Thursday, November 19, 2009

You owe Google a big one, Luki

Today I had a free moment at work and used it to google "baby penis foreskin"

If the IT department keeps track of my Internet usage, they've probably now posted fliers with my picture on them that say, "NOTIFY THE AUTHORITIES IMMEDIATELY IF YOU SEE THIS WOMAN WITHIN 100 FEET OF A PLAYGROUND." But I promise you, I was not scouring the web for kiddie porn. It's just that, I've never owned a penis and needed to find out if I was taking proper care of my son's.

Poor Luki. He just gave me this look like, "First you talk about my issues with poop, now you're telling the entire Internet about my man parts?? ...And you have the gall to wonder why I sometimes cry inconsolably..."

Listen son, I'm doing this for your own good. And for the good of your penis.

But before I talk about the results of my query, I think it best to start this story with a bit of a controversial topic. Please put away all sharp and flammable objects.


Ok. Here it goes...

Luki is not circumcised!

His father and I thought about this thoroughly when I was pregnant and, after lots of research and discussions with our doctor, decided to leave our son intact. We simply couldn't find any compelling evidence that upheld the benefits of circumcision, and almost every man in the family, including Ton Ton, still has his foreskin. (Hey Luki, does it make you feel any better that I just told the Internet about daddy's man parts?) Most of our relatives were born in Latin America, where the procedure is not routinely done and, also, we are not Jewish.

Those who favor circumcision often use hygiene as one of their reasons for supporting the practice. They claim that the uncircumcised penis is dirty and more susceptible to infection. In all our conversations with healthcare providers, they assured us that this was not the case. Dirty boys will get infections, whether they're circumcised or not. Our only job was to keep the area clean and dry.

The "How to not break your newborn" classes we took while pregnant, informed us that, if we decided not to circumcise, the penis did not need any special care. Just soap and water. At the hospital, after Luki was born, the nurses again explained that his genitals were to be cleaned just like the rest of his body. Easy enough, right?

Weeeell, things are never so easy when everybody is trying to raise your baby. Our families, who are always leery of "the way these Americans do things," have been telling us that we need to pull back the foreskin and wash under it.

So, at Luki's fourth month appointment I asked the pediatrician again, "Do we need to be doing anything to his penis?" And again we were told: Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, his foreskin will probably not retract until he is 5 or 6 years old.

Upon sharing this information with our families, the GASPS! were heard in both our homelands. Mamacita was particularly outraged, "I've never heard anything like that! With both my sons, my three grandsons, and my two great grandsons, we pulled back the skin to clean it. And NOTHING happened to them."

And that brings us to today and the inquiry I sent out to Google universe. The results were page after page of experts saying: Leave it alone.

I also found this little tidbit:

"In uncircumcised boys, forcibly ripping the foreskin from the glans in the name of hygiene can lead to pain, scarring and adhesions."

So no. Under no circumstances will we be pulling back his foreskin.

I wonder what Google has to say about "how to keep relatives away from my baby's man parts"


  1. Sounds like you have been getting some good advice. If you have not yet found it, NOCIRC publishes some good pamphlets on the care of baby boy's penis, both intact and circumcised. See

  2. The foreskin is attached to the head of the penis in much the same way that fingernails are attached to the fingernail bed.

    This connection is designed to protect the head of the penis during a time when it absolutely does not need to be exposed.

    This connection does break down over time, so at some point your son will need to retract his own foreskin in the shower to clean it. You will be able to teach him this.

    At present, simple washing of the penis is the appropriate measure... like washing a finger!

    I think you ABSOLUTELY made the right choice.