.  I knew in my heart that he would choose to keep our son intact, but I was still anxious to hear it from him.  He finally came to me and said that because it isn’t medically necessary we would not need to circumcise our boy.  PHEW!  That was easier than I thought.

For most parents, though, this decision isn’t that easy.  There is a lot of pressure from friends, family and even medical professionals to cut their baby boy.  But if you look at this topic from a worldly perspective, it doesn’t happen in Europe, or China, or Japan, or Central or South America.  It doesn’t happen in Russia or Iceland or India.  There are very few cultures that practice circumcision, but the ones that do have found ways to justify it.  It’s basically a solution looking for a problem.

There are many, many resources on the subject of circumcision and nowadays all you have to do to find a stimulating conversation about it is to hop on Facebook or any of the boards at a multitude of different parenting sites.  But, if you are a fan of science, you might be interested to know that there was a study done just a few years ago that revealed what exactly is taken from a boy/man when he is circumcised.  I understand that circumcision is a choice but this study made me understand why more and more parents are simply choosing to leave the choice to their son.  One other thing that I found comforting during my quest for the whole story about circumcision . . . there are doctors who are opposed to it, as well as nurses and lawyers.  These are all great places to begin your quest for knowledge.

There is so much more than this to know about circumcision.  Trust me when I tell you that YOUR inner mama bear is definitely hungry for the whole story!

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Join other families this Monday, June 25 at 'The Circumcision Decision' seminar presented by Live With Awareness, located within Health & Healing Chiropractic, 226 Walnut Blvd, downtown Rochester.   Receive fact based information to help you with this timely and important parenting decision.  Click here to find a Calendar of Events with more info and how to register.

Some of what will be discussed:

-The Intact Penis - proper care
-History of Circumcision
-Medical Ethics and Informed Consent
-Circ methods, pain relief, risks, benefits
-Weighing out Pros and Cons
-Grieving and Loss
and MORE

.......An OPTIONAL video of a circumcision will be shown during class.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Christopher July 17, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I love that 3 women and convinced they know exactly how painful it is.
Christopher July 17, 2012 at 07:07 PM
To use a slight variation of what Representative Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) said - I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my p%$#@, but no thank you! *I wasn't sure if Patch would let that word go through.
Christopher July 17, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Alright, one last post and then I gotta go. This is just too funny. So the author is the owner of an alternative birthing center who profits from every birth that doesn't happen in a hospital. One of the reasons you might want to have your baby in a hospital (there are about 1,000) is that if you want to have a circumcision performed it's smartest to have it done in a sterile environment by and experienced practitioner with the resources nearby in case of emergency...which she doesn't have. Ergo, self-serving bunk delivered as news.
Peter Griffin July 17, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Christopher - last post....best I have read yet. You are also right in how it's some women saying how much it hurts....that had me puzzled too. They must hate moms who get their baby girls' ears pierced.
Kristin Bull July 17, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Thanks to all of you for this often-thoughtful, sometimes humorous discourse. Before the conversation gets even more off-topic, we're closing down the comments on this blog post. We appreciate your opinions.

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