Expecting parents today have many questions facing them, including whether or not to circumcise their baby boy. A practice once restricted to Judaism and Islam, circumcision gained mainstream popularity in the US and Western Europe during the late 1800’s. Although doctors at that time performed the procedure on older patients, today the medical practice is largely limited to boys within a month of birth.
Circumcision takes less than half an hour; the infant is placed in a padded restraint and possibly given anesthesia before the doctor begins. There are a few different methods used but all result in the removal of skin from the penis. Males are born with foreskin covering the glans, or head, of the penis. This protective tissue is separated from the head with a tool and then cut with a scalpel.
Popularized in the US as a means to prevent masturbation, which was considered a sign of mental illness, the practice was also touted in the middle of the last century to be more sanitary. However, many parents have reconsidered the repercussions of circumcision and an increasing number are choosing not to have their child undergo the voluntary procedure.
Of course, there are people who believe in it for religious or personal reasons. You and your co-parent will need to weigh the pros and cons of each side before deciding if you want to have your baby circumcised.