This Graphic Post About Circumcision Is Hitting Home For A Lot Of Parents

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A viral circumcision post is causing quite a stir, and getting a lot of attention from both sides of the aisle. Circumcision is a very controversial parenting topic, and being pro or against it is often met with derision. Parents make a million different choices and decisions that we genuinely feel is in our children’s best interests. But for some reason, this is one that is sure to create a firestorm no matter your personal views or reasons.

The viral circumcision post was shared in Instagram, by the account @Blackmomsblog. It shows a newborn strapped to a board, wearing a diaper.

The caption begins, “Our community is very expressive when it comes to things like piercing a baby’s ear. What are your thoughts on circumcision? Most moms aren’t in the room when it happens.” There is also a gentle warning to be respectful in the comments.

The rest of the caption describes, in graphic detail, what allegedly happens during a circumcision.

“You take a freshly born little boy and you strap him down into an apparatus that holds his legs apart. It’s called the Circumstraint. There are Velcro cuffs to keep his arms and legs in place so he can’t move while you’re slicing his genitals. Then, you coat his penis in antiseptic. The topical is as much medication as the baby will have during the process and it does nothing at all to alleviate the pain. You can’t sedate babies or give them anesthetics for this procedure — or most others — so he’s literally going to feel every rip, tear, yank, and slice as he’s strapped down to a device in an operating room.”

“The doctor is going to procure some forceps to place them into the tiny opening and widen it. This rips the baby’s synechia, the bit of skin that’s attached to the head of his penis and the inner lining of his foreskin. This is also where the newborn’s screaming becomes so shrill and heartwrenching, where he screams until his lungs have nothing more to offer so his mouth becomes stuck in a silent, breathless, crimson-faced gape of anguish. What we’re doing to our newborn boys is nothing short of barbaric.”

The remainder of the post describes what is done to stop the bleeding and facilitate healing. But many people in the comments disagree with the post.

Several commenters chimed in, saying that this wasn’t their experience at all. Many parents said they were allowed to stay in the room with their sons, that the infants didn’t cry or flinch, and that no apparatus was used to secure the baby during the procedure.

I don’t have sons, so I don’t know firsthand what happens during a circumcision. But, according to both WebMD and KidsHealth, it is common practice to use different pain-control measures to ensure the baby is comfortable during the procedure, which is contrary to what the viral circumcision post implies. The WebMD article mentions velcro straps, but the KidsHealth article also mentions a molded plastic seat that is used to hold the baby.

This is certainly of those controversial parenting topics that no one is going to agree on, ever. No matter if you choose circumcision or not, the most important thing you can do is research everything. That way, you can make the best, most informed decision for your family.

(Image: iStock / tatyana_tomsickova)