Dr has outdated advice for uncircumcised baby...I think? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-19-2011, 04:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Every time I see my son's doctor (a GP), one thing he always tells me is that I should be retracting my baby's foreskin and washing under there. He says that not doing this could "cause problems later on" and "make him a very unhappy young man." I'm pretty sure that everything I've read says to just leave it alone...


I'd like some reassurance here, that's all. I don't want to cause a painful problem for my little guy, and, well, I don't have that particular anatomical feature, so I don't have any idea what to do with it.

Mama to Silas Anansi, born 9/9/10 and Petra Eadaion, born 10/1/12.

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#2 of 4 Old 06-19-2011, 09:38 AM
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I'm sure Marilyn will be by soon, but I just have to say--your doc is absolutely wrong!  Do NOT retract your son's foreskin.  Just wipe off the outside. 

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#3 of 4 Old 08-18-2011, 10:05 AM
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Hello nilatti,


A baby's intact penis needs to be washed like a finger. No soap, just warm water. The attachment of the foreskin and glans, during the early months and years of life, protect the glans and urinary meatus from urine and feces, helping to keep the urinary tract sterile. As separation begins and retraction becomes possible, the first person to retract a boy's foreskin should be the boy himself. The average age of retractability is 10.4 years. If the foreskin has not retracted prior to puberty, the hormones of puberty and the increased interest in the organ "at hand" usually completes the task. The penis is not done developing until a males is about 25 years old. If his foreskin is not retractile by then, gentle stretching will make it retractable in a short period of time. And, finally, about two percent of males live their entire lives with a non-retractile foreskin without ever having a problem. It's a variation on a theme.


Sadly, many doctors today do not understand the structures, functions, development, and care of the normal penis. You can take your son's GP the following articles to educate him. Go to www.nocirc.org/articles and read the second, third, and fourth articles and them print them out for the doc. Also go to www.nocirc.org/publish and print out and read pamphlets 3, 4, 6, 7, and 10. Once you've read this material, you'll have learned more than your doc did in medical school. If he questions or challenges you, have him go to (or you can print out for him) the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which also says not to retract the foreskin. Fiddling with foreskins causes problems. Your son is fine without anyone fiddling with his!

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#4 of 4 Old 09-13-2011, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I just wanted to share this because it made me laugh.

My son's 1-year WBV was this past week. I asked him not to retract the foreskin and told him about the AAP (rather than some anti-circ people he's never heard of!) saying that it's normal for it to not be fully able to retract until late in childhood. He said he would leave it alone if that's what I wanted...and then he said (respectful, but totally mystified), "Well, then, how is it ever supposed to retract?" I said that my understanding was that the skin layers separate naturally over time. But after I left, I got to thinking. I never retracted my dog's foreskin, but it definitely operates correctly. Who's going around retracting the foreskins of other high primates?? Does he imagine that some zookeeper has that job, retracting all the foreskins on the baby orangutans? THINK ABOUT IT.

Emma Bryan Fuller likes this.

Mama to Silas Anansi, born 9/9/10 and Petra Eadaion, born 10/1/12.

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