Making Balanced Decision about Circumcision

It’s the “hot topic”—one that mom bloggers are vehement and nasty about. And yet we are still so divided, like we are when it comes to breastfeeding versus bottle feeding, vaccinations, co-sleeping, and baby sleep training.

Here’s the thing with controversial topics: You need to do the research, you need to hear from both sides, you need to make an educated decision. And then you really need to forget about it. Give other moms the benefit of the doubt and assume they are doing what they believe is best for their kids. Judging them doesn’t make them change—it just makes you a bitter, resentful person.

That said, I’d like to come to the topic of circumcision.

I’m going to try to cover as many approaches to the topic as possible, and list the pros and cons. But here’s the thing—I’m going to let YOU make the decision for yourself.

When reading the links I have provided below, be sure to think on them critically. Are their arguments sound? Do they make comparisons that are not logical? Do they cite historical or medical sources? Are their sources up to date? Do they have ulterior motives that cause them to think the way they do? Remember that no source is completely unbiased.

Types of Circumcision

First off, you need to know that there are different types of circumcision. (Uncircumcision is considered “intact.”) One form of circumcision is snipping off the edge of the foreskin, leaving most of it intact. This form of circumcision has long been practiced by many different cultures contemporary to the ancient Israelites (Archaeological Bible, ESV, page 1080).

Israelite Jews practiced the full removal of the foreskin. Quite a few sites (all against circumcision) claim that Israelites did not practice the full removal of the foreskin until more recent years, like Circumcision: Then and Now. Unfortunately, I can’t find any sources used in these articles or any other historical evidence to back this up. What I do have is the Archaeological Bible, which states that Israelite Jews did remove the entire foreskin, and 1 Samuel 18, which suggests that David removed a significant amount of foreskin in order to present a hundred of them to King Saul. If you know of sources that are pro-circumcision that can back this up, or if you know of any non-biased historical sources, please link to them in the comments!

Anti-circumcision timelines claim that the full removal of the foreskin is as contemporary as the 19th century. They claim that the move to full circumcision was an act to discourage masturbation. You can read a timeline (which unfortunately also does not include sources) linking circumcision and masturbation here. I don’t doubt a correlation between circumcision and attempts to curb masturbation, but I do question the claim that full removal of the foreskin did not occur before the 19th century.

Jewish Circumcision

For information on traditional Jewish circumcision, read Advantages and Possible Complications of a Brit Milah (a Jewish source). For information on the controversial practice of metzitzah, read Jewish newborn infected with herpes after metzitzah b’peh (Jerusalem news source).

Modern Medical Circumcision

Read about the procedure, risks, and complications of modern circumcision here.



Circumcision is basically a cosmetic surgery, but it won’t guarantee boys from being teased or comparing themselves with others. Some boys are teased for being intact, some for being circumcised. Today in the US, about half of young boys are circumcised and half are intact (According to statistics from a study conducted in 2009).

Reading online forums, I’ve heard of more intact men getting teased in the locker room (about 80% of men in the US are circumcised). But now that more boys have been left intact, teasing should not really be a deciding factor. Do boys really need to look like their fathers, brothers, or friends? That’s something to think about.

Health considerations

In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a statement in favor of circumcision, saying the benefits outweigh the risks (reversing the recommendations they’d been making since the 1970s).

“Specific benefits identified included prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and transmission of some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed this statement.”

Many articles have been written in response to the AAP’s statement, claiming for example:

  1. Pediatricians profit from circumcision and therefore the AAP cannot be considered an unbiased source (Doctors Opposing Circumcision)
  2. Urinary Tract Infections can be treated with antibiotics (“Cultural Bias in the AAP“)
  3. The studies used to inform the AAP’s statement, namely the ones regarding HIV contraction being 60% lower among uncircumcised men in Africa, do not apply to the US, where men have access to clean water (DOC)

While #1 is certainly an important consideration, the AAP had ruled against circumcision from 1971—2012. Studies and statistical results are never 100% accurate for all people. Be sure to look at the numbers, who is performing the study, who is participating in the study, and whether the conclusion is accurate based on the study’s findings.

Other things to consider:

  • “Boys who are not circumcised as newborns may later have circumcision for the treatment of phimosis, paraphimosis, or balanoposthitis. When done after the newborn period, circumcision is considerably more complicated.” (MedicineNet)
  • “Meatitis is more common in boys who have been circumcised.” (MedicineNet)
  • “Circumcision prevents the growth of bacteria under the foreskin and this, in turn, protects male infants against urinary tract infection. The high incidence of urinary tract infections in uncircumcised boys has also been found to be accompanied by an increased incidence of other significant infections such as bacteremia (bacterial infection of the bloodstream) and meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain). The protective effect of circumcision may thus extend to a number of infectious diseases.”  (MedicineNet)

STDs and Circumcision—different sources will give different results.

  • “Male circumcision reduces the risk that a man will acquire HIV from an infected female partner, and also lowers the risk of other STDs , penile cancer, and infant urinary tract infection” (Center for Disease Control, African study).
  • “For female partners, male circumcision reduces the risk of cervical cancer, genital ulceration, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and HPV. Although male circumcision has risks including pain, bleeding, and infection, more serious complications are rare” (CDC, African study).
  • In a study surveying a male population of the US Navy, both US- and foreign-born, circumcision did not statistically or significantly effect the prevalence of HIV or other STDs (Naval Health Research).
  • “After correction for age, circumcision was unrelated to reporting STI, but appeared to protect against penile candidiasis [thrush]” (Widespread Australian Study).


Circumcision will hurt—anyone that tells you differently is missing serious brain cells. Here’s what the AAP has to say:

“Analgesia is safe and effective in reducing the procedural pain associated with newborn circumcision; thus, adequate analgesia should be provided whenever newborn circumcision is performed. Nonpharmacologic techniques (eg, positioning, sucrose pacifiers) alone are insufficient to prevent procedural and post procedural pain and are not recommended as the sole method of analgesia. They should be used only as analgesic adjuncts to improve infant comfort during circumcision. If used, topical creams may cause a higher incidence of skin irritation in low birth weight infants, compared with infants of normal weight; penile nerve block techniques should therefore be chosen for this group of newborns” (Pediatrics, Sept 2012).

It can take 7-10 days for recovery time.

Some mothers have reported that their sons go on a nursing strike after circumcision.

Proponents of circumcision say the baby usually starts crying before the procedure, usually stops crying soon afterward, and sometimes falls asleep after.

Opponents of circumcision claim that some babies actually go into shock from the pain, and just appear to be sleeping.

Using topical analgesic and other pain relief (like infant Tylenol or suppositories) seem to be effective pain relief, though some soreness will be felt and care must be given while changing the diaper or any dressings.

Sex life

Some men that have been circumcised later in life say their sexual pleasure has diminished from being circumcised, others say it has increased.

  • “Does circumcision improve couple’s sexual life?” is a study reporting on men’s perception on their sex life before and after adult circumcision. However, note that the sample size is so small, the findings cannot be considered statistically significant. Therefore the conclusion of the study cannot be taken as fact. 
  • “Circumcision was unrelated to most sexual difficulties, but circumcised men were less likely to report physical pain during intercourse or trouble keeping an erection.” (Large Australian Study, also cited above

Intact men have more natural lubrication, but that moist atmosphere might put them at a higher risk of contracting certain STDs and/or passing them along to their partner (see health considerations, above).

Because circumcised men do not have the foreskin, they  might require more supplemental lubrication during sex (see Anatomy of the Penis, in the further reading, below).

Women have different preferences. However, if your son marries a virgin, she won’t have anybody else to compare him to. Even if your son’s future partner does have a preference, a superficial reason should not be a factor if she truly loves him.

Further Reading:

Potty training

Circumcised boys may need to be taught to point down, since the foreskin won’t direct their urine downward.

The foreskin of intact boys may get stuck to their skin, causing them to spray on themselves.


The ethics of circumcision. This is where the debate gets ugly. The problem is, like the debate between pro-choice and pro-life, there will be people that disagree with you, and you aren’t going to convince them otherwise, because it comes down to personal ethics.

One of the major reasons many choose not to circumcise is that they feel the child needs to consent to such a surgery. They equate circumcision with mutilation. If the mutilation of female genitalia is so horrendous, shouldn’t the mutilation of male genitalia be as well? If the surgery is unnecessary, why do it? If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Isn’t the foreskin there for a purpose—otherwise why is it there in the first place?

These are all valid questions that need to be thought about.

Both intact males and circumcised men have come out saying they regretted their parents’ decision. Circumcised men may feel like they were taken advantage of and that part of them is missing. Intact men might resent their parents for not giving them the procedure as newborns, because adult circumcision has a much longer recovery time, during which the man may not be able to walk or have sex for weeks or months (neither of these complications are issues with newborns).

Religious reasons

As a Christian, I can only speak on the behalf of those beliefs. Circumcision is considered important or mandatory in Jewish and Muslim practices.

Christians are under the “New Covenant,” which means circumcision is unnecessary for them. Paul, in Galatians 5, uses no uncertain terms to condone forcing circumcision upon Gentiles. However, the Bible in no way suggests that circumcision is a sin, like this writer would have you believe, correlating the practice with Satanism. The sin is believing that you must be circumcised to be saved—it’s putting a higher emphasis on religious practices than on the grace of God. If circumcision were a sin according to the New Testament, Paul would not have allowed Timothy to be circumcised. The bottom line is that there is now freedom to choose to not be circumcised.


Whether you choose to circumcise or not is entirely up to you and the father of your child. Weigh the benefits and the risks and make the decision that you feel is best for your son and your family. The biggest factors are ethical and religious—so note that other parents are going to make different decisions based on their own ethical and religious backgrounds.

If you choose to circumcise

Wait eight days after birth—that’s when a baby’s Vitamin K levels increase and there’s a lower risk of bleeding.

The Mogen Clamp or Jewish Shield seem to have fewer disadvantages and complications than the Plastibell or Gomco clamp.

Ask what types of pain relief will be given to your son during the procedure. (The AAP

Take care of the circumcised penis as it heals and have it checked regularly at newborn check-ups.

If getting a traditional Jewish brit milah, determine whether the mohel will practice oral metzitzah.

Teach your child to respect other boys, whether intact or circumcised.

If you choose not to circumcise

Do not retract the foreskin forcibly. An intact penis will begin to retract between the ages of 3 and puberty (Psychology Today).

Once the foreskin retracts, teach your child how to clean the foreskin with water to avoid infection. Some soaps may irritate or dry out the foreskin (Psychology Today).

Teach your child to respect other boys, whether intact or circumcised.


That was easily the longest post ever to appear here on Bewildered Mother. Feel free to comment below, but realize that this isn’t a public forum, this is my blog. Offensive or judgmental posts MAY be removed at my discretion. This is a place to learn and encourage, not judge or convert. If you have a passionate response, I suggest you write your own blog post in protest, and post the link below—then people that agree with you can read your article, and people that disagree just as vehemently as you do can angrily disagree with you over there.

Phy Ed at home— exercise and play for kids of all ages

While watching a clip of gymnastics on Sesame Street with Little Champ, I really started to wish I could get him into tumbling, not just at a gymnastics class, but at home, too.

This innocent internet search snowballed into an entire Pinterest board of tumbling, obstacle, and sports equipment.

I don’t know about you, but as a child, I loved playing outside and going to Phy Ed. I was pretty active and played lots of sports and games. In Pre-K through elementary school, I played baseball and football (yes, though I am a girl), soccer and basketball. I loved jump roping, and won ribbons on feild day for football throwing, hula hooping, and the limbo contest.

Then middle school happened—sports became about winning, not about exercising or having fun. The girls on my soccer and basketball teams were EXTREMELY competitive and catty, only passing to the girls who were the fastest or tallest. Being one of the shortest girls in my grade, I didn’t get the ball very often.

I stopped playing sports, and any time I exercised, it felt like a monotonous chore. Even dance parties started to get old. But I’ve always enjoyed playing outdoor games with family and friends. We are still competitive—our family games are known for cheating—but it isn’t about winning, it’s about having fun as a family.

Back to the internet search: I compiled a bunch of equipment for sports, agility, obstacle courses, and toddler tumbling. I’m hoping to use these as ideas for summer activities with the family.

(I just hope my Marine doesn’t get too military with the little ones…or me)

You can preview all of the items I collected, read reviews, and even purchase them through Amazon on this cool little store I created as an Amazon Affiliate. You aren’t buying the items from me; you are buying them from Amazon. But for referring you to Amazon, I get a couple pennies if you purchase anything through the “shop.” That’s the disclaimer. I’m not doing this for profit—I created the shop for your convenience. But yes, it is possible for me to make a dollar or two.

Click on the image below to be taken to the shop in a new window. I love the gymnastics equipment. I’m wondering if there are some DIY tutorials out there. Where I live, foam is REALLY EXPENSIVE, so I’m not sure how much money I’d save doing DIY. I’ll have to check out craigslist or something for used ones!

As for the scooters, I did find a DIY tutorial for you:

Click the adorable child to be taken to the tutorial on

I’m excited to get out and play with my son, husband, and cousins this summer!

What were your favorite games or activities in Gym or PE? This summer, how are you going to play with your kids or family outdoors or in?

Diet is Everything: How to Eliminate and Prevent Illness and Disease by the Foods you Eat.

Note: All blogs, and all for-profit companies, are biased. My blog is biased because I have opinions. Companies are biased because they are trying to sell you something. Any websites I link to, unless they are Bible verses given in context, should not be taken as gospel. I ask that you read them with an open mind and a critical one, to make balanced decisions for yourself.

Millions of people have been cured of illnesses and diseases—yes, including cancer—by changing the way they eat food. If you are trying to cure yourself of disease, then I think by all means you should look to God and his natural medicine, using natural and organic, homeopathic methods than put your trust in man and “modern medicine.” Do we really think that we can do it better than God?

scroll down to avoid the rant.

If you know me, you’ll know that I am extremely skeptical of our nation’s Food and Drug Administration. Do I believe drugs are sometimes necessary? Maybe. But I believe wholeheartedly that modern medicine is a business, and that it not only pushes drugs because drugs make money, but it also focuses on alleviating symptoms rather than curing the person. I’ve already been up on a soapbox about why donating to cancer research is not a good use of your money. Think I’m heartless? I’ve lost loved ones to cancer. I know that money should be given to prevention and education, not screening (which yields false positives and can GENERATE cancer) and CEOs.

Okay, rant over.

Give all your money to cancer research if you want, but any research they actually end up doing all comes back down to this:

Eating healthy foods like vegetables and fruits and exercising is the way to stay healthy and AVOID sickness, illness, diseases, and cancer, and to CURE it.

There's a better way.

Millions of people have found relief and been cured of illnesses by going on the “Hallelujah diet”—but it isn’t a diet you just go on for a while and then stop. It’s a total lifestyle change.

Basically the Hallelujah diet is a strict vegan diet that depends on juicing vegetables. You can read about it here. It’s based on Genesis 1:29, when God directed Adam and Eve to eat fruit and vegetables before the Fall.

If you want something a bit less strict, like us, then you can still eat meat and dairy, but in limited quantities. Meat and dairy aren’t particularly good for our bodies because our digestive systems are made to be vegetarian (click to read Hallelujah Acre’s opinion). If we eat too much meat and dairy, it gets stuck in our digestive system and the acid from those foods creates the toxicity in our bodies that causes sickness.
But we’d still like to own a dairy cow some day.
Deuteronomy specifically allows the eating of meat, and Paul saw the vision that all foods were now clean. So the problem isn’t really what we eat as much as what and how much we eat. The most simplified answer is to eat more alkaline foods than acidic foods. 
Once I ate more alkaline foods than acidic, my asthma and heartburn disappeared, and now instead of wanting to run to the ER every week, I am off all of my prescriptions. The heartburn comes back on occasion, but only if I haven’t been eating vegetables and fruit.
Click the image below or go here for a guide that shows which foods are alkaline and which ones are acidic. Did you know that lemons are alkaline?? I add lemon juice to my water if I’m going to eat a big meal or have red meat so I don’t get bloated or have heartburn. Don’t forget a salad or smoothie at the beginning of the meal!

Note that all meats are acidic.

Some other tips:
  • Eat fruit and vegetables before the rest of your meal so it goes directly to your bloodstream. Otherwise it gets stuck in the stomach behind all the other foods and ferments while your stomach tries to digest everything else.
  • Don’t eat fiber before 10 am or after supper time, since your metabolism won’t be able to clear it out of your system as easily. Fiber itself is like a sponge—it has no nutritional value, it serves as a carrier for nutrients. It helps clear out your digestive system because it collects things that are hanging out in your intestines and pulls them out with it. Drinking 100%, pulp free juice (no sweeteners) gives you all the nutrition without the pulp. Smoothies have fiber and are the next best thing.
  • If you don’t have a juicer, Odwalla and Naked Juices are AMAZING but can be a bit expensive, so I buy them in bulk. For 100% fruit juices, Simply Apple juice is my favorite. Simple Orange With Pineapple is really, really good, as is Simply Raspberry Lemonade. Yum!
    (P.S. If you have a safety filter on your computer, you might not be able to access the Naked Juice site because it has the word “naked” in it… It’s safe, really!)
  • READ FOOD LABELS. Specifically the ingredients. I don’t really care how much fat is in something if it is 100% good for me. Avocados are much healthier for you than fat-free snacks that are full of artificial ingredients, sweeteners, and preservatives.
  • A good rule of thumb is to only buy things with 5 listed ingredients or fewer. You’ll be surprised how many foods have 20+ ingredients.
  • Frozen foods don’t have as much preservatives as shelved foods. LT and I bought a pie from the supermarket bakery once. Never again! That thing was chock full of preservatives, and tasted awful. We’ll make from scratch or buy frozen from now on.
  • Try to avoid buying foods that sneak in sweeteners or soy (people put High Fructose Corn Syrup and soy into everything these days). A very small amount is okay, but when everything you eat has these in them, you are asking for a heap of trouble.
My favorite foods are ice cream, cookies, steak, and potatoes. They are a standard part of the Standard American Diet (SAD)—and I know why, because they taste so good! But now, rather than eating red meat at every meal, we eat it once a week, tops. I have steak once a month—which I actually prefer, because it makes it special!—and we eat meat-free or lean meats for the other days. I have cookies and ice cream on occasion, but that’s okay because I eat lots of fruit and vegetables. I buy Breyer’s ice cream because it is all natural ingredients, and it’s not that expensive. I’ve heard frozen bananas taste just like ice cream when they are blended—I’m going to try that out when I get through my Breyer’s.

Bottom line

If you are trying to prevent sickness, then eat lots of vegetables (make at LEAST half of your diet alkaline). If you are trying to cure your body of an infection or disease, then avoid acidic foods, meat, dairy, soy, and other foods listed here.
What are your thoughts on eating healthy? Are you a radical? Have you considered becoming vegetarian or vegan? What are your favorite healthy recipes? I’ll start posting healthy (easy!) recipes more frequently on my blog as I come to them. To see recipes I’ve already posted, go here.