Are you looking to bring up the topic of circumcision with someone, but not really sure how to say what you'd like to say? Here you'll find several ideas for messages to send to friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers. You are welcome to use or modify these messages without attribution.
A Quick Note to a Close Friend:
I can’t tell you how excited I am to welcome your little one into the world! As you prepare for his arrival, I wanted to ask: Have you thought about circumcision yet? A lot of people think it’s mandatory, but I’ve learned that it’s totally optional and not even beneficial to boys or the adults they become. Now that I know what I know, I would hate for you and little _____ to go through such a traumatic procedure for nothing.
Check out this website. It’s where I got started. I’d love to chat more about this whenever you have the time.
To a Casual Friend Having Their First Boy
I have one more thing to share with you about having a boy. This may seem a little random, but it's an issue I really care about.
One different thing that comes with having a boy is having to decide on the issue of circumcision. When we were expecting (Daughter’s name) I looked into it, but after I found out she was a girl I didn't bother to make a decision or research everything. I’ve learned a lot since then! See, I always thought circumcision was something "everyone just does" when they have baby boys, but I have learned differently. The "benefits" to being circumcised are almost zero (some studies suggest a tiny infection risk reduction), but the harms and risks of circumcising are huge. Excess bleeding and infection at the circumcision site are common immediate complications. The procedure is frightening and painful for the baby (both during and after), can cause him problems later in life, and like any surgery, it carries risk of death. The foreskin is a beneficial body part for the future sexual pleasure of our sons and their future partners.
I didn’t realize those things at first, and I have talked to other parents who had the same experience. As long as parents and other caregivers leave the foreskin alone (never try to pull it back), boys hardly ever experience issues with their foreskins. The United States is basically the only country that routinely circumcises baby boys, and the rates are even falling here.
Because of these and other reasons, [Partner and] I did not get our son circumcised and he has had no problems being intact. My favorite website on this topic is www.yourwholebaby.org. It’s a simple, logical walkthrough of all the information you need to consider in making this decision. http://www.circumcision.org is another site with lots of information. www.littleimages.org has some great info from a Christian perspective, and this is a more conversational article addressing the different reasons circumcision still happens in the U.S.: http://www.modernalternativemama.com/2014/11/06/x-reasons-reconsider-circumcision/
I don't know if this is something you have looked into, but I just wanted to share what I’ve learned. I don't want to be nosy or pushy, just informative. Feel free to ask me more if you want — I’m happy to talk about it or share more information. I truly believe boys are better off left intact, the way God/nature made them, so that's why I share this with people who are having boys.
Congratulations again on your new baby boy!
To Family Members with Older Circumcised Son(s):
Congrats again on the little boy on the way! I really hope you have the peaceful birth you’re wanting! As you know, I care very much about people being able to have the birth and breastfeeding experiences they want.
Since before I had [first son], I have been learning about routine infant circumcision and working to protect baby boys from this practice.
I believe 100% that baby boys are born perfect and do not need corrective surgery on their genitals. The foreskin has been routinely cut off of males in U.S. for so many generations that many people don't even know why it's there. It prevents bacteria from getting inside the penis, it keeps the glans covered and moist (the organ is supposed to be protected just like the female clitoris), and it provides sexual pleasure and lubrication for both men and their partners. In the U.S., where keeping boys intact is just now becoming a strong trend, some boys get damaged by premature foreskin retraction, leading unknowledgeable doctors to recommend circumcision, which is why many feel it's best to do it as a newborn. But that practice literally cuts off a body part — just in case it might someday have a problem (we would never do this with the appendix, tonsils, breasts, or anything else). And in countries where intact genitals are the norm and proper care is well-known, it is extremely rare that a male actually needs a circumcision.
Some doctors numb the baby before the procedure, which means the baby receives a painful shot right in his penis. Some don't even do that, maybe applying some numbing cream or nothing at all, and literally tear, clamp, and cut off the foreskin with no sufficient pain relief. Babies can go into shock or collapse lungs from screaming during this procedure, and some have difficulty bonding and establishing a breastfeeding relationship right afterward due to the pain. I am not saying this to make you feel guilt or shame for previous choices, but to plead with you to make a different, better choice with the precious life we’re about to meet.
Did you know that around half of boys in the U.S. are now being kept intact as families are learning that the procedure is completely unnecessary? Many of our relatives and many of my friends are rejecting routine infant circumcision. Some of these friends circumcised their first, second, or even third sons, but have kept their next sons intact. Many families have one or two circumcised sons and one or two intact because they learned the truth after their first son had serious complications. Complications from circumcision can include: excessive bleeding and infection immediately following the circumcision, adhesions (the little bit of skin left sticks to the penis even though it was torn away), meatal stenosis (the urethral opening narrows from scar tissue caused by circumcision), and painful erections when the boy/man is older.
If you are unsure about what I am saying in this email, please please please just do this one thing for me. Visit www.yourwholebaby.org. This website truly has all the explanations you could need right in one place. Please read each point and deeply consider whether circumcision is beneficial or harmful.
I care about you, and I care about your son. I know a lot about this subject and am more than happy to talk, write, or chat about it, to send you helpful articles, to research points you may be concerned about, or to add you to groups where you can ask questions, hear how easy, healthy, and normal intact penises are, and read heartbreaking stories of mothers who regret circumcising their sons and wish so badly someone had reached out to stop them. I am here to help you in any way you need.
As parents we spend a lot of time researching, studying, and seeking any available information we can find about the decisions we make for our kids. We each have to do the best we can with the information we find. We only fail if we stop trying.
I have recently been learning so much information about circumcision that I never knew. I didn’t realize that the United States is nearly the only nation in the world where babies are routinely circumcised! As I find out more, I am shocked by all of the misinformation that is out there, a lot of which I had believed.
Whatever you decide for your baby, I just want to gently share some information so that you can make the most informed decision possible. If you’re leaning toward circumcising, make sure you research these questions. You want to know about it before you go in so you don't have to make these decisions in the hospital.
1. In what style have you chosen to circumcise your son?
a) Low and Loose.
b) Low and Tight.
c) High and Loose.
d) High and Tight.
e) Radically High.
f) Radically Tight.
g) Dorsal Slit.
h) Button Hole.
2. What are the differences between each style?
3. What method of circumcision have you requested for your child?
b) Mogen Clamp.
c) Gomco Clamp.
e) Traditional Mohel.
f) Traditional Tribal.
4. What are the particular complications associated with each method?
5. What are the most common possible immediate complications of circumcision surgery?
6. What is the most common late complication for ADULT men who were circumcised in infancy?
7. What is the most common cause of foreskin infection in boys who have NOT been circumcised?
8. How do you clean and care for a circumcised boy's penis immediately after circumcision (from circumcision to healing)?
9. How do you clean and care for a circumcised boy's penis after healing? List all necessary steps.
10. How do you clean and care for a boy's with intact (not circumcised) genitals?
11. How does an adult care for his own penis that has:
a) been circumcised?
b) never been circumcised?
12. List the many functions of foreskin that are lost to circumcision:
There is also a great video about the surgery and its origins. It explains why the practice has become so common and shows one being performed. It is a lecture from a Georgetown professor and includes peer-reviewed sources. The video is called Elephant in the Hospital, and here's the link: https://youtu.be/Ceht-3xu84I. You might also check out American Circumcision on Netflix.
Thanks for taking the time to read this message that is so important to me. If you have any questions, I would love to talk more!
To a Stranger or Distant Acquaintance:
I saw your post/comment about your new baby boy on ________, and wanted to say congratulations! Baby boys are so much fun. Have you thought about keeping your son intact? Your baby boy will be born perfect — no painful cosmetic procedures necessary! Intact is becoming the new norm, with almost half of U.S. parents taking their whole baby home from the hospital. You can learn more about circumcision, common complications, why intact genitals are so important, what men have to say, and so much more important information at www.YourWholeBaby.org. And if you're looking for a great community for learning and support, check out Your Whole Baby's gentle education group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/YWBCommunity/
I hope this information is helpful for you. Again, congratulations!
Option 2 — Stranger Announces Baby Boy
I saw your post/comment about your new baby boy on ________, and wanted to drop you a quick message! I'm a member of the Your Whole Baby online community. If you haven't heard this before, your son will be born absolutely perfect just the way he is. Some people believe that circumcision, while extremely painful, is a necessary evil for baby boys. Thankfully we now know this is not the case! There are lots of misconceptions about circumcision and what it entails. People will often say, "It's just a snip," "It's cleaner," and "It's better to do it now when they won't remember." Circumcision actually involves ripping away, crushing, and completely amputating the foreskin and ridged band, and the partial or full removal of the frenulum (male g-spot). Afterward, the wound must be carefully taken care of for weeks or longer to avoid complications, and even after all that time complications are common. Proper care of the intact (not circumcised) penis is SO easy! The foreskin and glans (head) are fused together in an infant, similar to how a fingernail is fused to the nail bed. No retracting or manipulating of the foreskin is necessary to clean it. You simply wipe from the base to the tip. Most of the world's men (between 70-80%) are intact. You can learn more about circumcision, complications, why intact genitals are so important, what men have to say, and so much more at www.YourWholeBaby.org. If you're looking for a great community for questioning, learning, and support, please check out our gentle education group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/YWBCommunity/
I hope this information is helpful to you. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns! I'm here to help. Again, congratulations!
Option 3 — Sex Unknown
I'm a member of the Your Whole Baby online community, and I'm writing this message to congratulate you on your soon-to-be newest addition to the family! I'm so happy for you and your family. I'm not sure if you're having a boy or girl, but I wanted to let you know about a resource that I am so grateful to have stumbled upon when having my own children — www.yourwholebaby.org.
Some people believe that circumcision, while extremely painful, is a necessary evil for baby boys. Thankfully that is not the case! There are lots of misconceptions about circumcision and what it entails. Circumcision is a costly, unnecessary, and painful medical procedure that is performed routinely on many U.S. baby boys before they leave the hospital, but it has no significant medical benefits. I am a mama of two sons, one circumcised and one intact. It was such a relief when I learned that my second son was healthy and happy just as nature intended — no painful and permanent procedures necessary. I also wanted to pass along some information on care of the intact (not circumcised) penis. While you may already be aware of this info, it may be helpful for any loved ones who will be involved in caring for your baby. Proper intact care is so easy, a baby can do it! A simple splash in the bath will do. You can wipe from the base to the tip during diaper changes. Just remember absolutely no retracting or manipulating the foreskin, as this is harmful for intact baby boys. The foreskin protects the sensitive glans and is fused to it by a membrane known as the balanopreputial lamina, or BPL. The BPL naturally disintegrates over time, usually around puberty. Care is simple at that time too — he can simply retract his foreskin and rinse with water!
I hope this information is helpful for you. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns! I'm here to help. Again, congratulations!
Option 4 — Speaking for a Friend (when the sender is a regret parent)
This message is mainly for a person who has tried everything they can to reach someone. This is a last-chance effort to share all possible information and will include the thumbnail of a circumcision video. You can send it on someone else's behalf, or have someone send it on your behalf.
Hi there, ____. Someone who cares a lot about you and your son requested that you receive this message. I'm a member of the Your Whole Baby online community, and I'm writing to you to congratulate you on your baby boy! I'm so happy for you and your family. If you haven't heard this before, I want you both to know that your baby boy is perfect just the way he is. A lot of people believe that circumcision is necessary for baby boys, but thankfully that is not the case! Circumcision is a cosmetic, unnecessary, and painful procedure that can lead to lifelong complications. While different doctors supply varying levels of pain management (ranging from nerve blocking injections to absolutely nothing at all), no method provides full relief from pain. This traumatic amputation also can contribute to difficulty breastfeeding because babies recovering from the painful procedure may refuse to latch. If you have not watched videos of circumcision performed with the various instruments (Mogen, Gomco, Plastibell, etc.), I strongly urge you to do so; viewing these could be life-changing for your son. Video links are provided at the end of this message.
Circumcision is the complete amputation of the foreskin, a purposeful and protective part of the male genitals. The foreskin protects the glans, an internal organ by design, from infection and friction. Circumcision forces the glans to become an external organ when it was never meant to be one.
The foreskin serves multiple sexual functions as well. The ridged band, retractable foreskin (only older boys and adults are retractable), and the frenulum are very important pleasurable features of the male genitals that benefit both men and their partners. Women also have a foreskin, commonly known as the clitoral hood.
I'm writing this out of love for you and son. I so often hear parents say, "I never knew," or, "I wish someone would have told me." I am a "regret parent" of two sons — one circumcised and one intact. I can tell you that care for my circumcised son was so much harder than care for my intact son. Leaving your son whole is something that you will never, ever regret. I can promise you that. To care for your intact son, you simply clean what is seen--wipe the outside from base to the tip. A warm bath (no soap) does the job for messy diapers— so easy, a baby can do it. You should never try to retract an intact infant's foreskin, because the glans and the foreskin are fused together by the BPL (balanopreputial lamina). The BPL naturally disintegrates over time, usually around puberty. Care is simple at that time too — he can simply retract his foreskin and rinse with water!
I wish that someone would have reached out to me before I had my first son circumcised. He has faced multiple adhesions despite the fact that I followed the post-operative instructions for his circumcision wound. I will never forget how he looked when they returned him to me. Please remember that the decision to circumcise is 100% permanent. If you are even the least bit unsure, please take your whole baby boy home and research. If you are having fears, know that no decision has to be made today or tomorrow. Your son is perfect just the way he is. You will never regret giving him the gift of his whole body. I am so thankful that someone reached out to me so that I could make an informed decision the second time. My intact son is happy, healthy, and has never faced an issue due to his foreskin. I'll send you some links to guide you in your research. I hope and pray that this information is helpful for you.
Videos of infant circumcisions in a medical setting:
**I recommend every parent watch videos of circumcision before making this decision**
Why an intact penis is important:
Basic intact care:
What experts say:
Published Oct. 5, 2019