When considering baby circumcision with a newborn boy, ask your self why you believe it may be necessary and weigh the pros and cons. Circumcision consists of surgically removing the skin (the foreskin or the “prepuce”) covering the tip of the penis. This procedure is fairly common (but still quite controversial) in the United States, with approximately 1.2 million circumcisions being performed on newborns every year. In 1999, over 65% of all baby boys born in hospitals in the US were circumcised, with Caucasian babies being more likely than black or Hispanic babies to have the procedure done. The average rate in Canada is roughly 25%, although it varies widely by region. The circumcision rate in the US is dropping and is predicted to drop below 50% in a few years, if the current trends continue the way they have been.If you are pregnant with a baby boy or you have a newborn son, one of the very first (and very important) decisions you’ll face before you bring him home from the hospital is whether to have him circumcised or not. In fact, it’s much better to have made a decision regarding baby circumcision before birth, rather than waiting until after delivery to make up your mind at the last minute.For some families, the choice is a very simple one, while for other families, the decision may be more difficult. Those who choose circumcision do so many times because of religious, ethnic and cultural beliefs.
Influences for Circumcision
Other factors that may influence parent’s decision to choose baby circumcision may include:
- concerns about hygiene
- individual preference
- social factors (such as wanting their son to look the same as his father, brothers or peers.
If any of those factors are important to you, they deserve serious consideration.
You should also consider both the benefits and risks of baby circumcision. Knowing and understanding the risks involved and the potential health benefits can help you make an informed decision. Before you make a decision as to whether or not to have your son circumcised, you should read as much as possible about circumcision and talk to other parents about the decision they chose and why. Also, it’s very important to talk to your baby’s doctor about the pros and cons. You should talk to his doctor about the procedure itself and discuss what pain control measures are used at the place where the baby circumcision would be done. All parents of newborn boys should be given accurate and unbiased information and offered the opportunity to discuss their decision with their baby’s doctor, to help them make an informed choice.