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Should you circumcise your baby son? For lots of American new parents and expecting parents, this is a big question. As someone who has lived in Europe all my life, this questions seems a bit silly to me but since I immersed myself in the wonderful international world of the internet, I know that Americans feel so much differently. From a European point of view, circumcision is something religious folks do, usually Jews and Muslims. In Europe, we have no idea that circumcision is something that is supposed to be more hygienic and practical.

Routine infant circumcision is now recognized to be an elective surgery that does not really have any medical benefits. Circumcision rates are going down in the United States. Unless you already know you are circumcising for religious reasons, looking into the pros and cons of the practice is something this European highly recommends. Discussing the issue with your partner is something you can start doing before you ever conceive, or at least while pregnant. You can see videos of the surgery on the internet, on video sites like YouTube knowing what happens during a circumcision can help in the decision-making process and can prepare you for the surgery if you do decide to get it done. You can also read studies about the perceived health benefits of the surgery, and there are many online debates going on that you might like to take a look at, with supporters of circumcision as well as so-called "intactivists".

If you do decide to circumcise your baby son, make sure that he receives adequate anesthesia. Believe it or not, a lot of doctors don't use anesthesia at all, and where they do use a local anesthetic cream they may not wait long enough for it to start working. This is a good reason to be present at your son's circumcision to make sure everything goes the way it should. Also see what is "cry it out?" for more parenting talk!

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