I am a student doula and I just attended my first birth last month. The baby was a boy, and the mama new that ahead of time so during our prenatal meetings we discussed circumcision, and I gave her information about leaving her son intact. She said she wanted him to be circ'd but didn't give a reason, and we discussed at least delaying circ. until he was "old enough for pain meds":
She ended up not circing at the hospital, and I was thrilled b/c I have never known anyone who actually had it done after taking baby home, bonding, ect. (aside from religious reasons).
Anyway, we spoke yesterday and she has an appt. with a dr. to circ him on fri. She said "I am just dreading this b/c I don't want him to be in pain." And I told her that I understood and that it would hurt.
Would it be wrong for me to call her and try to talk her out of this? If I just say-- you seem to have reservations about this...why do you feel it must be done?
Oh, and she told me her baby has very little foreskin but the dr. said "there's enough to cut--if there's any foreskin you can cut it "
Sorry so long....
I know these are tough questions but if you are going to be a doula, they are going to come up over and over again. If you don't speak up, each child you don't speak up for will just add to your burden of guilt until it becomes overwhelming. That won't be a pleasant place to be. That's too much stress to bear.
Just as Frankly Speaking said, in my mind, too there's no difference if you circumcise a boy or a girl - it's genital mutilation in both cases.
A penis has a foreskin for a reason - it is designed to protect it, to keep it moist and to give more pleasure sexually, too. I tell you, I would have been mad at my mother if she cut away an integral part of my genitalia at birth or in infancy.
I hope that someone gives you better advice on what to say and how to say it, but I just wanted to say what I feel.
Ask her to watch the video of a circ at www.intact.ca before she goes to the doctor.
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I feel so sad right now. I wish I could have changed her mind. It feels like such a hopeless place to be...to know that tomorrow something bad will happen to that sweet baby and the one person who can stop it won't.
Thanks anyway y'all....
I just don't buy this "she had known people who weren't circ'd who blamed their parents". I just cannot imagine any man feeling resentful towards parents because they left his penis intact. It's not as if it's impossible for an adult to get circumcised...
Just the reverse I think - it is very possible that the man will feel angry towards his mother for mutilating his genitals.
You may have to decide, though (as some doulas have done), that you cannot/will not work with clients who are going to circ if the child is male.
Yes, you may lose some clients this way, but at least you'll be able to sleep at night. And, who knows, some clients may be so impressed by your dedication to the cause that they may ask you for more information.
After all, why does a woman deserve a doula to nurture her when she is going to turn around and put her son through this torture? Does HE get a doula when he's going through this? Just some things for you to think about.
You did what you could. You gave it your best shot. I commend you for that.
Next time you might succeed or again you might not. But one thing is for sure, if you don't try, there is probably no chance for the baby to stay intact.
Matin Luther King, Jr.:
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Or something like that. Best wishes.
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