author of Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma
In his book, Birth Without Violence, Frédérick Leboyer M.D., highlighted for a 1970s nation just how calm and at peace babies can be when they are handled gently at birth and beyond.
After the beautiful, peaceful home birth of my 3rd son in 1977:
In the days that follow, my baby sleeps and nurses peacefully and never leaves my side. I had always thought that newborn babies were squalling little bundles of appetite and nerves that did not become cute or enjoyable until they were about two to three months old. But this little baby evokes an ethereal tranquility that I have never seen before. He drifts between sleep and wakefulness and makes little smiles just like the pictures in Dr. Leboyer’s book -- totally happy and trusting of this world.
After his circumcision one week later:
My baby’s screams fill the entire building!
The nurse leads us back into the room.
My baby is lying on the table. A diaper is half around him. The end of his penis is bright red!
There is blood on the diaper!
He is crying pitifully -- a high-pitched wail that I have never heard out of him before.
I pick him up, and embrace his tiny body close to mine. “Oh, no! Don’t hold him like that!” the doctor warns me. I shouldn’t put pressure on his wound. So I cradle him in my arms as the doctor leads us into another room. As soon as we sit down I start to nurse him.
Weeks later, my baby was to start cooing and smiling, like all normal, healthy babies. But I was never to see those beautiful, mystic, Leboyer newborn-baby smiles again. He was past his pain, but my own heart was to ache about this for a long time.
Again and again I was to ask myself, “Why?” Why did I have the courage and resolve to go outside the medical system and have a homebirth, but was unable to question this?
Why was it so important to me to have his birth be totally peaceful in so many ways, with dim lights, soft voices, and no silver nitrate, and then turn around and do this?
Why, when I had been a childbirth educator for several years, when I have gone out of my way to educate and inform myself about so many things concerning birth and babies, when I am probably more knowledgeable about most of these matters than 99% of all parents, did I still know virtually nothing about circumcision...?
Research the functions of foreskin - the reason all babies on earth are born with this organ - and the realities of circumcision.
• Functions of the Foreskin: DrMomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html
• Intact vs. Circumcised: A Significant Difference in the Adult Penis: DrMomma.org/2011/08/intact-or-circumcised-significant.html
• Foreskin and its 16+ Functions (not 'just skin'): SavingSons.org/2015/09/foreskin-and-its-16-functions-not-just.html
Hear from more parents who share their circumcision regret and the aftermath of its impact on their babies: DrMomma.org/2010/05/i-circumcised-my-son-healing-from.html