Should I circumcise my newborn child?
This is a very common question among parents and even health care providers. Parents should take a time to decide if they really want to circumcise or not. This is not a decision that must be taken due to social pressure or believing it has a medical benefit. Parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child, take into account cultural and religious traditions, in addition to medical factors.
What Is A Circumcision?
Is the partial or total surgical removal of the foreskin (AKA prepuce) that covers the head (AKA glans) of the penis.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force issued a new Circumcision Policy Statement in March 1999. Stating:
“Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. In the case of circumcision in which there are potential benefits
and risks, yet the procedure is not essential to the child’s current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child. To make an informed choice, parents of all male infants should be given accurate and unbiased information and be provided the opportunity to discuss this decision. It is legitimate for parents to take into account cultural, religious, and ethnic traditions, in addition to medical factors, when making this decision. Analgesia is safe and effective in reducing the procedural pain associated with circumcision; therefore, if a decision for circumcision is made, procedural analgesia should be provided. If circumcision is performed in the newborn period, it should only be done on infants who are stable and healthy. “
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated this Statement in 2012, their evaluation stated that “health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, but still health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns.”
As the American Academy of Pediatrics states: “Parents ultimately should decide whether circumcision is in the best interests of their male child. They will need to weigh medical information in the context of their own religious, ethical, and cultural beliefs and practices. The medical benefits alone may not outweigh these other considerations for individual families.”
To circumcise or to not circumcise?
The decision is left for each parent. This is why parents should take time to consider and discuss prior to the delivery.
Lets consider some factors that will help you make a decision.
Ritual of baby boy circumcision is commonly practiced by the Jewish and Muslim religions. Symbolizing the covenant between Abraham and God and was first performed on Isaac, Abraham’s son. Tradition found in Genesis Chapter 17 on the bible.
This religious ceremony is performed when the baby is eight days old, unless the baby is compromised for any medical reason is postponed.
Or is done by a licensed health provider usually on the first day of life, or performed at the hospital before discharge. Circumcision is considered a safe minor procedure given adequate training and experience, it can be performed either at home or in birth centers as well.
Some parents choose circumcision because it is a procedure that their health care providers routinely offer to them, considered as a default choice. Even though routine baby boy circumcision is not medically necessary, it does not treat or cure any existing disease, infections or cancer and there is no evidence to justify circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns.
For some its just a hygiene concern, believing it is simpler to wash the penis if it is circumcised.
Most parents are not aware that it became popular in large part as a way of reducing male masturbation. People feared that masturbation was due to mental and physical disorder. So, was done as a preventive procedure as “moral” benefit for the newborn to not masturbate as a grown adult.
The procedure itself violates the child’s bodily integrity without an urgent medical indication and without the possibility of obtaining their consent.
Parents should not make this decision due to social pressure or believing it has a medical benefit. Parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child, take into account cultural and religious traditions, in addition to medical factors, when making this decision.