Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: You stay classy, San Diego
Re: What were your medical reasons for circumcising?
The standard of care requires use of anesthesia for circs. As a Ped dh has done, gosh, I don't even know if I can guess how many circs. The military has a 90+% circ rate, and he spent 6 years either observing or solely performing them. I don't know how many newborns have been in his care over the years, and approx 50% of them are boys, and most military families circ. So who knows? But he was taught to always use a nerve block (injection), to always wait for it to take effect. They also use a numbing cream before the nerve block. We know a lot of Peds, obviously, and I don't know any who would even think not to use pain meds. Like I said, it's the standard of care. I've never met a Ped who enjoys hurting babies, but I guess that's just me.
Having said that, they don't use pain meds for all procedures, like spinal taps. If your baby under 30 days gets a UTI, they will get a lumbar puncture, and without pain meds. I've known NICU docs who don't do them for chest tubes, either (which drives dh crazy, he's all about pain control in the NICU). When you have general Peds who don't deal with procedures like intensive care docs do on sick patients, they are often not comfortable handing out meds they don't use much when the child has a condition they don't see often, so they err on the side of caution most times. But for healthy kids and circs, it's standard of care. Any docs not doing it, are not following the rules.
I think when the AAP came out with their new policy recently, they mentioned specific studies and risks. The OP could look there. There was another article, was it the NY Post? That had a piece on the rising costs of health care as circs go down, and they listed a ton of studies there, too. It also might be useful to look up rates of UTI's in newborns, including the rates of hospitalizations, death and so on. Any infection in a newbie can be a life threatening event very quickly. And they are not always easily taken care of in newborns with antibiotics. Then you have to decide, are those risk greater than the risk of circ? That what all of us parents do with every decision we make for our kids, a basic risk/benefit analysis.
I don't ever personally state my circ position on the internet because it squicks me out that people can then infer what my son's penis is like, and that seems like a gross violation of his privacy. Maybe because he's so much older now it feels like it should be kept private, so I won't say what we chose to do. But we did read the research, look at the risks from circs, which are very real, the potential benefits, and then made a decision based on what we thought was better medically.
If you want some real advice about information, OP, stay off of parenting boards, and try some journal articles, policy statements, talk to several medical professionals (Peds and urologists would be a good place to start), check out government agencies that collect raw data and so on and so forth. IMO, parenting boards are not a good place to do research, people are too emotional about their pet topic, and every parent has something, whether is it car seats, or circs or whatnot. Good luck with your decision.
Wife to my Navy doc, SAHM to 4 (11, 8, 5, 1)