baby

“I felt horribly judged”: Three mums on their circumcision decision and why they made it.

Singer P!nk recently found herself at the centre of a vicious online debate after a photo on Instagram showed her two-year-old son, Jameson Hart, had been circumcised.

Parents around the globe used P!nk’s innocent family snap to argue about whether circumcising babies for religious or familial reasons was okay.

Mamamia spoke to parents from both sides of the debate to hear their personal thoughts about circumcision in Australia:

Kelly, Sean and son Beau*

Kelly and husband Sean had son Beau circumcised when he was just four-weeks-old. Although Kelly’s father is Jewish, it wasn’t for religious, but personal reasons.

“Sean, his brothers, father and step father are all circumcised. We felt that from a hygiene perspective, Sean would find it more difficult to explain how to care and clean an uncircumcised penis,” Kelly said.

“We have several friends who are medical professionals and they had strong opinions that we shouldn’t be going ahead, but I had my heart set on it. We weren’t particularly nervous and the practice in Sydney had a good reputation.

“I watched the procedure but it was the after-care that was more traumatic for Sean and I. That was when we began questioning our decision. I often wonder if we had a second son, would we do it again?”

“I watched the procedure but it was the after-care that was more traumatic for Sean and I,” said mum, Kelly. Image: Getty.

Rebecca and Eddie*

With a Jewish father, it was very much an assumption that if Rebecca gave birth to a boy, he would be circumcised as a newborn.

ADVERTISEMENT

“A relative of my father performs circumcisions and he called me immediately after I gave birth to organise it. At first it made sense as my partner (who isn’t Jewish) was also circumcised and people gave me the argument that it’s nice for father and son to look the same,” Rebecca said.

“Personally I think that the ‘comparing the penis’ argument is a bit strange. When my son is old enough to care or notice, he probably won’t be hanging out naked with his dad. But if he is, then it’s easy to simply explain why they are different.”

Rebecca did her research, reading the same advice over and over: there is no medical reason to perform circumcision on a newborn baby.

“After my son was born I fielded phone calls from my dad’s relative putting pressure on us. He didn’t seem to care that he was asking me to travel for two hours to another city just eight days after giving birth.

“I eventually decided against circumcision for my son and I’m glad I made that choice.”

Jayne and son Chris*

Jayne is mum to 31-year-old son Chris who she had circumcised when he was three-weeks-old.

“My obstetrician initially asked me why I wanted Chris to have the procedure and told me that clinically it was discouraged, but he accepted my choice and agreed to do it,” Jayne said.

“The medical team were mostly excellent and the procedure itself went very smoothly. The worst part was actually when the nurses told me they would not hold my baby in theatre and that I was being cruel. I felt horribly judged by those women who had no idea that I was also a nurse.

“I wanted Chris to have it done mostly due to my experience nursing young boys, teenagers and men who required circumcision for a variety of reasons. I also had family reasons as the men in our family were circumcised and I wanted Chris to feel included.

“I believe it is a personal choice that every parent must make and I have never regretted my decision. My son Chris appears to have made it to the age of 31 without any trauma or recall either.”

* While the women in this story are known to the writer, their names have been changed for privacy reasons.

Have you had your son circumcised or would you never consider a circumcision for your boy? Have you had your son circumcised and then regretted the decision? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.

00:00 / ???