or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Miscellaneous › Natural Family Living Workshops › Workshop #3 - Baby’s Early Years; Circumcision
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Workshop #3 - Baby’s Early Years; Circumcision

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Workshop #3 - Baby’s Early Years; Circumcision

Welcome to our third Natural Family Living discussion; Baby’s Early Years; Circumcision. This discussion will key in on Part 2 – Baby’s Early Years; Circumcision from Peggy O’Mara’s book Natural Family Living.

Some of the topics we'll discuss are;
  • What is Circumcision?
  • Circumcision is Painful
  • What Is the Foreskin?
  • The Medical Pros and Cons
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease
  • Cancer of the Penis
  • Cancer of the Cervix
  • Phimosis
  • Balanoposthitis
  • Circumcision and the Medical Establishment
  • Circumcision and Sex
  • Care of the Intact Penis
  • The Rights of the Child

Please see the cover story in the latest issue of Mothering magazine No. 149 July-August 2008 The Truth About Circumcision and HIV: Challenging recent research by Gussie Fauntleroy for more information and resources.

The issue of religious circumcision can often be a difficult topic to discuss. We have chosen to keep all religious discussions in our Religious Studies forum. Feel free to engage in respectful discussion with the knowledge that we will not allow debate over the issue of religious circumcision, nor will we allow debate on the merits of routine infant circumcision. Please be respectful to all our members and their spiritual beliefs so that the workshop can be a place of meaningful and respectful discussion for all our members.

We would like to invite everyone to join us no matter where you are in your thinking or feelings. These discussions are meant to be nonjudgmental so please keep in mind when reading members' responses that this is a true discussion based on Natural Family Living and not a place to debate or criticize. Feel free to tell your story; what were your initial thoughts about circumcision? Do you feel you good information was available to you? What have you learned that you’d like to share? If your currently facing this decision, what information would be helpful to you?

We’re excited to offer this workshop and hope it will give our members a glimpse into the grassroots of Mothering magazine and Natural Family Living.

This workshop will be facilitated by our moderators race_kelly and BelovedK. They are here to guide the discussion and keep it on topic. They will occasionally post references or ask questions to keep the conversation flowing. Please feel free to contact them at any time with questions, suggestions or concerns. Please keep in mind our workshop guidelines and current user agreement at all times.

We are compiling a Natural Family Living Resources Sticky which we will update with each workshop. Please feel free to refer to it for more information. For articles and information on our current workshop, please see the Baby’s Early Years; Circumcision page.
post #2 of 62

It's nice to be here :)

Hi all welcome to the NFL workshop on circumcision, I am really excited to learn and share with all of you.

When I had a son, it was a no brainer that I wouldn't circ my son, luckily my dh agreed, so there was no fight for me.

I would love to hear some of the challenges that some of you had, not so much in the actual decision, but dealing with the reactions from other people. I tend to get 'attitude' when dealing with opinions that I find "ignorant". It has been a challenge for me to reframe that outlook in order to call out my patience and educate others rather than berate them.

I think that by adopting that attitude, it may actually make people actually think about what is really happening when they circ, rather than polarizing them and causing them to be more hardened in their stance.
post #3 of 62
I have learned so much by moderating The Case Against Circumcision forum here at MDC. I am very tahnkful to the members who post their experiences and their knowledge.

When I first learned of circumcision, my reaction was one of surprise and bafflement. Why would anyone wish to cut off a naturally occuring piece of their child I wondered. I happened upon a copy of the book The Joy of Uncircumcising in a progressive book store when I was about 20 and learned of foreskin restoration.

I have been against circumcision since I knew what it was.

When my dh and I were dating I aked him what he thought of several AP sorts of things as they related to children. When I asked him what he thought about circumcision, he said "No way would I do that to a child and frankly, I'd like mine back!" It was at that very moment that I knew he was someone I could marry and raise children with.

We just welcomed our first baby boy May 27th and having a real live boy to love has driven home the horrors of circ even more. I cannot imagine handing him over to a stranger to cut a piece of his body away for no medical reason. All of him is precious and right. So far no one has commented on his intact body.

I look forward to this discussion!
post #4 of 62
Hi everybody!

I've got 3 little boys, all intact. I'm very happy with the decision that we made not to circ. them.

I can remember about 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child, my mother asked me if I was going to circ. if I had a boy. I looked at her with a complete blank face and said, "ummm, I haven't even thought about it." She handed me a book about circ, and within 5 minutes I told her that I would not do that if I had a son. I spoke to my dh that night, showed him the book, and he said that he was with me on not circing. He is circ'd, but never said anything about wanting his sons to look like him, what his family would think, or that it was dirty, etc. I was very glad to see that he was on the same page.

I told my mom that night that dh had agreed with me completely and she was thrilled. : She had been a maternity nurse for many years and was completely appalled by what she had seen regarding circ. The stories she could tell are awful.

She is no longer a maternity nurse, but she is a IBCLC, hypnobirthing instrustor, teaches a "hi, new baby" class, and she always talks about researching circ. She has had a lot of people bringing up the study done that linked circ. and HIV transmition. She's thrilled to see the new article in mothering this month too!
post #5 of 62
That is great that you had so much support, and how cool is that to have a mom like that
post #6 of 62
I hadn't given much thought to it before my first pregnancy. I knew what circumcision was since I was pretty young (middle school, maybe?) but never really though about whether I would circ or not. I wound up on another forum where there was a debate on circ, and there didn't seem to be compelling evidence on the pro-circ side (most of it was stuff like how it reduces chances of this-or-that already rare thing, or aesthetic "to look like daddy" stuff.) so I was pretty anti-circ from then on, and have only become more so the more I learn.
I brought it up with DH and though he wanted to circ at first (because he is circed) it didn't take a whole lot to get him on board with not circing. I just explained to him the basic points that had been made that had me questioning it (mainly that it hurts and it's unnecessary) and he agreed we would never have it done to our sons.
I'm proud to say I've converted a few friends to the non-circing side as well.
post #7 of 62
Frontier, can you tell me about your path to converting a few friends? Was it as easy as sharing info and then they understood or was there debate back and forth?

What tools did you use, just verbal conversation, printed material, online stuff?
post #8 of 62

No boy's....yet

Before I had a child I always *knew* I would circumcise if it was a boy - as a woman, I always thought circumcised boys looked nicer - and the male genitalia isn't all that attractive to look at for me in the first place. When my husband and I started talking about having children - we made the deal that I would breastfeed (he was very pro-breastfeeding) if we could circumcise (if we had a boy obviously). He made the deal. Needless to say we had a girl, and I am breastfeeding. I never thought about how I wanted to parent until after dd was born - now I am much more "natural". I am pro-breastfeeding now, and I would not circumcize any future boys - though I havent told my husband that, he is not allowed to know that he was "right".

I think a lot of it comes down to how we were raised, and whether or not we are comfortable changing the opinions that were bestowed on us. I grew up thinking that there was no downside to circumcizing - it was just a choice - do it or dont do it. That ff was just as good for a baby, that CIO made a baby sleep better and be more well behaved - now that goes against all my instincts as a parent. It takes courage to do differently then you were raised - and I think thats why a lot of people still circumcise....just my two cents..

How is that for a first post on this community...lol..glad to be here!
post #9 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by poiyt View Post
Before I had a child I always *knew* I would circumcise if it was a boy - as a woman, I always thought circumcised boys looked nicer - and the male genitalia isn't all that attractive to look at for me in the first place. When my husband and I started talking about having children - we made the deal that I would breastfeed (he was very pro-breastfeeding) if we could circumcise (if we had a boy obviously). He made the deal. Needless to say we had a girl, and I am breastfeeding. I never thought about how I wanted to parent until after dd was born - now I am much more "natural". I am pro-breastfeeding now, and I would not circumcize any future boys - though I havent told my husband that, he is not allowed to know that he was "right".

I think a lot of it comes down to how we were raised, and whether or not we are comfortable changing the opinions that were bestowed on us. I grew up thinking that there was no downside to circumcizing - it was just a choice - do it or dont do it. That ff was just as good for a baby, that CIO made a baby sleep better and be more well behaved - now that goes against all my instincts as a parent. It takes courage to do differently then you were raised - and I think thats why a lot of people still circumcise....just my two cents..

How is that for a first post on this community...lol..glad to be here!
That's an awesome first post! Isn't it amazing that if we really listen to our children and our instincts we can be open to learning new ideas? Very glad to have you here and thank you for your open, honest response.
post #10 of 62
I was raised Jewish, and told that it's a religious rule that Jews circ. However, I was also raised by a single mom, and I'm an only child -- there wasn't much call to discuss penises!

When I was in college I took a Holocaust Lit class, and learned that many families tried to "pass" their children as gentiles during the Holocaust. However, the nazis would invade schools and ask all the boys to pull their pants down. If the boys were circ'ed, that meant they were Jewish, and they would be killed.

I still get teary just thinking about those boys.

My first pregnancy was unexpected; I was single and had just graduated from college. I found out I was pregnant with MZ twin boys. I leaned toward not circ'ing them -- I wasn't religious, for one; I thought about those boys killed because of their circ'ed penises, for two; and I just didn't want to mess with my boys' bodies, for three.

However, I did ask a Rabbi about the history of circumcision. He told me that it's just tradition, a religious custom. That wasn't really persuasive enough for me. And the cleanliness thing -- well, I'll just WASH them really well! That seemed like such a silly argument. I'd seen one uncirc'ed penis before my boys were born, and it wasn't ugly. It was just different.

I mostly chose not to circ because I just didn't want to mess with their bodies. It seemed really simple to me at the time. It still seems simple. Why just cut off a piece of their bodies? It really baffles me that people choose to do it. Okay, "baffles me" is a nice way of putting it, if you catch my drift.

For the record, when I told my mom that I wasn't circ'ing the boys, she said, "Well, I guess that's okay. As long as you vaccinate them."

I said, "Um, mom, I have something else to tell you..."
post #11 of 62
When I was pregnant I knew I didn't want to circ for all the reasons already mentioned. DH at first wanted to and I told him since he was the male parent that if baby was a boy he could make the final decision. Well I was almost ready to give birth and he still said he hadn't made up his mind. I got really worried because by this time there was NO WAY anyone would be cutting off part of my son's penis! I was regretting leaving the decision entirely up to him. In our last baby-care type class at my birth center they showed a video of circ. I cried along with most everyone else there. After that I told DH that I could not watch my son go through something like that and that if he wanted to circ then he would have to be there with our son while they did that to him. Thank goodness DH finally realized it for what it really was and he told me that he had been wanting to circ but seeing the video changed his mind. We did have a boy and he is intact. DH's main concern was that DS would be "different" than his friends, but he knows now that almost half of baby boys born now are not circed and that made him feel more comfortable with it.
post #12 of 62
I truly believe there would be a lot less circ. if parents watched a video of it before they did it. I think a lot of people really just don't know exactly what happens or they just don't want to think about it.
post #13 of 62
When I got pregnant with my first, I just assumed we would circumcise. Dh is, and I thought everyone in my family was as well. It wasnt' something I really gave any thought to at all, and thank God our first was a girl. I really didn't know much about natural parenting, but we had always eaten organic and used natural remedies, and I stumbled on this website when looking up something for my daughter's first fever. I then found The Case Against Circumcision, and learned that its not necessary. I just figured that there really was a reason to it. Anyway, I went on to learn more about it than I ever really even thought was out there. When I got pregnant a second time, I asked my dh about it, and he said he "didn't care" one way or the other. He certainly wasn't worried about his son looking like him, or really anything else. I didn't tell him at that point, but I wouldn't have had him circ'd either way!

I was super worried about my family, and what they would think, but it wasn't going to change my decision. In the hospital, after the birth of my son, my grandmother asked if they still routinely circ'd. I said they didn't, and that we had chosen not to circ our son. I was waiting for the tongue lashing, when she poured out the story of her 2 sons. My father, it seems was circ'd and had had nothing but problems as an infant, with his. She opted to keep my uncle intact, like my grandfather, and he had always been healthy. She was thrilled that ds wasn't circ'd and told me I would never regret it. This gave me such a boost of confidence, and validated that I had made the right decision (even though I knew I had anyway).

I am so grateful to this forum, for having led me to know what is right. My son was born perfect, naturally!
post #14 of 62
My DH was born in Germany to a British mother and an American father--he's intact. He grew up mainly in the USA and said that when he was born his mother didn't even know what Circ was.

When I was pregnant I mainly followed a mainstream board and had no idea what I was getting into when I announced that my DH wanted to keep DS intact. I didn't know anything about the controversy, I was one of the "let daddy choose" clubbies and just had some concerns about the locker room. Throughout the drama, I left the thread believing that the Locker Room teases and taunts were a myth, that 50 percent of boys these days are left intact, it's no big deal.

Weeks/months went on and I told my DH that I knew that the Locker Room scenario was a myth, and he was kinda "huh?" I said that boys don't really look at each other in the locker room and therefore don't pick on boys who are uncirc'd, and he then admitted that he had in fact been teased. I was surprised. But even though he was teased about something so personal, he still wanted DS left intact. I think I'm very lucky to have a thoughtful DH...to think, I would have just as easily gone the other way.
post #15 of 62
I always knew that I didn't want to circ. Unfortunately, when I was pg with DD, now age 3, I told DH that it was up to him. He didn't know much about it, other than to know that he was circed and he didn't feel it was a big deal, so he said we'd do it. Well we ended up having a girl and the conversation just ended there.

Last year I got pregnant and we found out we were having a boy. Thankfully during the time between my DD and my DS, I learned a lot about circ and now knew that I'd never forgive myself if I did that to my baby. I sat DH down and said that I couldn't just let him decide, that I really couldn't let him be circ'd. DH was a little taken aback, but he agreed with whatever I wanted. And that's how my little guy is intact

Uncirc'd penisis are natural and normal to me. My parents chose not to circ my brother, and that was definitely a rarity back then! I've also had several uncirc'd boyfriends over the years and it never bothered me. What has bothered me. . well more like saddened me, is seeing how circing has left my DH with very tight skin. He says it's not painful or bothersome, but you can tell more skin was taken than necessary. And I think to myself.. all for what?

I never worried about what other people think. Believe it or not, it has never come up once in conversation. My parents are obviously onboard, even if they haven't said anything either.I just go around like it's the most natural thing in the world (well actually it is!). It doesn't really come up, though, because no body sees inside his diaper anyway. . and most poeple, thankfully, aren't rude enough to ask about the state of my son's penis.
post #16 of 62
When I was pregnant, I told my hubby that if my lil bubba was a boy, I was against circ. At the time he said he wanted any boys we had to be circ'd, so I started getting together legitamite articles, help support my case. After my baby arrived, and we saw he was a boy, I think his whole perspective changed, and he told me there is no way he could ever cut off any part of his perfect and natural body.
post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by race_kelly View Post
I truly believe there would be a lot less circ. if parents watched a video of it before they did it. I think a lot of people really just don't know exactly what happens or they just don't want to think about it.
I agree here. I really thought I was having a girl. So I didn't give much thought to circ. I really wasn't for it but didn't have an argument against it. I'm a nurse and have seen a lot of penises in my day and most all have been circ'd. That was 'normal' for me. We had a boy and we didn't make up our mind until the very last day an OB came in and said if we waited until we left the hospital we'd have to pay out of pocket to see a pediatric urologist and have it done in the OR. (from what I hear that is really not so). My DH wanted circ and I was tired and not thinking clearly and consented.
DH went with him to the nursery and had to wait outside. He said he screamed like crazy. I don't fault my DH for this. He was a brand new daddy and just thought crying is what babies do. A few weeks later I started doing the research I should have done pre-birth and was horrified. I watched a video and was sick. I seriously couldn't get it out of my head for a month. I cried several times about it and was SO angry at my DH. It is really lack of knowlege. I don't know how it can be informed consent at all. DH still has not to this day watched the video but he understands very clearly that no more boys will be circ'd in our family!
post #18 of 62
How do you handle people who have had their children circ'ed? I'd like to get the info out there, but at the same time I think it is pretty hard to give the info and not make the parents feel like I think they are horrible people or make them defensive. Its a done deal, and for family and good friends I have to live with them and new aquaintances I don't want to leave a bad first impression. Its really hard because I feel very strong about MGM, but at the same time beating up someone for something that is done and likely was done because of misinformation or lack of info, doesn't seem very productive. But on the same note, people wont be better informed if society doesn't learn the facts. Any ideas from you wise folks?
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppyFluffer View Post
Frontier, can you tell me about your path to converting a few friends? Was it as easy as sharing info and then they understood or was there debate back and forth?

What tools did you use, just verbal conversation, printed material, online stuff?
It was mostly just discussion. I'm young, and so are most of my friends. Most don't have kids yet, and have never really put much thought into whether or not they'd circ. I still find a lot of people think you have to, or that it's dirty and hard to take care of if you don't. I'm well known in my group of friends for doing tons of research, so I do get asked about why I plan to do this that and the other. When the subject of circ comes up and my reply is "No way", most of them are genuinely curious. It hasn't been a huge debate so far, or anything I can't handle. The most common comments are that it's dirty or that the baby should look like dad.
Most of my friends also had no clue what was actually done to perform a circ. A lot of them thought it was just like getting a piercing or slicing a finger. They really didn't see the damage done.
post #20 of 62
Well, for me, circumcision wasn't really an option. The government stopped paying for it back in the 70's. I've never seen an adult circ'd penis IRL. (I was born in 1980) I remember someone asking me if my first boyfriend (who I was sleeping with) was circ'd and not knowing the answer.

I've worked in daycare since 2002, and knew that 99% of boys are intact these days (I've changed diapers for 5 circ's out of maybe 50 kids. And that majority of those were religious) Plus, circ's penises always looked shrunk and small and scared to me.

DF is intact (obviously) and didn't understand why I even bothered learning about circ. It wasn't something we were asked about. To have a circ done here, you need to arrange it before the baby is born with the one doctor who will still do them, pay $350 out of pocket....

DF is good with me using him as an example of how good it is to be intact. And how it doesn't matter what Daddy looks like. He doesn't know if his father is circ'd or not (we think likely yes, but aren't sure) or either of his brothers. (that one is way up in the air.)

My biggest concern is those who still don't get it. My Best friends brother is one of the first boys to be left intact, and I think they must have been given instructions to retract as he and several friends were circ'd at 4-5 because of problems. He's TTC right now, so I wait til they get pregnant. I have another friend who thinks circ'd penises are "cleaner" and is TTC. I'll hit her up with videos and info when she gets pregnant too.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Natural Family Living Workshops
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Miscellaneous › Natural Family Living Workshops › Workshop #3 - Baby’s Early Years; Circumcision