Last spring I was fortunate to attend my first bris to celebrate TMoM member Dani’s newborn son. I had no idea what to expect, and to be honest, I was really nervous. For those of you who do not know what a bris is (and I was surprised to learn how many of my friends did not know), it’s a Jewish ceremony during which a baby boy (usually around eight days old) is circumcised and blessed – and the ritual symbolizes the baby’s formal link to his Jewish heritage.

It was a beautiful and joyous occasion, and it was silly of me to be so nervous. Up to that point, my only experience with a circumcision was the act of handing my newborn son over to my gynecologist who whisked him away for about an hour in the hospital, and then returned him to me seemingly unharmed. It was something I never really thought about (or wanted to think about); it was just a procedure my husband and I had an unspoken agreement about.

But I’ve since discovered that the act of circumcision is an age-old debate and has become quite the controversy.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s web site, “The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. However, the AAP doesn’t recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns. The AAP leaves the circumcision decision up to parents — and supports use of anesthetics for infants who have the procedure.”

Health benefits could include easier hygiene, decreased risk of urinary tract infections, decreased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, enhances sexual sensitivity, and prevention of penile cancer and other penile problems.

But critics say these health benefits are overrated, it’s unnecessary, circumcision carries present and future risk, is painful, is considered barbaric (yes, I’ve seen articles online saying this!), and can actually reduce sexual sensitivity.

Let us know “Whatcha Think!”

~ Did you have your son circumcised without question?
~ Did you debate this procedure?
~ Why did you decide for or against circumcision?
~ Are you content with – or upset with – your decision since your son had this procedure?

And…in some cases circumcisions have to be performed more than once before they’re “perfected.”
~ Has this happened to your son?
~ Are you considering another circumcision for your son?
~Why or why not?

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