Parent vs Parent: Circumcision

When Nolan's father and I learned in pre-natal class that circumcision was no longer routinely done (nor recommended) in Canadian hospitals, we looked at each other in amazement. Really? I think we'd both assumed we'd have our son circumcised after birth because, well, that's how it's done, right? Like father, like son. Most baby boys were circumcised routinely during the mid to late seventies when we were born, and the procedure had been so normal it was covered under our regular healthcare.

"It's not done that way anymore. The United States is now the only country that circumcises most of their newborns, and less than 6% of babies in this province undergo the procedure. The medical community warns that it is unwarranted, potentially dangerous, and overall not recommended," cautioned our instructor, and my uneducated jaw dropped to the floor in amazement.

I got home, rubbed my belly and jumped on the computer, googling and researching and devouring any article I could find about the procedure. Unbiased articles were very hard to find, passions rose high on the subject and opinions were either vehemently for or adamantly against. The more I read, the more I realized I was falling into the latter category. There weren't enough benefits to outweigh the risks, and Nolan looking like his father, frankly, was not as important as the fact that he might resent us for doing this to him, that there were no clear benefits, that we could affect breastfeeding, that there was no compelling reason to do this.

I am not going to lie, Nolan's Dad and I fought bitterly about the issue. He said I couldn't understand because I wasn't a man. I said he didn't understand because he refused to read the research. I said over my dead body. He said OK. I cried. Doors were slammed, and the baby hadn't even been born yet.

In the end, there was a grudging compromise of sorts, but I must say I am relieved to know that Nolan will be able to make his own choice on the matter, as an adult, and under anesthetic if he wants it. I respect that parents try to make the right decisions for the babies -- and I think, in this instance, I think I've done right by my son.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.