Everything a Parent Needs To Know About Circumcision


  • The removal of the foreskin from the human penis
  • Can be done on newborns, infants, children, or adults but most often done on newborns on the first or second day of life.

Why Do It: 

  • Started as a religious or cultural practice but has become common place in countries like the US
  • Can be used treat some diseases or pain in adults
  • Most often done for hygiene reasons now
    • Is shown to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections and other related issues
    • Is also shown to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea, syphillis, and chlamydia), HIV transmission, and HPV transmission
  • Has also been show to protect against penile cancers in men

Why Not Do It: 

  • Any sort of genital abnormalities (such as displaced urethral opening) will need reconstructive surgery first then circumcision can be pursued.
  • If the newborn was born premature or is medically unstable. Circumcision will be put off until growth and stability
  • If bleeding disorders are suspected or run in your family, coagulation studies should be drawn and let your pediatrician know!
  • Possible Complications:
    • Bleeding
    • Infection
    • Pain
    • Decreased sexual desire (NOT feeling or satisfaction)
    • Erectile dysfunction (VERY rare)


  • If you are planning on having your baby boy circumcisized let your pediatrician know and the pediatric team seeing your baby in the hospital. They will then schedule the procedure.
  • The procedure will take about an hour at most and will require the nurse to do routine checks afterwards, but he can be immediately returned to you.


  • This procedure will have to be done in the nursery where sterile fields and equipment will be available. So, if you are doing a “no separation” stay in the hospital, know that this will have to be broken for this procedure before going to the hospital.

What to Expect After: 

  • The baby will continue wearing diapers as usual but may be a little more tender for a few days
  • There should be little to no bleeding in the diaper (let your nurse know if you are concerned), but the newly exposed tip will be bright red for up to a week.
  • The doctor performing the procedure will likely put gauze bathed in vaseline on the tip. Vaseline will also be put in the diaper to prevent rubbing.

What to Do At Home: 

  • Your nurse will give you instructions on care at home but ASK QUESTIONS if you are unsure
  • The gauze the physician placed will fall off or you can take it off after 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Vaseline should be placed on the inside of the diaper with each change for up to a week depending on your discharge instructions.
  • When it begins to heal, the tip will be crusty. Most parents worry that this means an infection, HOWEVER this means it’s healing and is what it should look like.
  • What it shouldn’t be like:
    • Red and bleeding days after
    • Leaking clear or yellow liquid
    • Leaking pus
    • Foul odor
  • Call your pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions and they will also examine it on their first check up after birth.


Circumcision is an everyday procedure performed on newborns to prevent STDs, UTIs, etc., but it is always the parents’ decision. If you are unsure, do your research and ask around! Let your doctors and nurses know what you decide when you get to the hospital and they will help you every step of the way.


Thank you for reading! Please email me with any questions!


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