My last two boys are intact, and were born at home.
My newest little guy came early, at 29 weeks.
He was born in the hospital and spent time in the NICU.
It was heart-breaking, and I was not able to be there every second due to having other children at home that needed to see me too.
My baby would be about a month old now, if he had been born on his due date.
As is it, he is about 3.5 months old.
I noticed last night that his foreskin very easily retracts so that I can see at least half of his glands.
Is this normal for a newborn?
Or do you think they retracted him in the hospital?
Should I be concerned about adhesions?
What about scarring?
What should I do about his care at this point?
Thank you so much.
Since you don't know what happened to your son's foreskin in the hospital, if you never saw blood on his diaper, that's a good sign. I once read that two percent of boys are born with a fully retractile foreskin, but after never seeing one or even hearing from a parent about one in the 24 years I'd done this work, I didn't believe it. Then, when I was watching my 4-month-old grandson while my daughter-in-law was at the dentist, he pooped from stem to stern. As I stabilized the base of his penis so I could wipe it off, his glans (head of the penis) popped out. I knew I had not pulled on the foreskin because I knew better. I must say, I was truly amazed. But, then I thought, if it's only two percent of the population, it's a wonder that I ever saw retractability in an infant.
Even if a foreskin has been forcibly retracted, care instructions are the same--leave it alone! The first person to retract a boy's foreskin should be the boy himself. If someone had premature retracted your son's foreskin, you would watch for redness, warmth, swelling, and sensitive to touch, which are normal signs of inflammation. Additional blood is entering the area, bringing white blood cells and other immunological substances to counter bacterial invasion when skin is broken. If the symptoms of inflammation increase, there may be infection. Sitz baths are helpful. Warm water and air are always good. Soaps, shampoos in the bath, and bubble baths are not good.
The body is the healer! Even if adhesions formed during the healing process, they often resolve in their own time, just as the balanopreputial lamina (synechia) that normally connects the foreskin and glans resolves. So, wash your son's penis like you wash his finger--outside only. And, be vigilant, especially when a healthcare professional you don't know examines him. Some providers have not yet learned to "look but don't touch." In closing, I'd like to thank you for protecting your sons and helping make America whole again!
Marilyn Fayre Milos, RN, Executive Director
National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC)
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