1 – It’s his body.
Circumcision is a permanent alteration of the male body – it’s an amputation of foreskin, and it lasts for the rest of his life. Since circumcision isn’t a medically necessary nor a beneficial procedure, this choice about what his penis should look like (and how it should function!) should be left up to him.
2 – It’s not the norm anymore.
Depending on which region of the United States you live, it may be more common to find a child who is intact, than one who is circumcised. Recent statistics show the incidence of circumcision has declined from 56% in 2006 to 32.5% in 2009. The overall average rate of circumcision in the US, as reported in 2009, is 55%. In some states, like Nevada, circumcision rates are as low as 13%!
3 – Pediatric Organizations do not recommend routine infant circumcision.
The American Academy of Pediatrics' latest statement on circumcision reads: “data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision." The Canadian Pediatric Society states: “Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed.” The Australian College of Pediatrics' position statement indicates: "Neonatal male circumcision has no medical indication. It is a traumatic procedure performed without anaesthesia to remove a normal and healthy prepuce"
4 – Intact penises are easy to clean.
Contrary to what you might have heard, the intact penis is super-simple to care for. Rule #1 – Only Clean What Is Seen. Just like you’d wash a baby’s elbow or finger, wash your baby’s penis along with the rest of his body (mild soap, rinse, done!). There's no need to retract, no special creams, no need to clean differently than any other body part. As your son gets older, and the foreskin naturally separates from the glans, you can talk about more thorough cleaning, but as a baby & child, there’s no extra effort required at all.
5 – The penis is meant to have foreskin!
The foreskin is a beneficial part of the penis; it isn’t unnecessary or extra or a problem! It protects the glans from harm and damage, provides increased sensitivity, guards against infection, and provides lubrication during intercourse.
6 – Circumcision hurts.
The pain of circumcision can potentially interfere with newborn bonding, breastfeeding, and sleep. Even with anesthesia given during the procedure, there’s still a period of healing to be endured by your new baby. A week with a raw, open wound that is getting urinated and defecated on, stuck to diapers, slathered with Vaseline, and can become infected, on the most sensitive part of a boy’s body is likely something you’d want to keep your child from experiencing in his first days of life – particularly when it’s not a necessity! Baby's first days should be as peaceful and gentle as possible to ease his transition from inside your womb to outside.
If you’re researching before making a decision about circumcising your son, thank you (and your son will thank you, too). Here are a few resources which may help you make this important decision:
What Is Circumcision? http://codenamemama.com/2010/02/22/what-is-circumcision/
Answers to Your Questions About Your Young Son’s Intact Penis: http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet4.html
Whether or Not to Circumcise: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/pregnancy-childbirth/whether-or-not-circumcise
Jewish Circumcision Resource Center: http://jewishcircumcision.org/
Functions of the Foreskin: Purposes of the Prepuce: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html