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I had to hear babies being circ'ed

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So last week, my newborn son was in the hospital under the phototherapy lights for some serious jaundice (he's fine now). I was in the nursery most of the time, nursing him or just waiting around for him to get hungry. Anyway, one day I was nursing him and they started doing circs in the next room-with the door open to the nursery, so I had to hear it. I have never heard such screams come from a baby--not from hunger, or from getting their heels pricked, or anything. I broke out in a sweat and started crying and holding my baby, so glad I knew--THIS TIME--not to hand him over for it. I felt awful about hearing it but I just started praying for them like crazy.
What really struck me was that there was a group of residents or interns or something watching it being done and I could hear them moaning, swooning, gasping, saying, "It's so barbaric!" and such. These soon-to-be-doctors were clearly upset by what they were seeing, but I suppose they will soon become desensitized and calloused. And what I want to know is why don't they tell the parents what it's like? We had our first son circ'ed and I truthfully had no idea how traumatic it would be for him-- until they brought him back to me practically comatose and he wouldn't nurse for 24 hours. I thought it was just a piece of skin and it only hurt for a second.... I thought you "had" to have it done.... Why don't they make parents witness it before consenting? After just hearing it I was absolutely hysterical. This should be banned in hospitals, and parents should be told why. If you want to have your rabbi or your muslim cleric do it, that is a different story in my opinion and should be respected, but it just boils my blood to think about this happening in the hospital day after day for no good reason. Oh, the clincher was the jackass doctor giving the nurses a hard time about not having the babies ready on time: he whines, "I'm trying to provide a service here..."
post #2 of 11
Wow. I'm so sorry you had to be there. The screams are surreal. And they stay with you forever.
post #3 of 11

it's horrible

I used to work in the hospital lactation clinic, and sometimes when I had to go to the nursery to help mom's with baby's who were in the NICU I would have to hear the circ's. It is ghastly. The nurses were so desensitized that it was pitiful though.
post #4 of 11
Write a letter of complaint to the hospital! I am not kidding- what you were exposed to could cause PTSD for YOU... not to mention those poor babies.

Complain Complain!! Hold them accountable. Express your outrage that this is being done.

Those medical students are ALSO being abused. there is no reason why they should be forced to be exposed to barbaris unethical cruelty. That is not medical training- that is conditioning to submit to the status quo of authority. medical students need to be encouraged to speak out, protest and refuse to take part in that. See if they have a school paper. Write a letter and encourage them to take a stand. Medical school costs enough without selling out your soul.
Those people did not decide to become HEALERS to be a part of that.

Love Sarah
post #5 of 11
OMG..I am so sorry you had to hear that..I can imagine it, I have been told by 2 people what their babies acme back like too and they were not the same happy babies that left their rooms before the circ..So sad..
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for sympathizing. Sarah your idea is a good one, though I might not complain in my leter (they might just institute a policy of closing the door or evacuating the nursery of parents) but I might just suggest that they promote intactness as aggressively as they promote breastfeeding.
post #7 of 11


If the hospital is at ALL breastfeeding friendly, you could take the approach that discouraging RIC is a way to help establish breastfeeding in the early newborn period. Circumcising throws a BIG wrench into establishing breastfeeding for a lot of babies.
post #8 of 11
"Scientific studies have consistently shown that circumcision disrupts a child's behavioral development." - and - "Numerous other studies have proven that circumcision disrupts the mother-infant bond during the crucial period after birth. Research has also shown that circumcision disrupts feeding patterns. In a study at the Washington University School of Medicine, most babies would not nurse right after they were circumcised, and those who did would not look into their mothers' eyes.66 "
post #9 of 11

absolutely right

I worked in a hospital lactation clinic and saw the problems first hand. We all knew that if we walked into a room and the little whiteboard was in the bassinet (listing the time of the circ and each time it was checked by the nurse) it was very unlikely that we would get that baby to breast that day. Most little boys go into a very deep sleep state - comalike - and it is virtually impossible to get them to wake to feed. If they will attempt to nurse, they have more trouble latching and coordinating their sucking. There is a huge and obvious difference between the girls/intact boys and the cut boys. So, in addition to the loss of their foreskin, these little guys lose out on some of the colostrum they would otherwise get in the first few days and are at risk of losing out on breastfeeding altogether.
post #10 of 11

A link to ....

a letter from the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
You might send it to the hospital maternity head nurse.
It cautions against routine circumcision.

post #11 of 11
I truly am sitting here and crying for these babies. I am sorry for you too. I wish more people knew. I didn't at first. I think people in general don't know how terrible it is and that it is unecessary. It is just very acceptable in our country. Not many people think twice about it and it is just too bad. I am so glad we knew better before the birth of our son. I don't know how to "get the word out" to others. I wish I knew. I just pray for those poor babes.
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