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I grabbed the doc's hand off my son's penis!

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
I will never, ever, ever go back to this pediatrican again, nor will I ever, ever, ever do a well baby visit again.

Yesterday my boys (twins) had their 1 year WBV. First baby up, she checks his penis and begins to pull back on his foreskin. I don't know how I did it, it just happened, maternal instinct I guess, but I grabbed her hand off my son's penis and said, "oh no, we don't do that". I think we were both shocked. I felt really nervous at first and then a half-second later I was so proud of myself I just beemed like an idiot! I must have glowed I was so proud.

She proceeded to give me bad advice, draw pictures, threaten me that the urine will be not be able to escape and it will cause a huge bubble under the foreskin, yada yada, yada.

I told her I have read up on this a lot and that her information is wrong and outdated. I told her that by tearing that foreskin off the gland I would be opening my sons up to infection, not protecting them from infection. She was non to pleased with me.

Then we had a discussion on BLW, which is a whole different thread. But basically I was told that I'm lucky my kids never choked!

Really ... I find it scary how misinformed, uniformed or just plain pig headed doctors can be. I'm sure she thinks I'm a know-it-all, doctor-playing crunchy psycho. But at least I'm an informed one!
post #2 of 45
Kudos for your lightning fast mother bear reflexes.

Upsetting as her ignorance may be, your argument may have long term benefits. You will never see her again, but she may do a little research as a result of your conflict (probably not, but you never know) and the next baby boy she examines might do better as a result.
post #3 of 45


I think that most doctors treat uncircumcised penises like they do with circumcised penises (retract to prevent adhesion). As they encounter more and more intact boys with educated parents, they will soon learn the proper way to care for intact penises which they apparently didn't learn in medical school.

All these forced retraction stories are starting to worry me about bringing my future kid to WBVs. I'm going to start every visit by saying, "My son is peeing fine. You can look at his penis, but don't touch!"
post #4 of 45
Good for you, mama! I'm sorry that happened. It always amazes me that so many doctors don't know proper foreskin anatomy and care. And why are so many doctors nervous to have babies nurse for more than 6 months or so???
Again, I'm sorry your doctor isn't up to date on her information. You might check in Finding Your Tribe to see if someone can recommend a better informed doctor in your area.
post #5 of 45
heres my advice as a mom and nurse:

in all reality there are very few reasons a diaper even needs to come off if they insist then simply say "I do not feel comfortable with anyone physically touching my child's genitals." if you ok with them "looking" you might want to say " I will let you examine it with a tongue depresser...(it will be very hard to retract with a tongue depresser but you still need to be vigilant0 basically its to lift and move the penis to get a look at the scrotum and penis. This way the dr gets a look at the childs genitals and it becomes a little harder to retract. Or you can simply state I will allow you to look only and if you need be to move his penis so that you can better see his scrotum I will move it. Angle the baby so that you are in the way and they have to be a bystander sort of hover over you.
post #6 of 45
I find it really strange how it is completely normal to expect the diaper to come off every time a baby is taken to a doctor. There's no reason for it. How can it not seem perverted for a baby's genitals to be touched, held, stared at, etc at pretty much every doctor visit? I mean, if they've been examined once then what else is there to see? Unless, of course, the visit is specifically related to a problem with the genitals. But I've noticed that is rarely the case.

This is not okay:Puke
post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by NettleTea View Post
I find it really strange how it is completely normal to expect the diaper to come off every time a baby is taken to a doctor. There's no reason for it. How can it not seem perverted for a baby's genitals to be touched, held, stared at, etc at pretty much every doctor visit? I mean, if they've been examined once then what else is there to see? Unless, of course, the visit is specifically related to a problem with the genitals. But I've noticed that is rarely the case.

This is not okay:Puke
If you have a reasonable Dr there is a point to checking the area. To make sure there are no issues with an undescended testicle, and to see if there is any diaper rash or yeast infection etc.

However, if there is a reason one doesn't trust the Dr, a parent can be informed about what to look for. At one visit the Dr did a quick check and couldn't find one of DS's testicles, but then he decided he didn't want her to look anymore, so she explained to me in detail what to look for when he was in a cooperative mood at home. Though she wasn't too concerned, she had found it at past visits and thought it probably just retreated b/c the office was kind of chilly that day. It was reasonably easy for me to establish that both of DS's testicles descended after a warm bath, but if the Dr hadn't both told me there might be an issue and what to look for I never would have known to check.
post #8 of 45
My doctor always takes off my son's diaper to "check his hips" and he is done before I realize he has started. He's never touched the penis as far as I have seen.
post #9 of 45
After hearing so many Dr retraction stories here, IF we ever have a boy, my plan is to tell the dr BEFORE the diaper is taken off that my son is intact & the dr is for NO reason to retract the foreskin. If they question this, I will already have a print-out ready in my diaper bag that I will happily hand to them

IME, the diaper is taken off for several reasons. One is to check the hips, esp in young & breech babies. Two, girls can develop labial adhesions & the parents may not know this. The dr needs to gently spread the labia majora to see that the minora are not stuck together. Adhesions can become serious, so it is important. Three, drs are mandated reporters & must check for signs of abuse & neglect. Four, we use cloth diapers & in young infants, they weigh by lbs & oz, so the diaper has to come all the way off before baby goes on the scale.

Again, I think the important thing here is to TELL THE DR BEFORE THE DIAPER IS REMOVED.\

PS, I would have totally grabbed the dr's hand, too, so good for you!
post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
To make sure there are no issues with an undescended testicle, and to see if there is any diaper rash or yeast infection etc.
None of those things involve touching the penis (unless a rash or yeast is around the penis), yet it seems that most doctors would still use the above circumstances as a reason to go there.

Unless I am mistaken, checking for an undescended testicle is a one-time thing.

Personally, I do not find it necessary for my doctor to remove my son's diaper to check for yeast or diaper rash as I am more than capable of recognizing those things myself.

Again, it really seems to me that in most cases of removing the diaper it is simply to perform these "penis inspections". If it were the case of an undescended testicle or diaper rash/yeast then why is the penis even being handled? That only offers yet another opportunity for forced retraction.

Most of this probably comes down to what you said regarding having a "reasonable doctor". It seems that is very key. A "reasonable doctor" most likely wouldn't be handling the penis unless there was a solid reason for doing so (hopefully).

I hope my post doesn't sound snarky. Not intended. I'm trying to understand these things as it seems that anytime I read about a baby going to the doctor something about the diaper coming off is always mentioned regardless of the reason for the visit. And then inevitably forced retraction takes place. So why even allow the diaper to come off unless the reason for the visit involves something under the diaper?
post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogretro View Post

IME, the diaper is taken off for several reasons. One is to check the hips, esp in young & breech babies. Two, girls can develop labial adhesions & the parents may not know this. The dr needs to gently spread the labia majora to see that the minora are not stuck together. Adhesions can become serious, so it is important. Three, drs are mandated reporters & must check for signs of abuse & neglect. Four, we use cloth diapers & in young infants, they weigh by lbs & oz, so the diaper has to come all the way off before baby goes on the scale.
Yeah, so I'm thinking the diaper removal definitely does come down to having a reasonable doctor. One that can be trusted....perhaps.

But I still am seeing a lot of situations in which the diaper is coming off for none of the reasons mentioned in this thread and seemingly no reason at all. It seems it is "just because". I hope I am wrong.
post #12 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your advice/condolences/support/ etc.

What it boils down to for me, a mom of 3 beautiful, intact boys, is trusting the doctor I take my kids to. Especially with twins when I’m fumbling with one baby or another. Had I turned my back to help the other baby for a second, what might that pediatrician have done? I need to trust the doctor that I see.

Furthermore, I can't take my children back to her because I won't be able to trust or believe in her advice should they really become sick and need medical care. The information she gave me on “dealing” with an uncircumcised penis was ridiculous. And like someone said earlier, we must voice our outrage and give these doctors the correct information. Furthermore, I intend to write her a letter, including information on cleaning and caring for uncircumcised penises and explain to her the reason I’m removing my kids from her care. If she is ill informed on something as important and basic and this subject, than I have no faith in her advice in other important matters.
post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by NettleTea View Post
None of those things involve touching the penis (unless a rash or yeast is around the penis), yet it seems that most doctors would still use the above circumstances as a reason to go there.

Unless I am mistaken, checking for an undescended testicle is a one-time thing.

Personally, I do not find it necessary for my doctor to remove my son's diaper to check for yeast or diaper rash as I am more than capable of recognizing those things myself.

Again, it really seems to me that in most cases of removing the diaper it is simply to perform these "penis inspections". If it were the case of an undescended testicle or diaper rash/yeast then why is the penis even being handled? That only offers yet another opportunity for forced retraction.

Most of this probably comes down to what you said regarding having a "reasonable doctor". It seems that is very key. A "reasonable doctor" most likely wouldn't be handling the penis unless there was a solid reason for doing so (hopefully).

I hope my post doesn't sound snarky. Not intended. I'm trying to understand these things as it seems that anytime I read about a baby going to the doctor something about the diaper coming off is always mentioned regardless of the reason for the visit. And then inevitably forced retraction takes place. So why even allow the diaper to come off unless the reason for the visit involves something under the diaper?
I agree with this. I keep hearing IRL a lot of defending going on for doctors who handle baby boy genitals. That is just the weirdest thing to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogretro View Post
IME, the diaper is taken off for several reasons. One is to check the hips, esp in young & breech babies. Two, girls can develop labial adhesions & the parents may not know this. The dr needs to gently spread the labia majora to see that the minora are not stuck together. Adhesions can become serious, so it is important. Three, drs are mandated reporters & must check for signs of abuse & neglect. Four, we use cloth diapers & in young infants, they weigh by lbs & oz, so the diaper has to come all the way off before baby goes on the scale.
Yes, the diaper came off with my permission one time, at DD's first visit after birth. He showed me how to move her hips to check for dysplasia (already knew) and how to inspect for adhesions (already knew).

Although even checking for adhesions seems a bit hokey, especially if it is done more than once. That's too close to "let's rip it apart." Adhesion can be treated without retraction.
post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeannaK View Post
Furthermore, I intend to write her a letter, including information on cleaning and caring for uncircumcised penises and explain to her the reason I’m removing my kids from her care. If she is ill informed on something as important and basic and this subject, than I have no faith in her advice in other important matters.
I believe it's either DOC or ARClaw that will send a letter pro bono for you. It might be more eye opening coming from an Atty.

Hope someone here has the actual info and e-mail to pass along.
post #15 of 45
Here's some info taken from glongley's post on another thread. (I hope she will forgive me for quoting her without permission.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by glongley View Post

The attorney for Doctors Opposing Circumcision, John Geisheker, will send a letter to the doctor/nurse/hospital pro bono (free) on your behalf telling them what they did was wrong and the consequences. It isn't a letter stating you'll sue, but it is not likely to earn you any friends at the doctor’s office. It is fully referenced and ought to get their attention, and should be very educational for them.

Email him at docdirector.geisheker@gmail.com

Before you contact John, you will need the following information:

The name of the doctor or nurse who did this, the name of his/her practice and their (snail) mailing address.

The name of the hospital where the doctor has privileges, (the hospital where they practice) and the mailing address. (even if it didn’t happen at the hospital)

The name of the CEO or Administrator of the hospital. (even if it didn't happen in the hospital, find out where the offending doctor has privileges and send it to those hospitals)

The name of the hospital's risk manager.

The name of the head of the department (OB, peds, emergency, etc.)

Baby’s name, date of birth, age.
Full detailed narrative of incident, what you were told, aftereffects.


Letters will also be sent to:

The state medical board in your state.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (hospitals fear them like a boogeyman)


John V. Geisheker, JD
DoctorsOpposingCircumcision.org
1727--14th Ave., Suite #5
Seattle, WA 98122
Tel / fax +1. 206. 568. 0566
Cell +1. 206. 465. 6636



Gillian
post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by NettleTea View Post
None of those things involve touching the penis (unless a rash or yeast is around the penis), yet it seems that most doctors would still use the above circumstances as a reason to go there.
Some would, and that's not okay, but the issue there is handling the penis, not removing the diaper.

Quote:
Unless I am mistaken, checking for an undescended testicle is a one-time thing.
I'd have to look into that. I do recall taking ds1 to ER (Friday night - no doctor until Monday, and I was freaked), because he had a weird lump up above his penis. It was his testicle, but it hadn't been there before that day, and it dropped again a few days later. The ER doctor just told me to keep an eye on it, and make sure I told my family doctor...

Quote:
Personally, I do not find it necessary for my doctor to remove my son's diaper to check for yeast or diaper rash as I am more than capable of recognizing those things myself.
This is true. However, it's not that uncommon for a rash to be more serious than the parents realize. I can see some value in a doctor doing a quick eyeball check on the under the diaper area.

Quote:
Again, it really seems to me that in most cases of removing the diaper it is simply to perform these "penis inspections". If it were the case of an undescended testicle or diaper rash/yeast then why is the penis even being handled? That only offers yet another opportunity for forced retraction.

Most of this probably comes down to what you said regarding having a "reasonable doctor". It seems that is very key. A "reasonable doctor" most likely wouldn't be handling the penis unless there was a solid reason for doing so (hopefully).
I probably have a reasonable doctor (doctors, actually - my usual GP, and the one I go to for maternity care...my usual doctor's wife and partner in practice). All four of my children have had their diapers undone, although not fully removed, at every single WBV. The doctor just eyeballs the area, asks about any hint of rash (how long has it been there, is it improving/getting worse, etc.), and does the diaper back up. I've never had a doctor touch the penis of either of my boys...except the above-mentioned ER doctor, so he coudl check whether it was one of or both of his testicles that was up.
post #17 of 45
There are legitimate reasons for checking the diaper area - diaper rash, undecended testicle, testicular torsion, hydrocele (all things that can happen between visits, and can happen more than once)- but there is NO reason for retraction. I don't find it "weird" that my sons' ped would check their genitals. It's no more "weird" than the ped checking their hips, or ears, or feet. Genitals are part of the body.
post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitenites View Post
I don't find it "weird" that my sons' ped would check their genitals. It's no more "weird" than the ped checking their hips, or ears, or feet. Genitals are part of the body.
I like this quote.
I would FREAK if my ped touched my boy's penis. I know your grabbed her hand and I think you rock!
GO ahead with that legal advice above. That's a great way for the doctor to see she is truly in the wrong.
post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeannaK View Post
Thanks everyone for your advice/condolences/support/ etc.

What it boils down to for me, a mom of 3 beautiful, intact boys, is trusting the doctor I take my kids to. Especially with twins when I’m fumbling with one baby or another. Had I turned my back to help the other baby for a second, what might that pediatrician have done? I need to trust the doctor that I see.

Furthermore, I can't take my children back to her because I won't be able to trust or believe in her advice should they really become sick and need medical care. The information she gave me on “dealing” with an uncircumcised penis was ridiculous. And like someone said earlier, we must voice our outrage and give these doctors the correct information. Furthermore, I intend to write her a letter, including information on cleaning and caring for uncircumcised penises and explain to her the reason I’m removing my kids from her care. If she is ill informed on something as important and basic and this subject, than I have no faith in her advice in other important matters.
I think that's a good plan of action and might start some thinking on her part. (Who likes to lose a good "costumer", after all?) Good for you for standing up for your children.

On a slightly different note: stories like yours always make me wonder what's so difficult for doctors about telling a patient - or in this case the parent - what they're going to do and why. (If your dr. had "announced" her intention you probably could have held her back verbally instead of having to grab her wrist.)
post #20 of 45
Our pediatrician, who I trust very much, and who is very much well-informed about the care of the normal, undamaged penis, always opens the diaper at a well-baby check. I don't think that's a problem-- it's a part of their body, like any other, and if I'm paying her to keep an eye on their health, watching for problems in the genital area is part of that.

But the difference is she always asks me first, in an open way that clearly gives me an opening to say no. She clearly tells me, before she does anything at all, exactly what she's looking for, and why, and pauses briefly in case I want to question her or refuse. She's opened DS's diaper twice to check for undescended testicles, and a few times to be able to manipulate his hips better, and a few times to scan for rash. This last time, at DS's three-year exam, she asked HIM if it was okay for her to take a look, and she waited for him to say yes before she did.

When DD1 was 5, the doc asked DD if she could look, and DD refused, and the doctor respected that, and instead turned to me and offered me some suggestions about things to keep an eye on, and asked DD if it was okay if "your mama takes a quick peek the next time you're getting dressed or washed."

That, to me, is what quality health care looks like. A partnership between doctor, child, and parent, with the child's dignity and right to control access to his/her own body respected.

Good for you, OP.
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