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Is it ever physically possible for a baby to not feel pain during circumcision? More details in...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

A lady on another message board is claiming that her baby literally slept before, during and after his circumcision and he only had a sugar pacifer.

 

So, obviously, to anyone this sounds odd because even those that do circumcise usually always acknowledge that it is, at the least, causing temporary discomfort.

 

Now some people have told her he was probably in shock, but she still strongly says that her baby was asleep the whole entire time- before, during and after- and never cried once, never acted upset ever. That he cried during vaccinations and the heel prick, but that is all.

 

Is this at all physically possible? Could he be extremely rare and just not have had developed nerves in his foreskin? I can't think of any other explanation other than she is somehow mistaken.

post #2 of 21

I know a woman who says this about her son too.  She said they put on a topical numbing cream, then gave him a local to numb the area.  So yeah, I guess he didn't feel it.  When I asked my doc about doing it that way, he said they couldn't give a local because it would make the area swell too much.

post #3 of 21
I dont see how it is possible there are so many nerve endings down there and babies are less able to cope with pain than and older child or adult. I have heard others claim the same thing over the years and I just aint buying it. Even using numbing cream before the penile block he is going to feel it. If you have ever had a numbing shot for stitches or anything like that you know how badly that thing hurts.
post #4 of 21

Was she actually there to see him sleep through it?

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

Yes, she said she was there for the whole thing. I have heard people say that this has happened at Jewish Bris, but then I know they tend to use different equipment and techniques than at a hospital.

post #6 of 21

Is it possible that the procedure was done in stages...that the separation of the foreskin had already been done?

I know in one of the videos on bris, this is what was done- the actual cutting was then very very fast and not as involved.  It still would be painful, but the child may just be in a bit of shock and unable to react before it is all done.  The mohel  explained that they needed to perform the assessment before the procedure to make sure everything was anatomically normal, and during the exam the baby got fussy because he was retracted.  The baby was settled later and then the actual cutting during the ceremony was very quick and seemed to bother the baby just a tiny bit.

It could also be possible that it was done differently- but the end result is still a damaging, irreversible altering.  I often wonder if the more 'original' circs were more simple- pulling the skin forward a little and cutting.  This would be less invasive and wouldn't involve the painful ripping of adhesions and cutting and danger of taking too much.  As we know, changes were made over time and when it became medical, then there were many techniques developed.

 

There are many rationalizations.  

 

Also, what is her point?  That just because it seemed her baby wasn't in agonizing pain, that it is okay for so many babies to go thru it w/o adequate pain control?  Does she want to promote the methods used for her son?

And does it really make sense to her that it didn't hurt?  How can one really think that cutting off a piece of skin wouldn't hurt?  

 

Jessica

post #7 of 21

I've read online stories from parents who say their child wasn't bothered, didn't cry, slept through it, etc. However, I've never, ever witnessed it in real life. I've actually never even seen a video of a medical circ or a religious one where the child didn't cry.

 

post #8 of 21

Could she not just be lying?

post #9 of 21

Could it be that her baby was so drugged it didn't feel it? 
 

My grandma talked about the days they did it right in the birthing room while the mother's were still asleep.  Not one tear out of either.  IMO, I think the baby still had to many drugs in his system to know.

post #10 of 21

I was talking to an older woman in my choir yesterday about children and she started talking about her son's birth, which I guess was heavily medicated (she only talked about the induction) and she blindsided me with, "And then I had him circumcised, so they gave him brandy and he slept for 3 days straight with a smile on his face. He was hard to wake to feed; he was that out of it." I respectfully didn't say anything--I think I winced/smiled--and I was about to change the subject because I didn't see the point in arguing with her, but then she started in on talking about the "benefits" of circumcision, which I disputed, of course. It was a completely unexpected and unwanted conversation, but this thread reminded me of it.

post #11 of 21

Babies who look like they're sleeping during circ have actually passed out from the pain (which can be measured by heart rate, respiration rate, etc.) 

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

Jess, those are some really good points. I don't know, though, because no one else has responded to my questions about the Jewish Bris. I think her point, though, was just that even if her child is the exception, she doesn't like it when people are absolute and say all babies are suffering ...when she swears hers didn't.

 

Galatea, yes, that's possible because I don't know her at all...it's a message board. From her other posts, she sounds sincere, though, so I was just giving the benefit of the doubt.

 

Marsupialmum, according to her, it didn't sound like it. She said she had just nursed him and they went to the other room for the circumcision.

 

A&A, yeah, this what I have known, too, but that is the whole problem....she says that he was sleeping before, during and after. That he didn't flinch, didn't cry,  only had a sugar paci.

post #13 of 21

I think part of the reason people think their babies "sleep through" circumcision is that they don't realize that retracting the foreskin is unhealthy and painful. The baby starts crying when they start retracting, which is before any actual cutting starts, so onlookers figure they must be upset because they're strapped down rather than because their penis is in excruciating pain. Then the baby passes out when the pain gets worse.

post #14 of 21

There is no way that circumcision is not excruciatingly painful, whether in a hospital or in a religious ceremony. You're cutting skin off. It has to hurt! Think about slicing an earlobe off -- doesn't matter how sharp the knife is or how quickly it happens, it's going to hurt like an SOB. Religious ceremonies do not differ in the level of pain, although they may differ in the equipment used.

 

I think parents can tell themselves stories, rationalize like crazy, because at bottom they know what they're saying makes no sense. The more times they tell the story, the more true it becomes for them. So thye're not "lying" necessarily in the sense that they know they're telling an untruth but it has become truth for them even though objectively it's false.

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Cyllya, no, that is the whole debate with this particular lady....she says he was already sleeping....he didn't fall asleep, or in shock, during the procedure....the whole thing that she is debating is that ....he slept the whole...entire time...even before...no change.

 

Quirky, that's the only thing that I can assume...or he is very rare and didn't have proper nerves endings there....I guess anything is possilbe, though unlikely.

post #16 of 21

I wonder if it's possible that it happened so fast he never really "woke up" enough to feel it until it was so intense that then he went into shock from the pain? Does that make sense? I don't know how long it takes to do a circumcision, and I don' thave the heart to watch a video to find out...

post #17 of 21

so what if he did sleep while she sat there and watched them amputate a healthy functioning part of her son's anatomy for cosmetic reasons? it is still wrong to alter someone else's body for no medical reason. babyhood goes really fast, and her son might have really wanted his foreskin in the near future, and for the rest of his life.

post #18 of 21

Someone here once said, "Even if the foreskin was painlessly licked off by tiny cute kittens, it wouldn't make it okay."

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post

so what if he did sleep while she sat there and watched them amputate a healthy functioning part of her son's anatomy for cosmetic reasons? it is still wrong to alter someone else's body for no medical reason. babyhood goes really fast, and her son might have really wanted his foreskin in the near future, and for the rest of his life.



EXACTLY  -  so very well put!!  I think with information so readily available on the internet now, a lot of circumcised boys are going to figure out what was done to them and be more than a little upset about it.

 

post #20 of 21

i'm jewish and have been to quite a few bris ceremonies where the babies are completely quiet and calm. they give them a bit of wine, put some emla cream on the penis to numb it and the baby is held the whole time in someone's arms. so maybe that's it. the last one i went to the baby screamed bloody murder though...it was awful. and my poor DS says "why are they doing that mama?" (he's intact, despite our religion).

 

so anyway, yes, it is possible for a baby to endure the whole thing quietly sleeping, and not passed out from trauma. most jews will tell you that they've seen it many times.

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