From Peaceful Birth to Circumcision Trauma

By Rosemary Romberg,
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: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html

• Intact vs. Circumcised: A Significant Difference in the Adult Penis: http://www.DrMomma.org/2011/08/intact-or-circumcised-significant.html

• Foreskin and its 16+ Functions (not 'just skin'): http://www.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: http://www.DrMomma.org/2010/05/i-circumcised-my-son-healing-from.html

College of Nurse-Midwives Annual Meeting Intact Exposition Booth


Please support and join us at the American College of Nurse-Midwives Annual Meeting and Exhibition as we host a public intact education booth outside the Savannah Convention Center!

This is the largest event of its kind for nurse-midwives, who work hand-in-hand with expecting mothers across the nation, and play a pivotal role in influencing parents deciding whether or not to keep their babies intact.

In addition, on May 20th, between 1-5pm, the workshop titled, "Elective Newborn Circumcision: Skills for Nurse Midwives" will be presented to teach nurse-midwives how to become involved in infant genital cutting using Gomco and Mogen clamps. Organizer, Michelle Drew, writes, "The purpose of this session is to provide didactic education and hands on simulation on the risks benefits and alternatives to male circumcision; how to provide informed consent and practice on performing the procedure for newborn male circumcision using both the Gomco and Mogen clamps." View workshop: http://annualmeeting.midwife.org/schedule/elective-newborn-circumcision-skills-for-nurse-midwives/

We were offered the option to host a booth inside the convention center during this event ($2600/week), however, as with health expositions in the past, we know from experience that the ability exists to reach *far more* people outside the venue, on public grounds, than inside, and for half the cost. By establishing a professional intact booth outside, we are able to speak with all nurse-midwives coming and going from the convention, as well as organizers and attendees for other exhibitions taking place this week, speak with news media, and have the added power-packed benefit of reaching the masses of commuters walking and driving by the convention center each day.

Our location will be in place Day One of the conference to greet people as they arrive for the kick-off to the weekend. We will have materials that closely fit the field of nurse-midwifery, the theme of the conference, and those that local birth centers have chosen to use as their hand-outs for parents over the past 5 years. We would also like to raise the funds needed ($375/person) to have at least one SOS representative inside the May 20th presentation on elective circumcision training.

In addition, we will have the SOS Odyssey traveling billboards across the street for added exposure to the message, in a fashion that is positive, pro-intact, and proactive.

If you have a heart for professional education, please join us any or all days in Savannah, and support generously as you are able. All clinical booth hosts will be traveling by plane from out-of-state to attend this event, and are in need of a local accommodations as well. We expect to give materials out to approximately 300/day given our experience at past (similar) venues of this size, and would like all our items to be top-notch and professionally produced.

To support this event: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=QCJHXYGUNJ4WA

At YouCaring: https://www.youcaring.com/NurseMidwifeExpo

Or by mail to:

Saving Our Sons
PO Box 1302
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

THANK YOU!



College of Nurse-Midwives Intact Exposition Booth Supporters

★ Max R., Intact Australia

★ Dolores S.

★ Danelle D.








Example Letter for Friend / Relative

By Danelle Day © 2014


When it comes to reaching out to expecting friends or relatives, it is typically best to get intact related materials directly into their hands as early as possible - even before their baby's sex is known. If you know this individual's address, or are able to see them in person, the ideal first move is to put physical materials in front of them. This means doing so without asking, "Can I give you something..." (which provides the opportunity for doors to close with a 'no thanks' reply).  Just give.  This can be in the form of info cards placed into a baby book, an expecting pack sent to them anonymously, or an info pack you share. In fact, there are six options for giving here, and many excellent book choices to include in a gift (with a card or two) inexpensively available on Amazon.

If you do not know someone's mailing address, and cannot otherwise get materials physically in front of them, the next best thing is to send a heartfelt message via email or Facebook message. Below is one example of a message that has been altered slightly to fit different situations, but has overwhelmingly positive results from my work in related fields over the past 22 years. It has been curtailed in recent years to send on Facebook in a two-part message, but can also be put together with two attached images in one email.

The reason it is in two parts is so that both key images and links show up directly with a message. It is important when providing items to expecting parents that things are not overwhelming (no more than 2 primary links that will lead to more), and that they spark curiosity.

When sending on Facebook, FIRST copy/paste into an email of your own, and alter text as needed, add links, etc. Be sure you have quality copies of the images downloaded and all editing is taken care of. THEN be sure to "Expand to Full Message" on Facebook before pasting text, re-reading it, and adding the first image. This will allow your image to be sent at the end of a PM instead of the beginning. Send. And then do the same with the second part of the message. The result will be a flawless message with 2 images that are easy to read, and flows well.

If you cannot send a message to someone for any reason, you also have the option of asking a leader with Saving Our Sons to write to this individual. They will receive a similar message (either by email or on Facebook, depending on your contact options). See the bottom of this page of options for doing so. The key is to reach out to every expecting individual you know in one positive way or another.

Remember: assuming the best is a good thing. Come at this with a pro-intact, positive attitude -- all babies come into this world intact, all are deserving of their full bodies, and all parents want what is best for their little ones. We merely need to direct friends/family to resources so they are able to see the benefits of keeping their child intact; and learn the functions of the foreskin - why their baby is born with all he needs to have in the first place - while myth busting along the way if/when questions arise. There are many reasons that intact care is presented in the first part of this message (something that applies to *all* parents when their son is born) and that the term 'circumcision' is only used one time throughout the entire two-part message. It boils down to an understanding in how the human brain typically flows when presented with new ideas and language in a certain fashion, especially information and language used with expecting mothers.

Example Letter

Part One
Fill in the blanks as appropriate to your friend's location and situation; alter the opening sentences as they apply to you. Keep things friendly, brief, and personal. Find local Chapters here to include specific to your friend's state: http://www.SavingSons.org/p/local-chapters.html The reason this is important is so that this individual knows they are not alone in their area - there are many families local to them who are keeping their sons intact too, and they have options to become connected (or merely snoop out of curiosity to see what is happening in their area). 

Hi _________,

Big congrats on your little one on the way! Boys are such bundles of fun and love. I always thought I wanted a few girls... and now can't imagine life without my two little guys. ♥

I wanted to drop you a note because one of the areas of my line of work (and passion for moms and their babies) is with clinicians and preventing the forced retraction of baby boys at birth and in childhood. I believe you may be birthing in ___(state)___ and we are frequently meeting with physicians there due to the higher than average rate for retraction in infancy. I thought these items may be useful to have before your little one arrives. If you'd like anything in hard copy (a 'don't retract' baby band; intact care cards; diaper tab stickers, etc.) I'm happy to send them to you.  :)

Intact care resource page: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/06/how-to-care-for-intact-penis-protect.html

If printing items to take to the hospital, or have in a chart, there are several links to medical organization statements on intact care near the bottom of this page: http://www.SavingSons.org/2015/07/retracting-clinician-information-pack.html

There is also a local chapter (Intact _their state_) near you as well: FB.com/Intact_(state abbreviation)__

Select your favorite shade of Intact Sticker to include at the end of Part One

Part Two 
Send part two immediately after (having this pre-edited in an email to copy/paste), so that both attached images come up with each individual message on Facebook one after another. In an email, they could be combined and both items attached. 

This resource list is also a fairly comprehensive place to investigate the topic further. The Georgetown University lecture by Dr. McAllister is especially good for research-based materials; and the College Humor video is a more light-hearted look at the subject.

Should I circumcise my son? The pros and cons of infant circumcision: http://www.SavingSons.org/2014/12/should-i-circumcise-pros-and-cons-of.html

I hope you are able to relish and soak in these last days/weeks, and have a beautiful babymoon when he arrives. If I can be of any help from afar, please don't hesitate to ask. My heartfelt passion is helping new parents more than anything.

♥ Much love,

________________

Attach the Expecting postcard in Part Two of your message.

To have this postcard (reverse side has intact and circumcision care)
plus a few other small items (intact care card, intact care sticker, Elephant in the Hospital Georgetown University card, and New Baby Visitor Guide with Foreskin Facts on the reverse side sent via mail to your friend (or to you),
find them for $1 (which becomes 30-cents after Etsy fees) plus shipping here:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/525249380/expecting-a-boy-postcards-to-a-friend



~~~~~~~

Four New Traveling Billboards

We are nearing Genital Integrity Awareness Week, and the start of a spring season that will hold many SOS Odyssey dates, as well as numerous rallies and events in other formats. To fill in the gap and meet the positive, pro-intact, awareness raising need, there are four new traveling billboards we would like to have made.

Each will be high quality, extra durable/thick, outdoor vinyl that stands up very well to weathering and lasts many years. They are made with vibrant high colors for visibility a far distance off, and built with metal grommets and solid detachable framework. This allows them to be borrowed by intactivists across the nation, and travel well to a large variety of events. Each costs $150 total to be professionally produced with all materials, and will be seen by hundreds of thousands of Americans this year -- starting with the SOS Odyssey: Delaware, moving onto the Hospital of Central Connecticut, and then to Washington D.C. and beyond.

Please help us get these into production! We will update below each one, and have it sent in as soon as funds are raised. Each contributor will be named on the back side of the traveling billboard that you give toward. Click the banner image to give, or if you prefer to donate without PayPal taking a percentage, send via "friends/family" to SavingSons@gmail.com with a note about how you'd like your gift allocated.

Thank you for helping make these giant banners a reality!

Remaining to fund: Fully Funded!
A special THANK YOU to Jason O. who covered 2/3 of this banner!
Contributors: 
☆ Jason O.
☆ Max R.

Remaining to Fund: Fully Funded!
Give toward this banner
A huge THANK YOU to Max R. who covered the costs of this traveling billboard!
Contributors:
☆ Max R.

Remaining to fund: Fully Funded!
Give toward this banner.
A special THANK YOU to Max R. for covering 2/3 this banner!
Contributors:
☆ Max R.
☆ Christina B.
remaining from IntactPride domain donation

Intact Celebs ** THIS IS NOT THE BANNER IMAGE **
A graphics team is currently working on the most impacting celebs banner possible to reach the intended audience: young people in their high school/college years who will be tomorrow's parents. If you have thoughts on who SHOULD be included on this banner, please drop your comment on the SOS Facebook page, or send a note anytime to SavingSons@gmail.com.
Remaining to Fund: Fully Funded!
A special THANK YOU to Melinda S. who covered 2/3 of this banner!
Contributors:
☆ Melinda S.
☆ James V.
☆ Luis M.
☆ Arielle R.
☆ Hella O.
☆ Tesha H.
☆ Jennifer R.
☆ Alexis M.










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