The saying "Knowledge is Power" holds true when it comes to being an advocate for your son and protecting him from harm. The more you know and understand about the natural, whole male body's development from infancy to puberty, the more confident you will feel talking to, and sometimes disagreeing with, your son's healthcare provider.
Be sure to understand:
It is important that you understand proper intact care so that you feel comfortable and confident discussing this topic with your son's doctor. Many American doctors will direct you to retract your son's foreskin to clean or bathe. Your doctor may also try to forcibly retract your son during his well visits.
Please read and implement our tips for preventing forced retraction.
Do not go into the appointment assuming that your doctor wouldn’t attempt to retract your child’s foreskin. A good portion of the complaints we receive about forced retraction are about doctors who had not previously tried to manipulate the child’s foreskin. Be on guard. Assume the doctor will try to retract and act accordingly before the situation is one that can’t be reversed.
Be brave. Doctors can be intimidating. They can try to make you doubt yourself. Speaking up and being assertive can make your hands and your voice shake, especially for a new, first-time parent. Know that the information you have is correct. If you are bullied, it is due to the insecurity and ego of the doctor and not something you are doing wrong. You know your child better than anyone and you must advocate for him. Stand your ground and protect his body.
In other countries where whole genitals are the norm, doctors know not to retract the foreskin, but in America there is a good chance you will be more educated than your doctor on intact care. Forced retraction can be very painful and can lead to complications that may need surgery to correct. Do everything in your power to ensure this doesn't happen to your son.