6 Real Women on Why They Decided Not to Circumcise Their Son

Having a boy? One of the first decisions you’ll have to make on behalf of your newborn is whether or not to have him circumcised. It’s a highly personal choice that can take religious, ethical and cultural beliefs into consideration (and there’s no right or wrong answer). But in case you were curious about why some moms opted not to circumcise their sons, here are six anonymous stories from real women who didn’t make the cut.

(For what it’s worth, per the American Academy of Pediatrics, the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks but aren’t great enough to recommend the procedure for all babies.)

Because we didn’t have a good reason to do it
“We had our son overseas in the Netherlands. We had planned to get him circumcised after he was born, but a Dutch doctor asked us an important question that made us question our reasoning. ‘Why are you planning to circumcise your son?’ And to be honest, we had never really thought about why we were doing it! We are Episcopalian, so it wasn’t for religious reasons. I embarrassingly blurted to the doctor, ‘because that’s what they do in America!’ After a lot of research (and the scary thought of complications from surgery), we chose not to have him circumcised. If he wants to do it when he’s older, then that’s his choice.”

Because I don’t think it’s medically necessary
“I watched my first son go through the procedure and was totally traumatized. So, I actually decided against it for my second son. I’m a pediatrician and my view is that unless it’s medically indicated, then it’s not necessary.”

Because my husband is uncircumcised
“My husband isn’t circumcised, which is why I even considered it to begin with (my family is half Jewish so I was coming from the opposite end of the spectrum). Although I didn’t want my son to be the only one in the locker room not to be snipped, after looking into it, I realized that the statistics in the U.S. are around 50/50. Mostly, it felt easiest for my son(s) to just be like dad because ultimately he needs to explain to them how it all works!”

Because it didn’t feel like my decision to make
“It’s my son’s body and his choice. One day he may decide to do it and I will support whatever he chooses to do.”

Because I was worried about the risks
“My husband is Jewish, and I was originally open to it. However, when I looked into it more, I was surprised and concerned at the medical risks. Having a newborn is hard enough without having to deal with infections and problems as a result of circumcision.”

Because I didn’t like what I saw
“I’m currently expecting my first child, and although we don’t know what we’re having, we won’t be circumcising him if he’s a boy. I initially left the decision up to my husband (he’s European, where it’s not as common) and would probably have gone along with whatever he decided. That is until they showed us images of the procedure in our childbirth class. After seeing those pictures, I was adamant that we don’t do it!”

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...