Photograph By GM Photographics
Some parents may consider having their baby boy circumcised, believing this is more hygienic and reduces the risk of genital cancers. Circumcision of baby boys is no longer endorsed by most health professionals due to the risks of bleeding and infection, and the unnecessary pain experienced by the baby.
The most common reason I hear from parents wishing to have their baby boy circumcised is so his penis will look the same as his circumcised father’s penis. However from a child’s perspective, all adult male genitalia looks different to their own. The presence of pubic hair is a very obvious difference, which children readily accept is ‘just how grown-ups look’.
Female circumcision is regarded as genital mutilation and circumcision of baby boys is no different. Baby boys experience excruciating pain during circumcision and for weeks afterwards, and can show behavioural changes such as frequent crying, avoidance of physical contact, reduced feeding and sleep disturbance following the procedure. Local anaesthetic creams do not provide adequate anaesthesia for the operation and a general anaesthetic poses significant risk for infants under the age of 6 months.
*The views are of the author and not The Carousel. The Carousel respects the rights of individuals and religious beliefs.
Want more advice from midwife and author of New Baby 101 – A Midwife’s Guide For New Parents, Lois Wattis?
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Lois Wattis has been a Midwife for 15 years, a Registered Nurse for 18 years and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for 10 years. Lois also practiced as an accredited Independently Practising Midwife (IPM) in Western Australia for five years. Lois currently works at Nambour General Hospital as a specialist Clinical Midwife Lactation Consultant as well as providing private Lactation Consultancy services via ‘Babymooon Home Visits’ on the Sunshine Coast Qld www.birthjourney.com.
Over the past decade Lois has provided education for midwives via Australian and international professional journals, and as a speaker at midwifery and parenting conferences around Australia. Lois’ contribution to midwifery education was acknowledged at the International Confederation of Midwives in 2005 when she was awarded a Fellow of the Australian College of Midwives.
Lois’ experience is broad, and her focus is now on supporting parents negotiating the steep learning curve as they care for their new baby. Lois’ book which includes 5 videos “New Baby 101 – A Midwife’s Guide for New Parents” is available from her website www.newbaby101.com.au and her New Baby 101 App is available for smartphones via Google Play and iTunes Appstore.
Buy the eBook and download the App
New Baby 101 – A Midwife’s Guide For New Parents by Lois Wattis. The free App is created in FAQ format, giving comprehensive answers related to the nine topics covered in my eBook. The App includes two free ‘How-to’ videos, and the content can be upgraded to answer more than 50 FAQs for $6.99. You can download the free App on your smartphone via Google Play or iTunes. The eBook includes three additional ‘How-to’ videos.
Visit www.newbaby101.com.au for details.
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