Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin at the end of the penis. Although there may be some medical benefits, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend that all baby boys be circumcised.
Some parents circumcise their sons because of religious, cultural, or social reasons. Other parents decide not to circumcise because it is not medically necessary. The decision is up to you.
Reasons not to circumcise include:
If you choose not to circumcise, your son's penis needs no special care. Simply wash the genital area with soap and water at bath time. Do not force the foreskin back. As he grows, the foreskin will loosen on its own. This can take three or more years.
When your son is older and the foreskin can be pulled back, do that in order to wash the area covered by the foreskin.
Reasons to circumcise include:
Check with your insurance provider to see if you have any copays for a circumcision.
Baby boys who are circumcised without pain medicine may show discomfort for several hours. They may not resume a normal feeding pattern for 24 hours.
If you choose to circumcise, check with your insurance provider about coverage. Talk with your baby's health care provider about surgery options. You will have to sign a consent form for the surgery.
Ask that your baby get pain medicine. This is what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends.
A circumcision is painful. Using a local anesthetic at the time of the surgery is safe and reduces both pain and stress.
See circumcision care for information about how to take care of a circumcised penis.