The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
As I work to be your advocate against unnecessary procedures performed by the hospital, I must also work to be your baby's advocate against unnecessary circumcision.
The surgery is unnecessary and has no documented benefits. It carries the risk of surgical error (cutting off more than intended - yes, some babies have their entire penis cut off), and infection. If you do have your baby circumcised, please consider waiting until after the eighth day, when the baby's blood clotting factors are working better and the baby has already established a good nursing pattern.
The surgery is genital mutilation. It happens that it's a form of genital mutilation that our society is very comfortable with, just as many societies are comfortable with female "circumcision", i.e. removal of the labia and clitoris. After your baby is born, please take a good long look at your baby's body and see which parts you think are less than perfect and need to be cut off. It's my hope that you'll see that your baby is absolutely perfect as designed.
The surgery is very painful to the baby. Newborns have greatly increased sensitivity all over their body. In order for this procedure to be completely painless to your baby, medical staff would have to administer the sort of narcotic drugs that can depress your baby dangerously. In addition, recent research has shown that newborn exposure to narcotics of any kind, either in utero during pregnancy or labor, or immediately postpartum, puts the child at greater risk for drug addiction in later life.
Some people have their baby circumcised for religious reasons, as this was the original reason for the ritual circumcision. (Christians may be interested to know that Christ specifically addressed this issue and declared that circumcision was no longer necessary.) Increasingly, Jewish parents also are interpreting their sacred books as holding the possibility of holding a ritual "bris" or "brit" while only going through the motions of the circumcision, without actually cutting the newborn.
Please give serious consideration to your reasons for wanting to have
your baby circumcised. It is my hope that you'll decide to spare your newborn
this unnecessary surgery with its attendant risks and pain. Please feel
free to ask for more information or to bring this issue up for discussion.
Given how strongly I feel about this issue, I will avoid bringing it up
in our personal discussions, lest it interfere with the developing trust
and friendship that are necessary for me to be of greatest assistance at
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