We decided to ask thousands of moms, "Are you a mom who reluctantly had your son(s) circumcised? Did you go against your heart, or were you pressured into it?"
Just a mere sample of the responses:
- Jennifer writes, "I had my son circumcised, even though after I had him I felt like it was wrong. Every time I thought about it I would cry, but I went through with it anyway because I felt like it was something I had to do."
- Bianca writes, "When [my son] was cut, we didn't know there was anything wrong with circumcision because no one ever said anything about it to us."
- Kim writes, "I did. I wish that I had known the procedure as well and all the functions of the foreskin. I could go on and on but I try to tell all I see and hope they will listen."
- Kellinjoe writes, "[I wish someone would have told me] literally that it just did not HAVE to be done, that half the boys his age were not cut, that would have made all the difference at first. Then knowing first hand as a woman what it does to sex...well that lead me to intactivism (and a broken heart) and all the other stuff just floored me. I hate how little I knew then and how little the people advising me knew."
- Samantha writes, "My sister's boyfriend convinced her to do it since he and the older two were cut he didn't want the new baby to feel like he was different. She regrets it now because they did it wrong and he will have to have it fixed when he gets older they said."
- Brandi writes, "I only wish I had been told that I didn't have to do it, and foreskin is NOT just skin. That it would HURT my baby. If that nurse had just said "It's really not necessary" I'm sure I would have at least thought about it before I handed my child over :*( I will never forgive myself..."
- Christine writes, "I wish my mom hadn't lied to me, it IS more than "just a little snip." I wish my midwives weren't so "hands off" and out of my business and said something, I wish someone had made me watch a video of it being done. I wish my husband didn't... think just because it was done to him that it was ok to do to his son. I wish I hadn't fought my instinct. I wish there weren't other moms there in the office with me also getting their sons cut joking around like it was no big deal. I wish the nurse there wasn't Jewish and so supportive of the cutting. I wish I hadn't focused so much on my natural birth that I didn't educate myself more about circumcision. :'(
But, because of all of those wishes, I have a second WHOLE son. Lesson learned. Tell your friends, circumcision is more than just a cut!"
- Elizabeth writes, "I had my first at 17 and had not been told 1 SINGLE thing about circumcision. I just thought it was just what you were supposed to do, and I never once even thought about not doing it. My second son is intact, and any future son(s) will be. I wish someone had given me the facts about circumcision so I could have made the right decision."
- Crystal writes, "I wish someone had shared SOMETHING with me about circumcision, anything, especially all the bad things. No one said anything, the only thing I could get out of the doctor is that it isn't medically necessary. I wish I had stuck with my gut. I was in a complete panic when they took him to do it, I felt like I couldn't say no... it's very strange to think about. Watch a video, do your research, there ARE choices, let you SON choose."
- Tom writes, "I wish I had realized that three doctors could look you in the eye, and lie about your kid's situation, and what could be done about it. They were utterly ignorant about human anatomy. They told me he would have phimosis for the rest of his life, and just keep getting infections. That there was no hope for the situation correcting itself. Now, we know that it is normal for the foreskin not to retract at 3. It retracts in its own good time. Perhaps it is time that we fight to get the foreskin put in anatomy and physiology textbooks, so that when a circumcised doctor doesn't know the answer, he can look it up."
- Holly writes, "I objected vociferously to the circumcision of my oldest two boys, but my (now ex)-husband insisted. The truth is that I wish somebody would have talked to him. We moms talk about circumcision a lot, especially when one of us is pregnant with a little boy! But what we really need is to get the dads talking, and they tend to be silent on that. I think that he would've agreed not to circumcise if one of his (male) friends had said, "Yeah, we decided not to circumcise our little one. I just figured that it doesn't really have a purpose to circumcise him, and frankly, it can't be comfortable for the baby!" Actually, ANYTHING. I just feel like if a male friend had spoken with him about it, maybe he would've agreed not to circ."
- Birthing Haven writes, "I had my son done when I was 21. I did NOT know better. Although when the nurse came into get my son my heart screamed at me not to let him go. I ignored my heart. My advice listen to your heart and PLEASE do research on it."
- Alexia writes, "I was pressured/conned into it. And I didn't really know about it, it just felt wrong. No excuse, I am a mother and should have gone with my instinct. If I ever have another son I will announce to everyone and be proud that he will remain whole like his older brother should have been.
I would listen with sympathy to another mom and tell them I was there once. I was stupid to listen to other peoples opinions. I would tell [another mom] to follow her heart!"
If you're an expecting mother, or plan to have children in the future, circumcision is something that you need to research. Find support groups online and talk to other moms (or dads) who have been in your shoes. Read the studies. Find the statistics. Most importantly, listen to your gut.
If your motherly instincts tell you it's wrong, it probably is.
Research circumcision to find out why.