Re: If one were going to circumcise
I made a lot of phone calls, asking different places about their method. LO was born at home so I had to arrange it afterward.
You may have been aware that Jews typically circumcise on the 8th day; studies have demonstrated that newborns' clotting factors are highest on the 8th day.
To increase his ability to clot well, we also opted to have the vitamin K shot. Hospitals do this routinely but midwives, like with everything else, inform patients of the risks and benefits and alternatives and let the patient choose.
I chose the pediatrician whose answers I liked best, about how the procedure was done. I liked that when I asked if I could come in, he said he'd prefer it if I did.
My son was 16 days old so he was more alert and responsive than a younger newborn; the doctor suspected he'd show more discomfort than most but commented after that he didn't.
I helped hold DS's arms while his dad let him suck sugar water off his finger (DS has never liked pacifiers). The sugar water apparently helps calm them, as of course sucking does.
The doctor made a circle of small injections to numb the skin area and then did one injection that I think was a nerve block? I forget what the technical term is, but it was to numb the penile nerve I believe.
Little man didn't show any discomfort during the cut, just while it was cleaned up after. Still he cried less than he had the day before when he'd gotten a little hand sanitizer in his eye.
I mixed Herb Pharm Trauma Oil and lanolin and vaseline to help it heal up, along with cotton flat diapers, a wool cover, and just a scrap of flannel to protect the diaper from the Vaseline. The midwife checked on us the next day and couldn't believe the circumcision was only 24 hours old.
He came home with gauze and vaseline, and the first bandage change was not fun. He had a trickle of a bleed but, as the doctor had said, 30 seconds of pinching that spot made it quit. I let him go diaperless on my lap for quite awhile.
The Herb Pharm Trauma Oil has arnica for bruising, hypericum for pain, and calendula to help skin heal ... in an olive oil base. I can't recommend it highly enough. Great for the umbilical stump too.
I think it also mattered a lot that when he was born, his cord wasn't cut until quite awhile after he was born, to make sure he had as much of his own blood as he could get (to put it crudely). He's clotted extremely well since birth (so well that for his PKU test, it took forever to get the test paper saturated).
Oh and nursing immediately after the procedure did a lot of good.
I still wouldn't recommend the procedure to anyone who wants it just for cosmetic purposes, or for anyone not willing to accompany and comfort their son through the procedure. But I don't feel that it was a traumatic event for my son, and if I have another boy I will have it done again (we're Jewish and I don't want to burden him with the choice later in life, when it's a major surgery).