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Circumcision in Newborn Babies

Updated on January 16, 2009

Baby Circumcision

Circumcision is the removal of foreskin that surrounds the head of the male organ. Whether or not you choose to have this done to your infant son is a very personal decision. The decision is usually based on religious, cultural and traditional factors. Talk to your newborn baby's healthcare provider for more information.

Reason why a circumcision is performed:

  • Health and hygiene issues. Note that there is no scientific evidence that shows circumcision is better.
  • Religious reasons and beliefs.
  • Personal choice
  • If the father of the newborn baby is circumcised.

Baby Circumcision picture
Baby Circumcision picture

Circumcision procedure:

The procedure is usually performed on the day of discharge from the hospital. You will have to sign a consent form before the circumcision is done. The newborn baby will be observed closely afterwards for bleeding by the nursing staff, and then should be checked every hour for the first 12 hours to detect unusual bleeding. Your healthcare provider will teach you care of the circumcision at the time of discharge. Petroleum jelly or whatever ointment your doctor recommends is usually applied to the tip of the male organ with each diaper change for the first few days. The tip may appear red and have yellow crusts in spots. Do not try to wash off this yellow substance. It is part of the healing process. If there is any usual swelling or bleeding call your baby's healthcare provider.

How to provide care after a circumcision:

Your infant baby's physician will give you specific instructions on the care of the circumcision. After the procedure:

  • There may be a gauze dressing with petroleum jelly. This may be removed at the first diaper change. Your baby's physician may recommend applying a new dressing.
  • The head of the organ may be red looking.
  • There may be a small amount of blood at first or yellow-colored drainage later. These are part of normal healing.
  • Your baby may have some discomfort with diaper change the first few days.
  • Change diapers often to help prevent infection.
  • Circumcisions usually heal within one to two weeks.

Your newborn baby may be fussy after circumcision. Cuddling him close and breastfeeding can help comfort him.

Circumcision in babies
Circumcision in babies

When to call your infant's pediatrician?

Be sure to call your child’s pediatrician immediately if any of the following occur:

  • The tip stays red with a yellow liquid coming from around the end for more than a week.
  • There is bleeding, a bad smelling discharge, swelling, or more redness.
  • The baby does not appear to be urinating.
  • The baby has a fever.



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    • William Avitt profile image

      William Avitt 

      4 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      So much ignorance on in these comments. There are clear medical benefits to circumcision. That is irrefutable. When you do your research, actually check out reputable medical sources, not just anti-circ sources that will cherry pick for you the facts you want so that you can cling to your ignorant beliefs. If you don't want to circumcise your child, fine. It isn't a necessary procedure. However, there are clear and indisputable benefits and you have no right to condemn parents who choose to do it. It isn't mutilation. It isn't the same as genital mutilation in females, and you people need to do some actual research, which you clearly haven't done. This is a wonderful hub that lays out just the facts and has no opinion in it at all.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i forgot to mention in the comment above that when i say it feels too short for my erection i mean that it feel too tight for the skin. sometimes it actually starts to hurt. i feel that the hospital that circumsized me took too much off. and i do feel, religious reasons or not, that should be something i should want to do for my religious beliefs. religion isn't so cut and dry anymore. and it is my body. if religion is spiritual, why should there be a physical act involved. i'm just saying

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      im a 24 year old circumsized male and im currently dating a woman that has mostly been with un circumsized or partially circumsized men. and her opinion on the sex between circumsized and un circumsized penis is that the extra skin that is there allows for movement without too much friction. making sex more pleasureable for her. plus i have always had a problem with taking too long in the bedroom. so long sometimes she starts to dry up and it starts to hurt. not only that but for a long time when im hard it almost feels like my penis skin is too short for my erection. so i have done research and have recently started a at home procedure to stretch the skin on the shaft to more or less grow a foreskin. so with a lot of luck i should have more than half glans coverage, when flacid, in about 18 or 19 months. and i honestly have some resentment that my mom had me circumsized.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't understand why people are still doing it. All the reasons people list for genital cutting are ridiculous and unfounded. Why not do a little more research? Educate yourself. "for cleanliness" is not an informed decision. I'm married to an intact man and he has never had in infection and neither have I. All the cleaning that a natural penis requires is a rinse in a shower, now is that rocket science? Last I checked a man with a cut penis still has to wash it.

      Religion should be irrelevant, the baby has not chosen a religion, and by surgically carving YOUR religion into your child's genitals it does not predestine him to follow YOUR religion. He many or may not choose the same religion once he is an adult.

      Your intact son will not be made fun of since majority of the boys in the US are not left intact, the cut boy will be the odd one out.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I just had my son circumcised, and he is five weeks old, the doctor didn't let me in the room, until after it was done, but my baby is in so much pain now, I feel so bad, but his dad wouldn't rest until it was done, and the hospital where I had him don't perform the procedure anymore, I feel bad now but I know, it the long run it will be worth it...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My firstborn had his penis circumcised 3 days ago. I'm not religious in the slightest, and couldn't give a damn about any "blood covenant" with god. I agree that a mans cleanliness is up to his discretion, but in the event that my son does not practice good hygiene, I wouldn't want to abet any potential infection by opting to not get him circumcised. In addition, circumcision has been a tradition amongst males in my family. Then again, you should pursue a course of action that you are most comfortable with. My post here, as well as everyone elses, should be taken cum grano salis.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Circumcision is a primative and barbaric act.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Just to comment on what some have said.. Dont you know that God did not come to change or abolish any law in the bible..the old testament still stands.. and circumcision should be done on the eigth day or the newborn childs life.. That is a blood covenant with God!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Female circumcision is outlawed because the point of the barbaric procedure is to remove the clitoris, thus removing the person's ability to experience sexual pleasure.

      Male circumcision is performed in order to reduce the likelihood of complications, potentially improving the health of the person that has had the procedure.

      That, in a nutshell, is why one is a human rights violation and the other is common practise in the West.

      I'm clipped and I just had my son done this week. I do have some concerns about healing, etc., but overall I had no doubt that I wanted to have the procedure completed.

      I certainly don't feel it should be forced on any parents, but, at the same time, all the garbage about human rights abuses is insane!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      @Dan: No offense but a medical transciptionist does not sound like a very credible expert. Men do not have infections because they are not circumcised but because they do not keep themselves clean. You seem to be confused that being uncircumcised is the source of uncleanliness. It's from sweat glands and bacteria build up. Anyone who does not stay clean can get infections on their skin.

      @Ralph: Circumcision is arguably a human rights violation. If they do not allow for female circumcision (it is outlawed in the USA) what makes you think slicing up a male's genitals is not unethical? Unnecessary surgery is no laughing matter.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Circumcision is definitely the way to go. Don't set your kid up to be made fun of down the road. All this crap about violating your kid and his weiner won't be sensitive anymore is crap. I was cut and I don't remember anything. I'm not traumatized and neither will they be. Oh, and my sex life is great. Don't let your boys weiner look like an anteater.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My wife works as a medical transcriptionist and says almost everyday she sees cases of adult males getting their junk infected due to not being circumsized and being very dirty people in general. The fix is for them to be circumsized. At the end, its more of a health concern. I know I'd rather my son get the deed done when he doesn't remember than possibly having it infected later on and having to have the procedure done anyways.

      I'm a religious man and know the New Testament indicates that the true Christians no longer have to have circumcisions, like as required in the Old Testament. Still...circumsizing has proven to be more about cleanliness and was done in the Old Testament to show cleanliness of God's righteous people and to prove that they are God's people. So, though it is not required, God asked of it at one time and it still proves to be of good practice.

      I know some people choose based on what the father of the son has. That's good too since they would best to know how to teach their son how to keep it well maintained.

    • lsb profile image


      8 years ago

      If the procedure is too painful to watch, it's probably too painful to do to your baby!! LOL. Especially without ANY proven health benefits. My uncircumcised son has had a perfectly healthy infancy. Each parent might try speaking to adult uncircumcised males before making a decision to get a clearer perspective.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I live in Florida and did not know the hospital my was born in do not do circumsisions any longer. I had to make an appointment after 2 weeks of my son being born and my insurance company called it a Cosmetic Surgery. I have been doing Medical Billing for 10 years and never heard such a thing. It is medically necessary and there are a lot of infections that come along with an uncircumsized male. But going to the Drs office to have this procedure erformed in front of me was the most horrific thing I ever had to face! My two older boys were born in NJ where the health ins paid and I was not present and it was done 24 hrs before I left the hospital. Seeing my son in so much pain and strapped down was so hard for me that now I have nightmares of his little face and the pain he was in. Noi mother should ever have to watch such a thing. I thought that is why nurses get paid the big bucks? I guess not because it was just me and the Dr and my newborn(2weeks). Because of theis incidence, my husband and I opted out of having any more children because we already have 3 boys (17,12 and 2 weeks). I couldn't bare to watch my child go through this again! Chances ared I would have another boy(LOL). If you choose to circumisize,my advise is to make sure the hospital does it prior to being discharged and have nurses monitor your baby!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      me and my wife had our sons circumcised at aprivate hospital neonatal no problem with it

    • ArntRoarStegane profile image


      8 years ago from Norway. Phone code: +47

      I agree with that young children should not be circumcised without any significant reason. But what makes me a bit angry is everything negative they say about circumcision. As a grown man, it is a blessing both for me as a man and she I live with, as a woman that I do not have foreskin. Visit the link to read what it has meant to me and for many other men, that we have removed the foreskin in adulthood. That young children is a debate, I understand, but everything negative that's said about not having a foreskin is pure and true lies to get people away from it. We men, who had foreskin, but had it removed later can sign this as I say here. Read my page please?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      infant male circumcision is a human rites violation. The body and all parts belong to the man icluding his foreskin only he has the rite to chose. The same goes to female circumcision. We wuold not do that to our little girls so we should not be doning to our little boys. The foreskin is more than just extra skin it is the potective layer of skin that protect the glans from danage and helps to keep the gland moist.

    • jim10 profile image


      10 years ago from ma

      This scares the hell out of me. It took me lots of researching to get facts to show my wife that our boys would not need to be circumcised. The fact that I never had any problem should have been good enough. I like to leave well enough alone. Mother nature knows what she is doing. It is so sensitive and the baby is so little. Seems to traumatic to even think about. We were later outraged when for our second son the doctor just assumed we were getting him one and had one scheduled. I stopped that in a hurry. What if they make a mistake? I just don't get the idea at all. 


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