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Intact baby - what should happen at doctor's visits?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
DS had his four months WCV, and at one point his nurse practitioner looked at his diaper area. I asked if all looked normal down there, since I don't even know what an intact baby is supposed to look like. She gently tugged the foreskin a little (enough that I just barely saw the head of the penis, which I had not seen before) and said, "See, it doesn't retract all the way yet, and that's fine. You don't need to do anything about it." DS did not cry, startle, or react in any way to what she did (he was laying in my lap at the time), but I was surprised by what she did.

My question: is that okay/normal at a WCV (gently pulling foreskin to see if the child can retract or not)? It didn't seem uncomfortable to him, and I did ask for her advice on whether all was well in that area, but I've been so nervous about accidentally retracting (and hurting) him before he is ready.
post #2 of 15
No, it's not okay, but they do it anyway. There is no need to "test" the foreskin to see if it retracts. That can cause tiny tearings under the foreskin and lead to scarring. The only person who should mess around with the foreskin is the owner of it.

I would print out some information on the care of the newborn penis from an anti-circ site and mail it to the nurse practitioner. In the future, when the doctor "peeks" down there, just state that you don't want anybody to touch the child's penis. If they say, "Well, we have to look," you can say "I've researched this for myself and no, you don't."
post #3 of 15
Personal opinion? No, there is no reason for anyone to be touching or looking into your 4-month-old's penis. Not a nurse practitioner and not your postman.

I don't understand the health profession's mania with penises, and the glans penis in particular.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, to be fair, I did ask her if everything looked normal, so that's why she was looking at it. But it is good to know that I should ask her NOT to "test" the retraction in the future. I have a great rapport with our NP, so I feel comfortable just asking her not to do it - she'll listen to me.

But is my DS okay after having that happen? Still looks the same, hasn't seemed sensitive or sore. Gah. So much to worry about with this new set of equipment - not my area of expertise! Now I know how my DH must have felt when he was learning how to change our DD's diapers and keep her clean.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
She gently tugged the foreskin a little (enough that I just barely saw the head of the penis, which I had not seen before) and said, "See, it doesn't retract all the way yet, and that's fine.
She shouldn't be doing this sort of thing.

Its exactly what can lead to infections. Naughty nurse.

Sometimes iatrogenic damage can lead a doctor to declare that circumcision is needed.

You don't touch and you leave it alone.
post #6 of 15
At William's two WBV's, and his hospital ped visits the Dr checks his hips and then puts a finger in his leg pit. I think he's checking this because William was breech but I'm not sure. Next time I'll ask. He doesn't touch his genitals AT ALL. In fact, I the hospital he made a HUGE deal, almost to the point where I wanted to say "hey, you know, we recearched how to take care if intact penises!" ", that no one messes with his foreskin. He does this at WBV too. In fact the last appt he was very concerned that I hadn't told MIL about proper intact care!

I really like my ped. If I were to go to a different ped someday I would reuse to take DS's diaper off. With this ped William is totally naked, his favorite way to be!

FWIW, I can see just the very tip of William's glans when I happen to change him during an erection. I don't know if what your nurse did was spicifically traumatic...though I'd have slapped her hand away of she went for DS.
post #7 of 15
I'm sure your son is okay, especially if he didn't seem hurt at all. But my doctor has never touched my son's penis. He takes off the diaper to check the hips, and I think in the beginning he had to make sure the testicles were descended. But no reason to touch the penis. Hopefully the NP just did it because you asked. Although she could have told you it looked fine without touching it.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaitingForKiddos View Post
At William's two WBV's, and his hospital ped visits the Dr checks his hips and then puts a finger in his leg pit. I think he's checking this because William was breech but I'm not sure.
Checking the hips is commonly done on all babies at WBVs. The doctor is feeling/listening for a "click" sound that can indicate problems with hip formation and hip dysplasia. Finger in the leg pit is to check for inguinal hernia.
post #9 of 15
Makes you wonder ... if the NP had discovered that he was retractable, what would she have done? Only a very small percentage of infants are retractable when they are very young. Would she have chastised you for forcibly retracting? Very strange (albeit common) behavior, with no discernible positive outcome.
post #10 of 15
No, it is not ok. Neither nurse, nor doctor (nor anyone else for that matter) should ever try to retract a boy. Your son should should be the only person allowed to mess with it
post #11 of 15
My son is 7 months and our ped has never touched his penis. She does open his diaper every time and feel in the crease of his legs? Not sure what she is checking there, but she has never even touched his penis.
post #12 of 15
my son is nearly 4 and no doctor or nurse has ever touched or in any other way checked his penis at all. At his hospital discharge when he was 24 hours the doctor checked his testicles but that was it, nothing since then. I dont think anyone has ever even mentioned it at all to be honest but having said that I also have three girls and no one has ever checked their genitals either.
post #13 of 15
We have a family history of hernias so my ped checks for those but has never touched his penis.
post #14 of 15
It really is best not to ask about the foreskin. Just say "please don't retract him." Asking about opens the door to curiosity.

What should happen at a WBC, is: s/he lifts the penis out of the way and checks baby's testicle to make sure they are fully descended. S/he briefly looks over the entire diaper area to see if there is any rash. Done.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

I wanted to update to say DS just had his six month WCV, and our NP did not even touch that area - a quick peek in the diaper area to check for rash (didn't even get the diaper off all the way) and that was it!  I didn't even have to say anything.  So glad she seems to be hands off now about that area.  :)

 

I also have to add, although it's neither here nor there, that I really appreciate that our provider examines DS on my lap rather than the exam table.  It's so much more comfortable and relaxed for him. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post

It really is best not to ask about the foreskin. Just say "please don't retract him." Asking about opens the door to curiosity.

What should happen at a WBC, is: s/he lifts the penis out of the way and checks baby's testicle to make sure they are fully descended. S/he briefly looks over the entire diaper area to see if there is any rash. Done.
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