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Tuesday, 30 September 2014 08:31

Damaged by an Infant Circumcision Gone Right

This is going to be a VERY personal and controversial article. If you don't want to know the most intimate details of my life, and why I am so opposed to circumcision, DON'T READ any further!

You have been warned.
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When I say I was damaged by infant circumcision, I should be specific.

There wasn't anything immediately wrong with the genital cutting I was subjected to. No excess bleeding, no infection, nothing to indicate anything other than a “perfectly” circumcised penis. The doctor and thus my parents were quite happy with the immediate result. Frankly, other than a few hurtful comments about how short my penis appeared as a child, I didn't know any different.

Puberty changed everything.

You see, it is impossible to tell how much penile skin a baby will need when he grows up. His tiny penis isn't developed yet. Doctors have to guess how much of the mobile structure of the penis to destroy--they often guess wrong. The two most common late term complications include, the removal of too much skin (which happened to me), and removal of too little, causing other nasty complications.

Without enough slack skin, the bulk of my penis had been trapped my whole life; making my penis look shorter than it really was. With the onset of major growth during puberty, this became a problem. Growing, coupled with each and every erection I hadI was in tremendous amounts of pain.

At times, my penile skin literally split under the tension. With less than half the shaft skin I should have had, my growing penis had nowhere to go. At no time before puberty did anyone notice this, because let's face it, some kids are just less endowed than others. Really what parent or doctor is going to try to get a young child erect to see if he has enough skin? (No, thankfully nothing like that ever happened. That would have been a whole other level of child abuse!)

The growth and erections of my teen years left me with stretch marks and awful scarring. Until I was almost fifteen years old masturbation was actually an impossibility for me due to the tight skin. Oh, I would get just as horny as all the other boys, I just couldn't do anything about it because of the pain it caused me.

I never told my parents about any of this. Let's face it, teenage boys DO NOT talk to their parents about their penis or masturbation habits.

With no one to talk to about it, I logically assumed all my sexual problems were my own fault. I blamed myself for not being masculine enough. I blamed myself for being defective.

Twice before I was eighteen I tried to kill myself because of my perceived failings as a man. If I'd have had access to a gun, I wouldn't be here today.

When I finally had sex, I was disturbed to discover I just couldn't feel anything from my partner. Years of scarring and thickening of the skin left me with an insensitive member that wasn't equal to the task. The only way my penis could feel anything was during masturbation, and that was with a death grip that could crush full beer cans. While a vagina has some grip, it has nowhere near enough for me to have felt what I should have.

This led to years of depression, self blame, and a lot worse. I had to fake orgasms with women. Yes, I was the one doing the faking. (Maybe she was too.) It was devastating to my psyche. Eventually it was just too much work, and the relationships would break down due to a lack of intimacy.

I came across foreskin restoration a few years ago, and it was a purely cosmetic choice for myself. I had grown up around my intact cousins, and I always felt my penis was wrong looking. The idea of hiding my horrible scars under a fold of skin sounded intensely appealing.

Within the first few months of starting foreskin restoration I noticed a change. As I slowly developed more slack skin, my penis slowly began to heal for the first time since I'd started puberty. The more slack skin I had, the better things functioned.

By the time I developed enough slack skin to again cover the glans properly, I was sold.

When the skin covers the glans, the glans starts to heal and shed all the dry, thickened skin that has built up over the years. My sensitivity magnified a hundred fold. Also, shedding the thickened skin and healing the glans allowed the scaring around my meatus to soften. Pain I had had my entire life while urinating suddenly disappeared. That pain was so constant and expected, that I thought it was normal. My mind had become so accustomed to the pain that it no longer registered. Only when the pain was gone did I finally realize the levels I had dealt with. The sudden lack of a pain, that I had endured my entire life, was a true revelation.

Eventually I researched and discovered that I had been suffering from Meatal Stenosis. (Scarring and narrowing of the urinary opening.) At nearly 40 years of age, I was finally cured of it.

Foreskin restoration has reduced the look of my scars, improved the function of my penis, and improved my overall mental, physical, and sexual health. My restored foreskin is not as good as the original equipment left to rot in a medical waste bin in 1974, but it is SO much better than the alternative.

I have had enough foreskin now to know what both sides of circumcision feel like, and it is no contest. Foreskin is simply better in each and every way. There really is no excuse to remove a body part this valuable and functional without a medical reason.

My own parents, when I was a child, were just like all the pro-circumcision parents I try to educate today. They were convinced I was, “fine.” I was a happy child, and I didn't know any better. When asked, my parents were proud of their decision. They would recommend it to their friends because of how happy THEY were with the configuration of MY penis. My not knowing any different seemed all the permission they needed.

But they didn't know the reality. They never could, and never can. If you cut your sons, neither can YOU.

When I hear men brag about their penis, and claim, “I'm cut, and I'm fine,” I laugh, because I know the truth. The more insecure a man is about his penis, the more he'll lie and claim everything is fine. Everything is fantastic, “I am so very, very happy happy with my penis!” It is a lie, and an evasion. It is what men do to cope with their insecurities.

I know. I used to be the King of Denial. I used to say those very same things. It takes a VERY brave man to admit his penis is less than what it should be. I would have walked into burning buildings, or into a war zone without blinking, but to admit my penis was flawed was something I didn't have courage enough to admit.

I'm sorry to say, if you cut your child, you will probably never know the damages you have done. Boys and men are not wired to talk openly and honestly with their parents about this. A man will die before he lets anyone think there is anything wrong with his penis, or his masculinity.

You can claim all you want that your son is "FINE." However, you just can't and you will likely never know the actual truth. He may not be able to face the truth himself. More than anyone else, he will lie to himself.

There is no way to know how much skin a baby boy will require for his full grown penis. It is NOT something that can be predicted. Doctors have to guess. They can and do guess wrong more than they guess right. The truth is, your son needs all of what he is born with. No amount is the right amount to remove and destroy.

It took restoring my foreskin to finally make me admit out loud what had been wrong for so very long. Now, I brave the insults and ridicule I receive to spread education about the abomination that is genital cutting.

I speak out against genital cutting because I know first hand how horrible it really is. I know what the circumcised child is missing. I know what he can suffer. I know what you've put him at risk for. I've experienced it.

I've researched every aspect of it, and there is no excuse to take this pleasure away from another person.

Make no mistake, the foreskin is erogenous tissue. It is more pleasurable to have one than to NOT have one. It IS a valuable part of the penis. It is an organ with specialized functions that make a man's life better. Its loss is not insignificant. It is NOT just skin.

If you want more information about foreskin restoration please visit, www.norm.org

To future parents, don't just research circumcision. Research the foreskin.

If men wern't supposed to have foreskins they would not be born with them.

Published in Newborn Health



“The philosophies of one age have become the absurdities of the next.”
-Sir William Osler

It is now the year 3013, and in this report we will discuss briefly three rituals and behaviors of the tribes of people living in North America: the tribe of the United States collectively called “Americans,” and the tribe of Canada collectively called “Canadians”—during an era now called “Dark Age II”—1,000 years ago in the period between 1950-2050. As we’ll see in this report, Dark Age II was marked by extraordinary aberrations of nature and a reign of fear, exemplified in these three rituals/behaviors:

 • “Hiding” from the sun for fear of its evil intent to harm and kill
• Cutting off a portion of male infants’ penis at birth, called “circumcision,” to
   “prevent sickness and please the god”
• Ritualistic drugging and cutting in half of women to remove their babies, called
  “Caesarian-section,” to “save the mother and baby,” and the feeding of
   chemical powder rather than mother’s milk to newborns.



Through various forms of testing, scientists have now determined that the plague which struck these North American tribes (called “cancer” at the time) was caused by various activities of the tribe, including but not limited to: the extensive use of toxic chemicals (apparently known by many at the time to be toxic) in farming; processing of water and addition of by-product and waste chemicals like chlorine and fluoride); chemical agents in construction materials, cleaning products, and as by-products of energy generation; the alteration of animal and plant genes (for the purpose of patenting life and assuring ownership of all organisms by a select few); the accelerated growth and alteration of plants and food animals with chemicals with the intent to cause unusually high cravings and consumption by humans; and the complete reliance on medicine men (male and female) to “cure” the resulting ills—through the ingestion of various poisons and surgical removal of “bad organs.”

In a fascinating twist, the tribes were led to believe that the sun—which tribes of all millennia before and since have known to be the source of life on Earth—was the cause of the plague.

To “protect” themselves, chemicals toxic to humans and the general environment were spread or sprayed on the body to allow the tribe members to remain in the sun for periods of time longer than generations long before and since have known to be healthy. They believed that in doing so, they could “hide” from the “death-inflicting” sun.


Though this cult practice can be traced back a few thousand years before Dark Age II, it is surprising to our medical and anthropological communities today that the practice survived and thrived in the tribes of North America. We’ve traced the practice back to desert-wandering tribes at least 2,000 years earlier that used the practice as proof of commitment to or to appease their god (and could conceivably have roots in practices for hygiene in harsh climates), but continued in North America in religious and non-religious sub-tribes alike on the premise that it was “good hygiene.”

Male (only) newborns were strapped to a board—rendered unable to move or defend themselves. Then, during a dangerous and extremely painful procedure, they had the foreskin of their penis cut off—permanently damaging the penis and diminishing sexual pleasure for the grown man and his partners. Anthropological research shows that—in another shocking twist to this report—the parents of the victims requested and paid for the procedure, and then—most macabre—the medicine men sold the foreskins to factories for use in “skin creams” and other products to sell back to the tribe members.


What originated in the tribes as a positive advancement and an excellent practice— used only in extreme conditions where a mother and/or baby were at risk of death in childbirth (1-3% of all deliveries)—became a ritual practiced in 30-50% of the members of the North American tribes—and spread to other tribes and nations, reaching rates as high as 90% in some nations.

Where throughout all time and peoples, women gave birth either protected from the elements inside their dwellings or outside in nature (in fields or streams), attended by experienced women (called midwives), free of chemicals, free of machines and devices to contain them or limit their movement, and free of weapons and devices for cutting, the medicine men during Dark Age II persuaded the tribe members that childbirth was an illness. Thus women were transported to factories called “hospitals” (a word that can be traced to the 12th century, meaning “a shelter for the needy” and around the 15th century became known as “institution for sick people”) where every other sort of illness, injury, disease and emergency was treated—and countless, dangerous bacteria, viruses, and other infectious vectors existed and bred.

The women were given various chemicals to speed labor by strengthening contractions beyond normal (we have found evidence linking the term “Pitocin” to this activity), which made labor extremely painful, for which other drugs and painkillers were used—which in turn led to fetal stress and fear in the mother (further disturbing the natural flow of the labor process). The medicine men would then swiftly cut through the woman’s abdominal cavity and uterus to remove the baby.

Due to the intensity of the surgery, the affects on mother and baby of the drugs, and the removal of babies immediately from the mother (for the purpose of administering more chemicals), babies were often disoriented, confused (also referred to at the time with the phrase “drugged out”) and were unable to perform the most natural act in all mammalian offspring—to latch. After a brief period of trouble latching, the medicine men persuaded women that they were unable to provide for their offspring and offered chemical powders to the infants—bypassing the female mammal’s natural inclination and desire to care for her young with nature’s most nourishing and free food.

These discoveries are considered an enormous link in the search for an answer to why so many women during Dark Age II experienced postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum psychosis (PPP).

Again, in a bizarre twist difficult to conceive now, many female members of the tribe came to believe that this method of “removing the baby” from the body was superior to the natural homo sapiens’ method of childbirth and often requested the expensive and dangerous procedure.


As with all bizarre tribal phenomena, it is impossible to know now exactly how these practices found widespread acceptance. We can only assume that the driving force behind them was a desire to build and maintain a powerbase for a select few tribal chiefs and medicine men.

Fortunately, the use of these macabre practices finally subsided—just as the use of the guillotine in the French and some German Tribes from the 17th century through the 20th century; the use of “torture” (which had different legal definitions in the United States Tribe from the definition of the larger tribe called the United Nations); gishiri cutting (the cutting off of female genitalia in many of the African tribes centuries earlier and through Dark Age II); the foot-binding of Chinese tribes beginning with the Song dynasty and ending in the 20th century; breast ironing practiced in Dark Age II by tribes of Cameroon (a practice of beating breast or using heated objects to make them stop growing); sati ceremonies (a practice of a recently widowed woman immolating herself on her husband’s funeral pyre) by various Indian tribes and banned before Dark Age II; and countless other tribal procedures and practices that flourished and faded into the annals of history. †

“Prediction is very hard to do. Especially about the future.”
-Physicist Niels Bohr


Photo used with license from istockphoto.com 




*It will not come as a surprise that this is not actually a scientific report written in 3013, and it IS NOT medical advice and should not be used as such.

It’s a creative essay written in 2013--with respect for our individual needs and decisions--and IS NOT to be taken as a statement of fact or opinion of the author, publisher or distributor.

It IS what creative essays are: food for thought. And the process of thinking usually does one of two things: confirms us in our beliefs or challenges us to rethink—either way: a positive!

Published in Wives' Tales & Fun
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 15:24

Circumcision of One Son and Not the Other


I had little to no knowledge of natural, organic or healthy living until I met my mother-in-law back in 2007. I believed McDonald’s was a healthy diet and that obesity was strictly a genetic disorder. I had no idea that we could take responsibility for our lives and health by living naturally. I struggled to learn as she taught me about this lifestyle. I was told that I may never have children because of my history with anorexia and medications. Even though I hadn't had exposure to these in a long time, my husband and I were trying for years to have a baby with no success. While on the mission field in Brazil, my diet consisted mainly of things you would find in a garden and it was just before the New Year in 2009 that we received our positive pregnancy test! I knew from that moment that I wanted to go about this pregnancy as healthy as I possibly could and I did, at least for the first trimester.
As the middle of the second trimester rolled around I found it very hard to overcome my cravings for fast food and unhealthy junk foods. I gained an incredible amount of weight and had severe sciatic pain. On September 11, 2010 I went into labor with my first son Titus Obadiah. Our midwife came to our home where we had decided to birth our baby. I wanted a labor doula but I was told I wouldn't need one if I had midwives and I thought I could use the money I would spend on one for another baby in the future. I later regretted this decision. The experience lasted 14 hours (from when we started counting) and labor was extremely painful and traumatic. I remember that I felt so disconnected from my body and I couldn't read my body cues right. My beautiful baby boy Titus Obadiah was born a healthy 8lbs even and 20 inches at 3:03 AM in water on September 12. Everything went medically well, but I remembered the pain and had a hard time connecting with my baby as breastfeeding was also extremely painful for 2 full months, even after much consultation from professionals.
Eight days after my son was born we decided that based on our cultural backgrounds we would have our son circumcised. This experience was even more traumatizing. We walked into the office and there was a baby mold with straps hanging off of it. That is where they proceeded to strap our son down to circumcise him. I couldn't stand to be there and see them do it - I felt that I would physically hurt the doctor, so I excused myself to the waiting room and cried and prayed while my husband and brother-in-law stayed with him during the procedure. Afterward my son seemed so different; traumatized and exhausted. He slept for 17 hours straight that day and I couldn't even get him to wake up for feedings. I felt horrible and wished we hadn't done it but I felt so bound by culture.
A few days later we attempted to encapsulate the placenta and we were unsuccessful. (You can watch that one here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAxgL0KXt-A&feature=plcp) For the next six months I battled severe postpartum depression; I was extremely miserable, lost friends and isolated myself. I dealt with a lot of grief over my lack of connection with my son, though as time went on my son and I began to bond.
When we conceived our second baby this past year I was determined to have a different experience. I had already changed my lifestyle tremendously – I was eating healthy again and had a membership at our local gym. I stayed focused with it until I hit about 8 months pregnant. It was then that I slowed down the hardcore exercises but continued to eat as healthy, natural and organic as I could. When I tested positive for group B strep at our birthing center, I feared things were already starting to go wrong but I continued to keep focused on trusting my body and enabling myself to do things naturally by making better decisions than I did the first time.
I went into labor just a few weeks ago on July 11, 2012 and the first person I called was my doula! (I refused to go without one this time, and she was extremely helpful and the cost was reasonable). She showed up to our home and we didn't waste any time informing our birth center that I felt like I was in labor so that we could get the antibiotics to help prevent the risk of infection from the group B strep to my son as he would pass through the birth canal. I remember having a difficult time trying to time the contractions - but I remember this incredible feeling of "knowing" that I was in labor. I felt like my body signals were so clear! My midwife showed up and administered the antibiotics in my home via IV every 4 hours as I labored. The labor lasted 17 hours this time - longer than the first but throughout the whole experience my body adjusted as necessary and I felt like "I can do this!”
 I had planned to birth in our bath tub but in the moment I felt like my body wouldn't let me stay in the water and the last minute I headed to the bed to finish laboring. I stayed focused and birthed my beautiful baby boy Asher Uriah at 8 lbs 2 oz and 19 and ½  inches in my bed in our little log cabin in North Pole, AK. We delayed cord clamping, and my son actually found the breast on his own before I even set him in place to breastfeed! My doula helped so much throughout the whole thing, filling in every gap and making sure the rest of my family was taken care of – she even encapsulated my placenta for me! I would probably not ever chose to birth without a doula again.
My doula was also was filling me in on some modern research about circumcision, but we had decided that it was already too late since we had it done to our fist son. It came to the 7th day after birth and my doula was faithfully checking up on me and talking to me about our plans for circumcision. Even though at first I thought it was something everyone had to decide culturally, it was undeniably traumatic for all of us when we had it done to our first son. My husband and I both dreaded the thought of doing it again. The night before the procedure was scheduled, we had a heart to heart and looked up all the research our doula had sent us.
So many questions were in my mind. How can I circumcise one son and not the other? What would I tell them when they were older? I decided after reading the research and finding out that it isn't any cleaner or more sanitary, the fact there are glands that are still connected to the foreskin until after puberty, and how painful the process is we decided we absolutely could not do it to our second son, especially with all the harsh memories of the first time around. Even though I have extreme guilt over getting it done with my first son, I could not justify doing it to my second son so we skipped the appointment the next day. I know one day I will just have to find the right words explain it to them when they are older.
I have been taking my placenta and I feel amazing. My connection with both of my children makes me feel like I am walking on clouds, and breastfeeding is just so amazing. I am so thankful to my birth team and The Birthing Site for their support. I hope my story can help others too!
-Millie Radosti
For pictures of the birth of Titus Obadiah:
For pictures of the birth of Asher Uriah:
For fun, my husband and I did a mini redo version of "Pregnant and I know it"


Published in Birthing Stories
Friday, 24 February 2012 15:27

Hot Button Topic Alert: Circumcision

A Note to the Reader: I have provided a number of links and references in this article. I have viewed all of these links myself. Most do not contain images of the faces of infants, or pictures that may otherwise be severely upsetting. That being said, everyone has different emotional reactions to different visuals. Please keep this in mind when you follow a link: the material may or may not elicit a strong response for you.

To circumcise or not? That is one of the most important questions that mama’s who have boys will need to answer. I have my own opinions on the matter; however, I have written this article in an effort to help you make your own decision, regardless of what I chose for my sons. I will address as many aspects of the circumcision as I can, while providing you with links to articles and studies that pertain to circumcision. I hope that this article will help you to make your own informed decision. As with everything, your decision should be informed not just by your opinions, but by your investigation of all aspects of the subject.

Circumcision (in males,) is the removal of the foreskin that covers the head of the penis. The practice of circumcision has historical and religious roots, though many parents who chose to circumcise their sons today do so because the father is circumcised, or they believe that this is routine care. This procedure is typically performed in the hospital within days of birth. The newborn is placed in this device to keep him from moving. Since general anesthesia is not recommended for neonates, they are conscious throughout the entire procedure. Many doctors will administer a DPNB or a lidocaine injection for local pain relief; however, not every doctor will utilize these forms, or any form of pain relief (though some form of analgesia is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, and World Health Organization. There are three common methods of circumcision today. The Plastibell, the Gomco clamp and the Mogen clamp. The Plastibell works by cutting off blood supply to the foreskin which will eventually necrotize and fall off along with the Plastibell in about 4-6 days. The Gomco clamp is applied once the foreskin has been cut and opened up. It is then inserted and remains while the foreskin is cut away. The Mogen clamp is similar to the Gomco clamp: the foreskin is stretched, the Mogen clamp is inserted and locked, and then the foreskin is cut away. More details on the specifics of each procedure can be found on the links.

There is also female circumcision; however, it can be one or a combination of any of the following:

  • Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).
  • Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are "the lips" that surround the vagina).
  • Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
  • Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.” (Taken from the World Health Organization website).


A Google search on female circumcision will yield results mostly about female genital mutilation. Even though both male and female circumcision have historical and religious roots, female circumcision is more widely discouraged than that of males. The World Health Organization states that there are no health benefits to any of these procedures for females.

 Why would anyone circumcise? Circumcision has a history in many cultures, for primarily religious reasons. The basic idea was to represent a sacrifice during a time of transition into adulthood. Circumcision was not historically practiced on infants until the American medical community began to view the procedure as a preventative health measure. In the Victorian era, circumcision was also viewed as a preventative measure for masturbation and deviant sexual behaviors. Currently, it is classified by the American Medical Association as an elective medical procedure aimed at preventing possible infections and diseases.

Circumcision has been purported to prevent or reduce the risk of nearly every sexually transmitted disease at one point or another. There have been numerous studies that test the validity of this hypothesis; however, very few can produce data that irrefutably supports these claims. Most of the studies cite limitations such as a sample group size and diversity. Conclusions drawn from these studies often indicate that circumcision may A recent article published discusses how HIV transmission rates were not reduced enough to recommend circumcision as a preventative measure. A Google, or Google Scholar search will yield hundreds of studies for you to look for more information on these.

Another concern is hygienic. Many doctors and medical professionals feel that the circumcised penis is less likely to trap and cultivate various pathogens and dirt. Opponents of this view (and many uncircumcised men) retort that proper hygiene and care of the uncircumcised penis is necessary as with any other part of the body (and that it is not any “extra work.”) They also contend that if the foreskin was such a dangerous appendage, millions of years of evolution should have eliminated it from all primates as well as humans. While the American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization, and American Medical Association explicitly state that they do not feel that there is a medical reason to recommend routine newborn circumcision, it is still practiced as routine care and approximately 56% of newborns in America are circumcised, while only a third of the world’s male population over 15 years of age are circumcised, (68% of which are Muslim,) (Collier, 2011).

Another point to consider is the impact on a man’s sexual experiences. The foreskin contains many nerves, and intact men tend to report that they are more sensitive than men who are circumcised. This is not surprising given that intact men have more nerve endings, and thus will be picking up on more sensation. Some men who were circumcised as adults report a decreased sensitivity during sexual activity. Some of these men felt that the decreased sensitivity was preferable because they were able to engage longer in sexual activity; however, it should be noted that others were not happy about the loss of sensitivity. There were also men who report that they did not have a decrease in sensitivity. Many women who have had sex with both circumcised and uncircumcised men report that sex with a man who is intact is different, and significantly more pleasurable. This led Kristen O’Hara to write a book “Sex as Nature Intended It” with her husband Jeffrey. The website has a great deal of explicit content and is obviously opinionated, though when I asked my uncircumcised husband to reflect on the site and its claims, he completely agreed.

2.3 ounces of blood have lost a critical amount of blood-which significantly increases the risk of death.

This brings me to another point to consider; by circumcising boys at birth, are we committing an act of genital mutilation and robbing them of their right to make choices about their body? Many groups feel that this is the case and argue that claims of hygiene, disease prevention, and religious rights are simply ways of trying to avoid the truth. Men within these organizations often indicate that they feel they should have had the right to decide if they wanted to be circumcised, rather than having the decision made for them. Even some doctors contend that treating genital modification differently among the sexes is discriminatory, and that male circumcision is a violation of the rights of the newborn.

Opponents of circumcision bring up two other important issues to consider. First, newborn babies can feel pain, and a number of studies support this. There are also studies that support the idea that infants who did not receive analgesia during circumcision had a higher pain response during routine vaccinations. Historically, it was thought that babies could not feel pain, or that the pain felt as a newborn was not as significant. Ask any nurse or doctor who has performed or assisted in a circumcision what the baby’s reaction to the procedure (without analgesia) is and the response will likely include “a scream/cry that peels paint off the walls.” Studies on cortisol levels (the stress hormone) also indicate that after circumcision, a newborn is significantly stressed and much more difficult to calm.

The next big argument from opponents of circumcision contends that the procedure can be traumatic for the newborn during a critical period in his life and the potential for permanent psychological damage should be considered. This argument is harder to find evidence to support it, but there have been some investigations. Some mothers whose sons were circumcised report more difficulties with breastfeeding and bonding. The first few days and months of a baby’s life set the stage for the rest of his life. Babies communicate needs by crying, and they learn who will take care of their needs and how quickly. They do not have the cognitive capacity to understand why someone is not tending to their needs. If their needs are not met, they will eventually quiet; however, the first time they experience this can potentially signal to them that it will be difficult to get their needs met, thus resulting in a greater potential for attachment and relationship issues down the road. This informs the idea of circumcision as a traumatic experience: the experience of intense pain and the delay of comfort.

Janina Fisher discusses the idea that trauma is in the nervous system. When we experience any sort of distressing event, the biological response is imprinted on our memory and our nervous system begins to prepare for the next traumatic event by prepping the body for the biological response, (fight or flight.) Trauma doesn’t have to be reserved for victims of sexual abuse or combat veterans. Any experience that causes a biological and psychological response that is distressing can be viewed as a traumatic experience. A psychologist might thus argue that just because the circumcision procedure is quick, does not mean that the baby may not in some way remember the experience.

If you’re considering circumcision, I’d encourage you to read the links within this article. Read the studies and opinions for yourself and talk to others who support and don’t support circumcision. Talk to both circumcised and uncircumcised men. I would also encourage you to watch a video of a baby being circumcised. Here is a link to one video that is rather graphic. You can find a video through one of the links below, or probably on YouTube. I won’t post a link, because to be honest, I can’t watch it. If you truly feel that the procedure is something your baby needs to undergo, consider watching a video so that you know exactly what is involved. If you and your partner disagree on what you want to do, take some time to think about it and try to see the other’s points. Whatever you chose, make sure you go into the decision with your eyes wide open, and fully prepared to care for your son’s penis appropriately, circumcised or intact.

References and Resources (not already linked in the article):

Collier, R., (2011). Circumcision indecision: The ongoing saga of the world's most popular surgery. Canadian Medical Association, 183(17).

Published in Newborn Health
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 22:37

Sh*t Crunchy Mamas Say

 All you crunchy mamas out there, do you ever feel like you are alone in your beliefs in our fast paced modern world? Do your partners giggle or roll their eyes when you talk about eating your placenta or ask if they would like to watch your homebirth video again? Mama Natural you are spot on! This video is a must watch for you and those close to you who endlessly hear about ALL your crunchy ways.

Published in Healthy Family
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 01:57

How to Clean An Intact Baby Boy



Now that I’m a mom of a little dude with his foreskin left intact…I’m finding that many people from caregivers to grandparents do not realize how to care for the intact little boy.  So here is some information to be shared with your caregivers and anyone who will be watching your little guy.


As I noted in my reasons I decided to not circumcise my son, both little girl’s and boy’s sexual parts are not fully formed at birth.  For little girls, the hood of the clitoris is fused to the clitoris and for little boys the foreskin is fused to the glands (or the tip) of the penis.  With sexual maturity and/or the hormones from puberty, these parts will loosen allowing for full sexual function of the organ in later development.   In the meantime, this fusion of the foreskin to the head of the penis protects the glands from pathogens, bacteria, feces, etc.

Forced retraction can cause painful damage to the penis and should be avoided at all costs! Some complications from forced retraction are:
  • Acquired Phimosis – this is when scar tissue forms, enabling the foreskin to later have its movable function

  • Infection – the raw skin is now an easy place for an infection

  • Adhesion – it is possible for the raw surfaces to grow together which may require surgery to allow for foreskin retraction later

  • Paraphimosis – When a child’s foreskin is forced behind the glands before it has become fully functioning. Sometimes the narrow opening of the foreskin gets caught behind the glands.  This can trap blood and cause the tip to swell. You can fix this by holding the shaft of the penis and gently fusing the glans into the foreskin. If this doesn’t work, squeezing the glans to reduce swelling should help it pull back into the foreskin. If these techniques do not work you can also put ice on the glands to help the swelling.

So basically… you just wipe off the penis if it gets dirty! No pulling back of foreskin is necessary.

Later we will talk about how to care for an older child’s intact penis.



Published in Newborn Care

This is a very eye opening documentary on circumcision. When making any decision on such a sensitive topic, please research your options thoroughly. The Birthing Site does not endorse circumcision, we feel it's necessary for parents to make an informed decision about whether this procedure is necessary for their baby.

The critically acclaimed documentary on male circumcision by Chicago filmmaker Eli Ungar-Sargon. For the unabridged version, please buy the DVD at:


Published in Newborn Care
Saturday, 28 May 2011 15:38

To Circumcise or Not?

There are many religious reasons for circumcision, but many parents have been doing it because there was a believe that it carried additonal health benefits for the baby. Over 60% of male infants are circumcised in the USA for non-religious reasons although many doctors are saying there is no medical reason to circumcise.

Many parents chose to do it for sanitary reasons although an uncircumcised penis is easily cared for. The problems that people blame on foreskin actually stems from improper care of the uncircumcised penis. Most doctors advise parents to force back the foreskin and clean underneath (once the skin seperates on it's own), with a baby it is usually sufficient to soak the penis in a warm bath. As the boy grows, the foreskin will naturally separate from the glands (somewhere between the ages of 3 and 13), and he may then pull it back and clean underneath it with clear water. The full process of separation is usually finished by age 18.

This video is a great video to gain a better understanding of circumcision.

Published in Newborn Care

Dr. John W. Travis has studied the disconnect babies experience at birth and as part of our individualistic western lifestyle. Most parents for the past 100 years have tried to make their baby's independent by having them sleep alone and learning to self sooth from a very young age. His hypothesis states that we all have wounding from birth and childhood that we carry onto our daily lives. This wounding comes to the forefront when we have our own children. Women through nurturing their babies can somewhat heal themselves, but for men sometimes this pain whether conscious or not becomes too much for them to deal with, and as a defense mechanism men leave the family. Very interesting theory and he makes some excellent points.

Published in Healthy Family
Monday, 28 March 2011 23:50

How Children are Treated

 Our children are the most important part of our lives, yet we are all human and make mistakes. Parenting for a Peaceful World shows how love, compassion and play to name a few are so important for a child's mental development. It also gives a detailed look into world history of how children were treated and provides information on child-rearing customs and it's affect on societies.

Published in Healthy Family
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