I tried to post in intactivism and kept getting redirected. Also would rather post anonymous for this but cannot find that option either--mods please change if possible.
I need help, quick, please reply asap pro intactivists!
I work for WIC as a breastfeeding peer counselor. I live and work in a decidedly non-crunchy area.
At a staff meeting last week, my boss mentioned how Medicaid is no longer paying for circ (yay!), followed by eye-rolling and insensitive comments regarding use of sugar pacifier to cut the pain :(
One "lead" staff member in particular became very verbal about how she is informing folks that it can be performed at 2-30 days after birth in pediatrician's office, and after that time must be referred to a urologist and that she is advising families to save up the $350 to pay out of pocket for the procedure.
I was horrified, my heart beating, just totally caught off guard at this unexpected exchange.
My direct supervisor (who is baby friendly and I suspect pro-intact) caught my eye and asked if I wanted to say something. I was NOT prepared and wish I had done a better job :(
I said we should note that evidence does show that circ negatively impacts breastfeeding, that we don't need to tell them to do it, and that my son was "uncircumcised" (for which I am kicking myself because he is INTACT!! and I am normally a big stickler for language changing culture). It was awkward, and lead girl gave me dirty looks, the big boss mumbled how "and that's more and more prevalent these days" and then she changed the subject.
Anyway, I have been stressing out thinking about this educator talking to every mom who comes in her office pregnant with a son and presenting circ as the norm, not even accounting for the option of intact, and giving them the lowdown on just what to do step by step basically a check list how to cut your son now that the state won't pay for it.
My main issue (small scale) is that this topic is out of her scope of practice and she should not even be discussing it with clients--how do I make that clear among the staff in my office? I want to write a follow up email, but feel like as the days go by it will be less and less relevant, so I'd like to send it out tomorrow night (from home). How do I phrase this in a non-offensive way that doesn't look like a personal attack but makes it very clear that no staff member shall influence a family's decisions regarding genital autonomy?
Should I include facts about how as many boys die of circ complications as SIDS (which is so big a deal among human services), if so, where are the published legit facts for that? Should I include research on circ effect on breastfeeding if so where do you find those legit facts? like from a medical research paper, not just a blog, kwim?
Now: on the larger scale, I cannot find an official policy from WIC regarding circ and how staff members should handle the issue if it comes up in visits. In my mind, we should do what we are always supposed to do, which is EMPOWER moms and families to make informed decisions for themselves, refer them to self-educate and talk to relevant professionals (not that most hcps are that informed abt circ but that is another issue). So. We need to get WIC to develop a national staff policy which states "staff members will not influence families regarding decisions of whether or not to circumcise" or something like that. y'all gotta help me with that ;)
Her conversation with families should've not mentioned circ AT ALL unless the family brought it up themselves, then she shoulda said, "it's great that you are proactive in educating yourself about the issue; I'm sure that you will make the right decision for your family" or something like that. Instead, in my mind I see, "oh you're having a boy? did you know medicaid won't pay for circ and they don't do it in the hosp? you better start saving up now." WRONG WRONG WRONG.
GTG baby boy needs me! Please write back stat!