Sunday, August 15, 2010


Guest post on The Survial Guide for Rookie Moms

When I learned I was having a boy, I got my hands on everything I could read about circumcision. Every man I knew was circumcised, everyone I knew had their boys circumcised, and never thought much about it. It was just the thing to do. I live in the United States, on the east coast and I think it is safe to say, it is unusual to leave your boys intact here.
When I started to question it, people around me thought I was odd for considering leaving my son intact. They regurgitated everything they had been told…it is cleaner, he will look like his dad, he will feel more confident, won’t get teased by the boys in the locker room and he will feel more comfortable with women when he becomes sexual. All these comments made me pause and really think about each one of them. After much pondering, and reading every medical documentation I could find, I decided that these reasons were all bullshit to me. I viewed the procedure as cruel, unnecessary, and barbaric. To me, the cutting seemed no different then painful body mutilations I read about in under-developed counties.
I started talking to my husband about my feelings. Much to my surprise, he was on board. His only concern was that our son would hate us later. We decided that if this were the case, we would cross that bridge when we came to it. It would be his decision, and an elective surgery, with an anesthetic.
I have to admit, I wavered during my pregnancy. I wavered when I thought of him being upset about not looking like anyone else he knew. I wavered every time someone gave me a disapproving look or opinion about what we decided to do. I wavered every time my husband asked if I was sure we were doing the right thing.
Despite all the indecision, I stood by my decision. I am a vegetarian, I always take on the underdog, and I save every bug in my house. I wasn’t about to consent to allow my newborn to be taken away against his will to be cut for his first cosmetic surgery at the ripe old age of 20 hours!
When an OBGYN came in to check on me a day after post-delivery she asked if I was planning on circumcising my son. Before she could persuade me, I blurted out, “We will not be circumcising our son. It is cruel and unnecessary and I will not subject him to this inhumane procedure.” She just winked at me and said, “Good girl!” “That is what I hope every mom will say, but I very seldomly hear it.” The medical community must be split on this topic too because when my child was up for his “snip time” a nurse came in to get him. When I told her we were electing not to have this procedure, I got one of those disapproving looks again, and she asked me 3x if I was sure.
My son is now 3 1/2 and I stand by my decision, and would choose to keep him intact again. However, I have always felt unsupported in my decision. My husband still has moments of regret and hopes we made the right choice for our son. I still don’t know anyone who has chosen to keep their son intact (accept other intact advocates on-line). I read that only 50% of boys in the US are circumcised, but I don’t know where they are. I have gotten my support on-line by finding other vocal parents who feel the same.
For information on leaving your boy intact…here are a few sites to get you started.
Heather Sobieralski: Life Coach for Moms
Heather SobieralskiDebilitating “morning” sickness, two high risk pregnancies, 22 weeks of bed-rest, pre-term labor, nine months of colic, a house that smelled like vomit from a severe case of infant GERD, and no sleep for years= intense marital distress and a bad case of depression! This pregnant and rookie mama DID NOT GLOW! Heather Sobieralski, Life Coach for Moms, shares her stories of how it went all wrong for her…and what you can do to keep your mojo through all of it (no matter how bad it gets)!
Check out the Mama Mojo website
Follow the mama mojo blog

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on protecting your son from circumcision! I too protected my son in the 1980's, when even fewer parents were informed about the harms of circumcision.

    Recent statistics from a CDC presentation in Vienna reveal that the circumcision rate in the U.S. in 2009 dropped to 32.5%. See:

    In 1971 the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that there were no valid medical indications for circumcision of the newborn. In 1999 the AAP did NOT recommend infant circumcision, and yet doctors and nurses still routinely solicit parents today for this medically unnecessary surgery. The only conceivable reason for them doing this is because it mean MONEY for them! This practice needs to stop!!!

    It is appalling how you were repeatedly solicited for circumcision, even after you had told them once that your answer was no.

    Your son is a very lucky little boy to have a mother who has looked out for his best interests.