Taking Baby Home from the Hospital Intact
What You Need to Know
by Mary G. Ray, ©1997 All Rights Reserved

       Before a parent who chose circumcision leaves the hospital, he is handed detailed instructions on how to care for the circumcised penis. The parent who decides against circumcision is given little or no information before she leaves the hospital. Considering all the myths surrounding the allegedly difficult-to-clean foreskin, the parent assumes there are details she needs to know and perform. Ironically, the idea that these parents are handed no instructions is actually quite appropriate. This is true because their instructions would be extremely simple. They need only be told to leave their son's foreskin alone -- completely alone, as it is designed to take care of itself.

       During visits to the pediatrician, many parents are later incorrectly instructed that they need to retract and clean underneath the foreskin from infancy onward. During routine examinations by doctors or nurses, retractions are often forced upon the infant. Typically, invasive discovery expeditions are quite common. The medical professional insists this is necessary even in cases where no symptoms whatsoever have been reported by the parent. The parent who questions this pursuit is told the doctor merely needs to take a look around and make sure everything is okay.

       Forced retractions cause injury and are dangerous. Invasive medical interference resulting from misinformation, improper guidance, supposition and unnecessary exploration can cause infections, scarring and various other problems. Ultimately, the blame is placed upon the foreskin itself when in fact the complications could have been totally avoided had the foreskin been left alone. As a result, parents are often told circumcision is necessary after all.

       People are surprised to learn that the intact penis requires no special care. Parents are not properly informed about how easy it is to maintain proper hygiene for the first several years of their son’s life. All one needs to do is rinse the outside of the penis with warm water. It’s that simple. No attempt to retract for purposes of cleaning or inspection should be made by anyone. During the early years, it is not even possible to pull back the foreskin because the separation process is very gradual.

       Overzealous attempts to clean the foreskin cause the very same problems that the cleaning was intended to prevent. When an infection occurs as a result of aggressive cleaning methods, the foreskin is inappropriately blamed. Again, doctors will typically insist that circumcision is needed. For the baby or small child who manages to avoid routine circumcision, the majority of any later complications are blamed on the foreskin. In fact, they are most often brought on due to improper fiddling by medical professionals and well meaning parents. When people finally realize and accept that the foreskin simply needs to be left alone, its chances of avoiding amputation will be greatly increased.
Consider providing your doctor with an Intact Care Agreement.  For more information and support, you can also attend CHATS which are held the 1st and 15th of each month at 9:00 PM EST.

       It is highly recommended that when you choose a pediatrician for your baby, you find one who is "foreskin friendly."  NOCIRC offers a referral service for such doctors.  They can also refer people to lawyers in the event one is needed.

Your First Look at the Natural Glans

       When my son was four his foreskin retracted by itself for the first time.  He had been in the midst of a temper tantrum rolling around working up a sweat when he suddenly needed to go to the bathroom.  Even with all I knew about the natural penis, I was suddenly alarmed because the head (glans) of the penis was reddish in color.  I was sure he had some sort of infection.  I guess I expected it to be fleshtone like everything else.  Because the intact penis is protected by its sheath, the tip of the penis is pink or reddish in color.  This is completely normal and not cause for alarm. The coloring by itself is not an indication that something is wrong or an infection is present.

Cleaning is Easy
Myth:  Circumcision Inevitable Later

Newborns: Care of the Uncircumcised Penis
by the American Academy of Pediatrics

FAQ about Your Son’s Intact Penis
Ballooning & NonSurgical Remedies for Tight Foreskin (Phimosis)

Mothers Against Circumcision Homepage

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Last Update:  3/3/99