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Your Choices If Choosing Circumcision

Posted in , , on 8-20-12

Your Choices If Choosing Circumcision

Circumcision is a choice. For some it’s purely a preference, for others it is a religious imperative. I respect any family’s choice for their son, but want you to know your surgical options as well as refer you to the pros and cons of the procedure.

Most people are surprised to learn that standard American medical circumcision procedures differs greatly from religious circumcisions done by a Mohel, a Jewish person trained in the practice of brit milah (their “covenant of circumcision”). You do not have to be Jewish to request the services of a Mohel. You can choose either type of procedure or practitioner for your son if you choose to have him circumcised.

In a hospital setting, the baby is removed from the parents, taken to the nursery and is placed on a “circumcision board” with restraints on his hands and feet. Then the doctor inserts a probe to pry the foreskin up from penis, then cuts  it down to the head to remove all of the foreskin.

With a Mohel, you are allowed and encouraged to stay with your child. The infant is handled gently and placed on a soft pillow or held by a parent. The Mohel pulls the tip of the foreskin beyond the head of the penis and quickly cuts the tip off, sparing most of the foreskin. It is quick,less invasive and less painful for your child.

To illustrate the stark difference in these procedures, I am sharing videos of both for you to compare. They are not for the faint of heart. Listen for the difference in the baby’s cries in both videos. Notice and compare the amount of foreskin removed in both procedures.

Medical Circumcision

Religious circumcision

Although I rarely share my personal opinions on my site, I want to make it clear that as a nurse and baby advocate I am against medical circumcision for cosmetic reasons. It makes me very sad we would do this to any baby. For families who make the choice to circumcise, I urge you to seek the expertise of a Mohel for the sake of your child’s well being. Express compassion for your child through all the choices you make for him.

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