Why do I keep getting asked if I am circumcising my son at every appointment? - Mothering Forums
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The Case Against Circumcision > Why do I keep getting asked if I am circumcising my son at every appointment?
MisaGoat's Avatar MisaGoat 12:08 PM 10-24-2010
I am 35 weeks pregnant and switched to a midwife practice at 24 weeks. At every visit they ask if I am planning on circumcising and I tell them no. There is no discussion about it but why do they keep asking? The second time it happened the midwife at that appointment asked if I knew if I was having a boy or girl, I said boy and she replied that she saw "no circ" written in my chart. She told me I would probably be asked again and just to let them know. I thought she meant at the hospital or something not at my appointments. I am glad we are clear about what is happening (or not happening) when my son is born but I don't understand why I keep being asked.

With my first son I don't remember being asked until after he was born and I told the OB we weren't circumcising and he said ok and left. (He had said my son wouldn't be able to be circumcised until we figured out his urine problem, which ended up being nothing. I said we weren't circumcising and he said ok and left).

Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 12:40 PM 10-24-2010
Wierd. Are they possibly asking so they can share info about the process? I can't imagine they actually perform circ.

Did ask them why they keep asking you?
eepster's Avatar eepster 01:43 PM 10-24-2010
If it was an OB/GYN, I would have thought it was b/c they were hoping for a different answer, but since they are midwifes, I'm more likely to think it's to make sure you get information since they can't do it. The big question is, what kind of information (lists of urologist you can go to, or nocirc pamphlets?) they would give you if you were to say "yes."
texmati's Avatar texmati 01:50 PM 10-24-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
Wierd. Are they possibly asking so they can share info about the process? I can't imagine they actually perform circ.

Did ask them why they keep asking you?
my mw preformed circs. I would ask them why they keep asking.
Lauren82's Avatar Lauren82 02:08 PM 10-24-2010
That's very odd. I've only been asked at my final prenatal with OBs and midwives if I wanted info on circ. When I replied that there is no way in heck I would circ my son, *every* care provider has said GOOD! and never asked again.
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 04:06 PM 10-24-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
my mw preformed circs. I would ask them why they keep asking.
really? I am guessing it must be a CNM, personally I wouldn't want someone that does that to babies to be my caregiver.
MisaGoat's Avatar MisaGoat 04:18 PM 10-24-2010
I could just ask next time. It didn't really start to bug me until after the appointment and I was thinking back to the other appointments. I just don't understand why they ask, especially as it is written in my chart! Oh well, better than assuming anything.

Only about 8% of CNMs perform circumcisions according the ACNM.
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 04:36 PM 10-24-2010
I was wondering if maybe they would pass out pro intact material if you said yes, maybe they are reasking because they want to make sure people haven't changed their minds?
Friday13th's Avatar Friday13th 06:10 PM 10-24-2010
We used CNMs with DS1 and they asked several times because we saw a variety of midwives and they didn't bother looking at my records before we sat down. Which was a little annoying in and of itself.
Youngfrankenstein's Avatar Youngfrankenstein 06:24 PM 10-24-2010
I think it's silly to ask you over and over. Can't they just ask after he's born if they can't read their own chart?

It is OBs here that do the circs, not the peds so it stands to reason that a MW would potentially do them.
PatioGardener's Avatar PatioGardener 06:28 PM 10-24-2010
My midwives asked me if I would circ if I had a boy (I didn't want to know the sex beforehand) and I replied that I would not allow anyone to perform elective plastic surgery on my baby's genitals - boy or girl.

I was only asked once...
Greg B's Avatar Greg B 07:46 PM 10-24-2010
Be careful.

Our OBGYN asked us on two appointments if we intended to circ our son. We said no, and that seemed all taken care of.

But at the actual birth, immediately after I cut the umbilical cord, he started putting pressure on me to circ my son. Paced back and forth, talked about how traumatized my son would be by not looking like me, how he would be teased mercilessly.

Very unprofessional. Obviously he has a problem. But under the stress of going through a long difficult birth, he could have easily persuaded someone. My wife does not even remember him doing it, and if I was not there, may well have caved in to the pressure.

Not saying they have a motive or are doing anything other than simply asking, but when you have "no circ" written on the chart, what is the point of continuing to ask?

Just be prepared in case.

Best wishes
Crunchy Frog's Avatar Crunchy Frog 11:44 PM 10-24-2010
I actually never got asked, even though I was known to be carrying twin boys from 18 weeks on. I was kind of offended about it in a way.

If I were being asked at every appointment I would come up with a long list of clever comebacks and use one each time until they finally got tired of being insulted.

You might ask them why they keep asking, and if they know that it's considered to be unethical to solicit unneccessary surgery.
smeep's Avatar smeep 12:24 AM 10-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
really? I am guessing it must be a CNM, personally I wouldn't want someone that does that to babies to be my caregiver.
My sister's old midwife (who does births at FSBCs, though she moved to a different center after my sister's birth) actually performs circs. I couldn't tell you what information she gives out or anything, but it bothers me to death that she performs them. Unfortunately, I wasn't too terribly surprised...she definitely is NOT a mw that I recommend to anyone for numerous other reasons, and apparently a lot of other people agree.

My midwife is a CNM (who attends births at her freestanding birth center or the client's home) and when she asked me about it with DS I told her I was leaning towards not doing it (actually, I was 99% sure I wouldn't at this point) and asked her what her thoughts were...to which she replied, "Some people just feel like chopping off their baby's bits, and others don't." I wonder if she would have gone into detail if I hadn't said I was leaning towards no, but I distinctly got a more negative vibe on it just from that.
texmati's Avatar texmati 01:02 AM 10-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
really? I am guessing it must be a CNM, personally I wouldn't want someone that does that to babies to be my caregiver.
yup. she won't do episiotomies though. That's just barbaric :rollseyes:


My ped discourages people from circing, but still preforms them. I don't understand how dr's can do that?
smeep's Avatar smeep 01:20 AM 10-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
yup. she won't do episiotomies though. That's just barbaric :rollseyes:


My ped discourages people from circing, but still preforms them. I don't understand how dr's can do that?
As much as I hate to say it, perhaps it's a matter of, "If you're going to do it no matter what I say, I may as well do it myself so that at least it will be done with anesthesia and not completely botched."

Of course, I would NEVER, EVER perform circs myself if I were a MW/OB/ped, but I can sorta see that as a possible reasoning for some HCPs who don't like circ but still do them. Though I would hope they donated the circ fee to some foreskin-friendly charity...
Zenbuoyant's Avatar Zenbuoyant 01:37 AM 10-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
my mw preformed circs. I would ask them why they keep asking.
wow. How did she react when you said no after she $olicited a penis $urgery for your healthy son?
texmati's Avatar texmati 01:41 AM 10-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenbuoyant View Post
wow. How did she react when you said no after she $olicited a penis $urgery for your healthy son?
She didn't. This was very, very late in pregnancy. I mentioned to her that I was afraid ds would be circed without our knowledge, and she said not to worry that it would have been her doing the circ, and she knows not to do it to our son. it still doesn't make it ok. I felt differently about circ pre kid though... it bother's me so very much more now than it did before I saw my perfect whole ds.
Dmitrizmom's Avatar Dmitrizmom 01:49 AM 10-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeep View Post
As much as I hate to say it, perhaps it's a matter of, "If you're going to do it no matter what I say, I may as well do it myself so that at least it will be done with anesthesia and not completely botched."
I think this is the case for many docs. Have one who has told me this is the reason she will do them.
OkiMom's Avatar OkiMom 02:06 AM 10-25-2010
It might be they don't regularly have someone there to preform circs so they are making sure you dont' want one because if you did they needed someone there. I know its one of the first things they ask in the postpartum floor here if you are having a boy because they want to know if they have to arrange for a ped to come down to do the circ. They asked me if I intended to circ my child.. my female child... so obviously docs/nurses don't necessarily look at your chart.
Zenbuoyant's Avatar Zenbuoyant 02:09 AM 10-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
She didn't. This was very, very late in pregnancy. I mentioned to her that I was afraid ds would be circed without our knowledge, and she said not to worry that it would have been her doing the circ, and she knows not to do it to our son. it still doesn't make it ok. I felt differently about circ pre kid though... it bother's me so very much more now than it did before I saw my perfect whole ds.
It disturbs me greatly that any care provider would solicit an arbitrary genital surgery. Especially when the risks of surgery (compared to leaving it intact) are so great.

Naive parents may think, "If she's asking it must be a good thing. Surely she wouldn't offer something that could cause [meatal ulcers, infection from a vulnerable wound, meatal stenosis, seizure, heart attack, stroke, loss of penis, fibrosis, hemorrhage, DEATH!] any harm..."

If they've gotta know, why not rephrase the question:
"Will you keep your son intact?"

MisaGoat, I encourage you to bring this up at your next prenatal. Simply express how annoyed you are that a holistic care provider would even question if you would want to reduce your son's healthy penis. There is nothing [W]hol[e]istic about that! And ask them what kind of education they provide their clients regarding a complete set of male genitals. What do they know about an intact prepuce organ? What are their credentials? as in, how knowledgeable are they about the normal intact male genitals?
PlainandTall's Avatar PlainandTall 12:05 PM 10-25-2010
You need to write a letter of concern/complaint. Ask them if they have considered the message they are sending by their repeated questions in the absence of information which supports genital integrity. Tell them that solicitation for a non-indicated surgery is unethical and ask how much money they make on it. It's an outrage and I would leave the practice over it (and tell them why) but if you don't feel you can't do that- you should at least make a point of the fact that their repeated questioning over this is not only unethical- it's emotionally distressing to you to think of that happening there, or happening to your son and you do not want the subject to be brought up EVER AGAIN.
MisaGoat's Avatar MisaGoat 11:36 AM 10-27-2010
I can ask about it at my appointment next week.

I don't really think they are 'soliciting' for a circumcision, just asking what my plan is. Also I don't know that they even perform circumcisions, my guess is that they would have to arrange for someone at the hospital to do it. I can't know what they would say if I were to say "Yes, I am circumcising." Would they educate me on the procedure, try to change my mind?

I am not over the top offended, just annoyed because I don't see why they need to ask more than once. It has been a different person each time so it may just be that they normally ask when they first see a patient.
PuppyFluffer's Avatar PuppyFluffer 12:53 PM 10-27-2010
I'd return the question with "Are you going to have (insert what ever cosmetic surgery might be appropriate - breast enhancement, nose job, chin tuck) done?" and then smile a big Cheshire cat grin and wait to see if the message sinks in. but....I'm sassy like that!
Purple Sage's Avatar Purple Sage 06:13 PM 10-27-2010
I got asked the same question at every appointment from 34 weeks on when I was pregnant with my son. Every time I'd say "no, it's his penis, his choice" and the nurse would laugh and look surprised. It was very annoying.
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 06:25 PM 10-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeep View Post
As much as I hate to say it, perhaps it's a matter of, "If you're going to do it no matter what I say, I may as well do it myself so that at least it will be done with anesthesia and not completely botched."

Of course, I would NEVER, EVER perform circs myself if I were a MW/OB/ped, but I can sorta see that as a possible reasoning for some HCPs who don't like circ but still do them. Though I would hope they donated the circ fee to some foreskin-friendly charity...
I'd have to question how pro intact they really are under those circumstances. Because just the thought horrifies me. There is no way I could rationalize myself into doing it.
KempsMama's Avatar KempsMama 06:30 PM 10-27-2010
It's probably because most insurance doesn't cover circ, so if you are planning on circing they have you fill out a financial responsibility form prior to the birth.

(Before anyone starts throwing tomatoes, I used to work in a hospital and this was the procedure.)
serendipity22's Avatar serendipity22 10:49 AM 10-28-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I'd have to question how pro intact they really are under those circumstances. Because just the thought horrifies me. There is no way I could rationalize myself into doing it.
They are not pro-intact at all. They are all just fooling themselves and others.

Actually, its unethical IMO for medical personnel to ask about circumcision at all. A subtle form of coercion.

Its a practice which increases the rate of circumcision.

Asking more than once is emotional abuse, patronizing and harassment. It should be reported.
Fellow Traveler's Avatar Fellow Traveler 11:02 AM 10-28-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by KempsMama View Post
It's probably because most insurance doesn't cover circ, so if you are planning on circing they have you fill out a financial responsibility form prior to the birth.

(Before anyone starts throwing tomatoes, I used to work in a hospital and this was the procedure.)
Note, I am not asking this to attack you personally, why can't the procedure be to say nothing unless the parents ask?
MisaGoat's Avatar MisaGoat 11:11 AM 10-28-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler View Post
Note, I am not asking this to attack you personally, why can't the procedure be to say nothing unless the parents ask?
I think it would be great if that became the standard. It is an elective procedure so I don't seen why it needs to be asked about/offered.
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