This is still sometimes done with absolutely no pain medication whatsoever. Little or no post op pain management is given, and the open wound must then attempt to heal itself while constantly exposed to urine and feces. Many doctors are now using pain medication for newborn circumcision. However, we know that even the most effective method, which is EMLA cream applied topically, then an injection called a penile block, is not so effective that 60% of babies still experience excessive pain. Other countries defer circumcision until the baby is old enough to undergo sedation anesthesia and be given effective pain medications in the post op period.
Cultural blinders can be so opaque that they block even the blindingly obvious light of common sense. This is the case of newborn circumcision. Circumcision is a big deal. It is not just a little snip. It does remove numerous nerve endings and blood vessels. It does really hurt. And it may not be for his own good.
• Reducing Pain from Surgery: What a Parent Should Know
• The Assessment and Management of Acute Pain in Infants, Children, and Adolescents
• Evolution of pain management in children holds parallels for animals
• Pain During Circumcision<
• The law & ethics of male circumcision - guidance for doctors
• Circumcision: A Closer Look
• Deciding whether or not to circumcize your baby boy
• The Circumcision Information and Resource Pages
• Circumcision study halted due to trauma
• Effect of neonatal circumcision on pain response during subsequent routine vaccination
• References for Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative Step 9: Discourages non-religious circumcision of the newborn
• Paediatric Policy: Routine Circumcision of Normal Male Infants and Boys - Summary Statement
• Circumcision: hemorrhage
Copyright © Kimberly Levine. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.
Kimberly Levine is the mother of six; five daughters and one son. She is also a childbirth educator and professional labor assistant. Kim believes that infant circumcision is a subject that needs to be taken more seriously by parents and medical professionals alike. Her hope is that people set down their ingrained cultural beliefs about this practice and really take a look at what it entails.