On one of the elists I am on they posted a portion of the lastest edition of Sheila K.'s Complete book on Pregnancy. The section on circumcision is decent,and I think this book would make a good gift to mothers(to be) along with the complete mothering mag.Does anyone have this newest edition? I have the older ones.
<<< Here is what the
British author, Sheila Kitzinger, had to say on circumcision in "The New
Pregnancy & Childbirth, Choices and Challenges, 4th Edition, Dorling
Kindersley, London, 2003, page 379.
THE QUESTION OF CIRCUMCISION
Circumcision is an unnecessary operation. It can be dangerous, too. It may result in excessive bleeding or infection. Sometimes the penis is damaged irreparably. Some babies have to be rushed to an intensive care unit because of complications. Occasionally a baby dies.
Newborn babies feel pain. In fact, they may feel it more acutely than adults.
An adult knows that the pain caused by an operation will end. A baby cannot know this. Amputation of the foreskin, even if it is done with local anaesthetic, is an intensely painful and traumatic procedure. It is true that some babies do not cry during circumcision. They are too deeply shocked to do
so. Instead, they withdraw. Whether a baby cries inconsolably or is overwhelmed by shock, he has a raw and painful scar afterwards. He is often so distressed that there are feeding problems, and a woman who longed to
breastfeed may be unable to do so. Sometimes a mother observes that her baby's personality seems to have changed. Perhaps it is not only the pain. Trust has
been destroyed. The rhythms of love and intimacy between a mother and her newborn have been disrupted.
Although few doctors still defend circumcision as medically necessary, they are often slow to criticize it because they believe that babies cannot feel much, and they are concerned that to challenge circumcision may appear to be anti-Semitic. Men who were circumcised themselves may believe that it never
did them any harm. Some parents want a son to be circumcised so that he can be the same as "everyone else" - an argument that is also used to support the practice of female clitoridectomy and infibulation in Egypt and Somalia.
The foreskin protects the tip of the penis. You do not need to retract it or work it loose. Trying to do so may tear delicate structures and hurt the baby.
By the time a a boy reaches adolescence it will be more flexible.
If you are Jewish or Muslim you may want to welcome your baby into your faith in a ceremony of blessing and thanksgiving that does not entail mutilation. Do not expect grandparents to find this an easy adjustment. You may need to acknowledge the pain that your decision causes them. But ultimately it is a choice that you make.>>>>