Whether or not to circumcise your baby boy generates a lot of debate. It’s one of those issues that incites the Mommy Wars, like breastfeeding vs. formula feeding and letting your baby cry it out! Recently I’ve gotten some questions from moms about how I handled circumcisions with my three my sons.
First, a few quick facts. Circumcision rates in the U.S. have declined in recent years — about 80 percent of baby boys were circumcised in the 1970′s and the rate was at 55 percent in 2010 (that only reflects in-hospital circumcisions).
The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t make a recommendation one way or the other on whether or not you should circumcise. But in a 2012 statement, the AAP the health benefits of circumcision — prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, HIV and other STD’s — outweigh risks like bleeding, infection and injury.
Strong opponents of circumcision (self-described “intactivists”) question the medical benefits and also say the AAP ignores the barbarism of the procedure and the associated trauma inflicted on the infant. They also argue that removal of the sensitive foreskin results in decreased sexual pleasure when the infant reaches adulthood.
So, what did we do? Our boys are circumcised because:
1) My husband is Jewish
2) I wanted my kids to look like my husband
3) I heard it was more healthy
This wasn’t such a hot-button issue when my boys were born, I must say!
Did you circumcise your baby? Why or why not? Share your experience in the comments.
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