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#1 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone know what the circumsizing statistics are for this area (particularly pennsylvania)? As in, the percentage of boys who are vs. aren't? My mom told me when she was at the hospital visiting my cousin's baby who was premie she asked if most people still circ and they told her at least 90% of the babies there are circ'd! That seems so HIGH! I plan to not circ thinking the stats were closer to 50/50 these days and now i'm nervous.
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#2 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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My best guess would be PA is somewhere in the 70% range. Some areas, like the northern parts of the state, are probably higher. Among the Plain communities, and around State College and York, are lower I think.

But why let the percentages of the local area change your mind? There's nothing to be nervous about, really.
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#3 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks paquerette. That sounds about right. I'm from Reading, PA so suburbs of Philly basically.

I guess I just need constant encouragement and reassurance that i'm doing the right thing by not circ'ing. I'm worried if it's still really common in this area to be done that my son will resent me for NOT doing it while he was a baby and that he'll be teased or have issues with girls.

People keep trying to tear me down in my decision. My mom keeps trying to pressure me to do it by telling me statistics like 90% of boys are done...and then people at my work are now telling me how mad at me my son will be if I don't and he'll never get girlfriends and he'll get infections and blah blah blah blah blah... Why do people think it's OK to bash my decisions like this?!? I'm already a fragile person and I have a hard time going against the grain but i'm trying so hard to be strong on this one.
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#4 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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Your son can always get it done later if he wants - and then it will be HIS decision, as it properly should be. As a former randy girl, I'm willing to bet that girls will think it's super sexy. You are absolutely doing the right thing!

If we hadn't faced excommunication from both our families if we hadn't done it (we're Jewish), we never would have. But I can tell you that in my experience there has been nothing that felt more wrong than to let my tiny helpless newborn be cut and injured for no reason. They are born perfect. Period. It's hard enough to let the doctor stick their heels to draw blood, let alone that.

Anyway, if it helps, NONE of DS' non-Jewish friends in Brooklyn were circ'd. I think your little guy's hood will be much more common than your mom realizes.
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#5 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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I guess I just need constant encouragement and reassurance that i'm doing the right thing by not circ'ing. I'm worried if it's still really common in this area to be done that my son will resent me for NOT doing it while he was a baby and that he'll be teased or have issues with girls.
*****
My boys are 10 and 7 and they are not circumcised. When they were old enough to realize the difference (although most of their friends are also intact), I gently explained to them that some parents choose to have the foreskin removed. Both of my sons were horrified and said "But mommy, that would hurt! I'm glad you didn't do that to me." Kids get it right off, it is much easier to explain that you left them as nature intended than to explain why they had a part of their body removed. It is just not the big deal people make it out to be. I know plenty of families that circed the first kid and after learning more chose not to circ. the second kid. This has never been a big deal either. Kids take differences very well - just like people have different hair color, eye color, skin, etc....

Also, the circumcision rate in the east is still a bit high, but it is only like 22% on the west coast so unless your son is going to stay in the same little area, chances are later in life, in college, etc...he's going to have lots of company. Young women 20 years from now will have regular experiences with both circumcised and intact males.

Share this article with your mother and others giving you grief:

http://www.luckystiff.org/circumcisi...r_Sex_Life.pdf
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#6 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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You could contact the nocirc chapter nearest you for reassurance. http://www.nocirc.org/centers/centers.php has the lists. I'm not sure who's closest.

Do you participate in LLL or holistic parenting groups or anything like that? It's a good idea anyway to build some friendships before your baby comes, and you will see that you're not the only one.
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#7 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
You could contact the nocirc chapter nearest you for reassurance. http://www.nocirc.org/centers/centers.php has the lists. I'm not sure who's closest.

Do you participate in LLL or holistic parenting groups or anything like that? It's a good idea anyway to build some friendships before your baby comes, and you will see that you're not the only one.
No I do not participate in LLL or holistic parenting groups only because I haven't figured out how to find them (or even know what they are for that matter!) I'd love to get involved though! Where could I find a listing of these groups?

I agree that it would help to find more people with the same views I have to help build me up instead of knock me down + I have so much more to learn (I haven't even touched on researching AP, or vaccines, or anything else yet!) but I have a feeling that i'll fit in with that way of thinking also (and be criticised by all my friends and family members for that too).

TCA2008- It makes me feel better to know that your boys are happy you did not cut them! You make a good point that kids take differences in people well- much better than adults! I guess it's important when the time comes, to explain to your children why you chose to do what you did.

Citykid- I have to keep reminding myself that i'm choosing the default- to do nothing - because it is not my decision to make. I worry so much that my son will resent me if I do or resent me if I don't. I'll never know what the future will hold and how he will feel about it either way so I need to let him make the decision. Thanks for assuring me i'm doing the right thing!
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#8 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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You know, our ped (in Philly) said he sees about 90% circ'ed boys, but IME it's way less than that -- of about 12 boy babies we know, maybe two are circumcised? And those who are intact, are all over the place in terms of race and religion.
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#9 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 06:54 PM
 
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It seems that most of the women I know around here circumcised their sons, but that's not to say no one does it. In fact, I keep meeting and hearing of more people who aren't. I teach childbirth ed classes and many women are asking me questions about it, which gives me the impression that they are at least thinking of not circing.

Actually, I was recently in a diner bathroom and there was a mom and her toddler using the changing table next to me. When I glanced over I happened to see that the tot was intact. I really wanted to say something, I was really excited, but I thought I was more likely to come off as a loon. We need a secret handshake or something.
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#10 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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When I was pregnant with #2 in 2006 I had a 20wk u/s and as soon as the dr said he was a boy I asked what the circ rates were (circ was a HUGE fight between dh and I) and he said it was about 50/50. This was at Lankenau outside of Philly. hth

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#11 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindsG View Post
People keep trying to tear me down in my decision. My mom keeps trying to pressure me to do it by telling me statistics like 90% of boys are done...and then people at my work are now telling me how mad at me my son will be if I don't and he'll never get girlfriends and he'll get infections and blah blah blah blah blah... Why do people think it's OK to bash my decisions like this?!? I'm already a fragile person and I have a hard time going against the grain but i'm trying so hard to be strong on this one.
Just tell yourself they're regretting the decision they made. To circ or not to circ #2 was a HUGE fight in my family - I flat out refused to do it, and dh wanted it done, my mom, my brother, my stepson... the only person in my family on my side was my dad, and all he'd say was "well, maybe she has a point". It ended up I agreed to have ds circ'd if dh made the appointment and took him to it himself (I forgot to mention that he'd have to pry ds out of my cold, dead arms lol). DS is intact now, and it's such a nonissue now it's funny. NO ONE, other than some stupid nurse at the hospital this past April, has ever commented on the state of my kids penises (penii?!?). It's easier to circ later than to uncirc, kwim? Good luck with your decision

Amy... mom to
Keith, Henry and Caroline
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#12 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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Hi, Lindsay,

Good for you for standing up for your kiddo. We're in NY, and almost no one I know circs, except for those who follow religious guidelines. From what I understand, the numbers are still dropping, too. I know it's a huge deal for you right now, but once you don't do it, it's such a non-issue in day-to-day life. In terms of the whole "locker room" argument, as dh (who's not intact) has pointed out, hey, the more penis the better.
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#13 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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I think nationally the rates are about 50/50. I had a son in August and for me it wasn't even a question. We did a homebirth and there was no way I was going to get him done, IMO it's not a question for your mom or your ped - it's for you and your partner.

And like a previous poster mentioned, they are born perfect. Period.

Baby wearing Mamma to DS, dealing with all his allergies....and thriving w/another little bundle due in Early Feb
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#14 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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Here are LLL groups in PA: http://www.llli.org//Web/Pennsylvania.html

and API groups: http://www.attachmentparenting.org/groups/webpa.php

And probably a search on yahoogroups would turn up other holistic parenting groups (babywearers, holistic moms, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, etc are good search terms) in your area. Good luck and enjoy the rest of your pg!
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#15 of 27 Old 10-24-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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Don't be nervous Mama! You are doing the right thing. I was battling the decision even after my little man was born, because I was so on the fence. All my life I had only known those who circed, except for one of my guy friends. It was the 'norm' in my life. I was told by everyone to do it. To be honest, the reason we decided not to was because he ended up in the NICU and had a rought start and we couldn't stand to put him through anything else. I am SO thankful we didn't. I wasn't informed then. I am now, and it would never be a question if we have another son. I have gotten alot of crap for choosing not to get it done, but it isn't anyone elses business. The procedure is just awful. I feel that God makes us the way we are supposed to be. Why change that? Why cut off a perfectly made part of their body?You know best! It is difficult to be the one who goes against the grain in your group, but keep standing up for your little one...he will someday thank you.

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#16 of 27 Old 10-25-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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I would tell people that you are not comfortable talking about your sons penis with them and you wouldn't think thier sons would want them to talk about thier penis's either. As a mom of 10, I can tell you that you can never please all the other parents. Do what you think is best and don't feel the need to share to much.
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#17 of 27 Old 10-25-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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OP, have you checked out the Case Against Circumcision forum?

***
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#18 of 27 Old 10-25-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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I've read several posts by men saying that the obvious comeback to being teased in a locker room would be for your son to ask, "Dude, why are you checking out my penis?" Many men have said that any guy who starts commenting on another's foreskin status is likely to be the one who's made fun of, because making it obvious that you're looking at other guys' penises is just not done.

I'm always a little confused by the "everyone else is doing it" argument for circ. Fifteen years from now, if your son's peers decide it's cool to, I don't know, use woodburning tools to make designs on their scalps , will your relatives be pressuring you to go out and get him a woodburning tool and some aloe vera for afterwards? If his high school friends start keeping scorecards of who's gotten which girls to perform which sexual acts, will Grandma be calling you all concerned about the lack of fellatio he's gotten?

Why on earth do people want you to do something to your baby based on peer pressure when later in life, they'll want that same baby to resist peer pressure?

My suggestion to you would be to refuse to discuss it. If you were feeling really secure and confident, I'd say, sure, go ahead and try to educate people. The problem is, a lot of people will take your willingness to tell them about your reasoning as an invitation to debate it with you. You don't need to convince them you're right. It's okay to say, "I'm not discussing this anymore. We've made our decision," and just repeat that every time they start saying, "But what if/Have you thought/I heard about a guy who..." If they don't agree, fine. You don't need their permission or approval. You're the Mama.

Lisa , mom to Isaac (9/1/03), Violet (6/19/06), Simon (10/9/09); wife to Eric ; handservant to Grace :
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#19 of 27 Old 10-25-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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To the best of my knowledge, the most recent statistics are still about 5 years old (2004 they came out). I see rapid decline in circ rates myself and I think even this 5 year lag will be shown to be a huge drop when they release new stats. The American Academy of Pediatrics is no longer endorsing routine circ even, so you can simply tell your friends/family that you are following the advise of the largest organization for pediatricians in the country

Check this out:


According to a study by the National Health and Social Life Survey, the U.S. circumcision rate peaked at nearly 90% in the early 1960s but began dropping in the '70s. By 2004, the most recent year for which government figures are available, about 57% of all male newborns delivered in hospitals were circumcised. In some states, the rate is well below 50%.

Circumcision remains the nation's most common surgery, and America is still one of the few developed countries where a majority of baby boys are circumcised. Many major insurance companies still cover it, and many hospitals offer it free for newborns. Since 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics has not endorsed routine circumcision.

About one in three males worldwide is circumcised. In America, the rates vary widely by region. It is most prevalent in the upper Midwest. In 2004, according to data compiled by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 79% of newborn boys in the Midwest were circumcised before leaving the hospital. Michigan and Kentucky had the highest rates, at 85%.

In the fast-growing West, the rate declined dramatically — from 64% in 1979 to just under 32% in 2004. In California, the rate of hospital circumcisions among newborns was 21%.

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#20 of 27 Old 10-25-2008, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for all of the replies! It was just what I needed to give me back the confidence that i've made the correct decision.

Tortellinimama- I like your suggestion to just not discuss it at all. I guess I feel weak in my decision if i'm not even confident enough to be able to debate it and have others agree with my decision or see where i'm coming from but some people are just too stuck in their ways.

I always feel so discouraged after EVERYONE cept you guys on here keep telling me i'm wrong or weird. People in my area have not even heard of the concept of not circing. It's like something that has NEVER crossed their mind. It's really quite sad.

It helps so much to come on here and vent and have the support of you all to remind me that this shouldn't even be something i'm swayed on. I mean logically, the idea of circing is just insane to me and yet I can't help but have the peer pressure get to me once in awhile. I know I'll stick with my decision to leave him intact knowing he's completely perfect the way he is and once I see him, i'll know it even more. The support is really appreciated though!
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#21 of 27 Old 10-26-2008, 03:51 AM
 
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Nurses are very likely to give a very inaccurate statistic on how many boys are being circ'd, b/c they will remember the screaming boys getting circ'd, but unlikely to remember that some just quitely leave with out it happening. Also hospital statistics are likely to be higher than homebirth statistics.

IIRC it's around 60% for hospital births in midatlantic states, it's late and I don't want to look up exact figures right now.

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#22 of 27 Old 10-26-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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#23 of 27 Old 10-26-2008, 09:14 PM
 
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I can be disheartening when it seems like everyone you know IRL has circumcised and it's only people online that don't! But if it makes you feel better, I also live in Reading and my ds is intact and any future sons will be as well! You're doing the right thing. If anyone has ever questioned my decision I've always said "why would I cut off a perfectly fine part of my son's body?" and they never have any response to that.
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#24 of 27 Old 10-26-2008, 10:36 PM
 
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Some more groups:

http://www.holisticmoms.org/ should have one near you
http://www.motheringandmore.org/ has monthly meetings but I don't think there's info on the site. You might have to email someone.
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#25 of 27 Old 10-27-2008, 01:29 AM
 
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I want to echo a pp who said nurses are more likely to remember the screaming babies...and that the rates in hospitals are higher than in birth centers and with homebirthers. I'm in Montgomery county and I know plenty of parents who chose not to circumcise their sons. I've always known that I would never do it. My DH is circ'd, however he told me that there is no way in heck he'd let anyone do that to his child. Peer pressure is tough on all of us, but your baby's well-being comes way before pressure from anyone else. Plus, people will tell you that you're weird or doing something wrong in order to justify their own decision to circ...
You're going to get judgements, questions and pressure no matter what side you're on an no matter what decisions you make. People will have something to say about breastfeeding, natural birth, cloth diapers, disposable diapers, using pacifiers, using bottles, epidurals, babywearing, car seat safety, starting solids, co-sleeping, baby's first haircut, dressing baby, crying-it-out, etc. etc. And peer pressure and the pressure from OB's/pediatricians hasn't always been good for babies in the last century. Just look at the rise in formula feeding, birth interventions, elective c-sections, acceptance of crying it out, etc.
You're gonna do just fine, Mama. Even though it may be hard to shut out comments from others, just remember that your little guy's well-being and happiness is the most important thing in this world.

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#26 of 27 Old 10-27-2008, 11:32 AM
 
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Not sure where you are in PA, but if you're in the Philly area, check out BirthMark. There are two locations - Media & Newtown Square. They have all kinds of groups, gatherings, etc. and you will be sure to find some great "like-minded" families, as well as non-judgemental support from the staff.
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#27 of 27 Old 10-27-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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One thing that will make it much easier for you is to choose a pediatrician who's comfortable with it. If you have a doctor giving you bad advice about cleaning under the foreskin etc, it will make it harder. So as you join some of those groups and start talking to AP parents in your area, ask them what pediatricians they recommend.
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