I am expecting a boy in August. My husband is circumcised and all the men in my family are circumcised, and they have never complained about it. But I have seen some moms on pregnancy forums say that when their babies returned from being circumcised, they cried and cried and wouldn’t breastfeed. My obstetrician assured me that circumcision is not painful for the baby. Is she right?
—Meredith in Providence, RI
I am so glad you are questioning your obstetrician’s statement, because she is wrong.
Many believe that babies are too young to feel pain, but that has been disproven. Any mom who, before disposable diapers were invented, accidentally stuck her newborn with a diaper pin knows that babies feel pain. And I know from my own experience that they do. I was a nursing student when I witnessed a circumcision for the first time. The baby was lying on a molded plastic board, struggling against the restraints that held his arms and legs down. Nothing was given to the baby to manage the pain. The doctor told me to let the baby suck on my finger. When the doctor began the procedure, the baby let out a scream I’d never heard come out of a human before. It wasn’t like a baby’s cry when he’s hungry or needs his diaper changed. It was primal. He screamed for the next 15 minutes.
There is no medical reason to circumcise your son. Keep him intact, just as nature intended.