Circumcision Trauma and Breastfeeding Initiation

Letter received by NOCIRC of North Carolina, March 2000.

Beth Long

To Whom it May Concern,

I am the mother of three sons, one circumcised and two intact. When I gave birth to my first son, Keith, at Pitt Memorial Hospital Birthing Center in Greenville, NC in 1991 I consented to having him circumcised. I assumed it was a medically necessary procedure because I received no information to the contrary from my OB/GYN, my son's pediatrician or any of the medical staff. I took my newborn son home and listened to him scream in pain for five days until his throat was hoarse. I struggled to comfort him and to encourage him to nurse. If I had not hired a Lactation Consultant five days a week for two weeks, I doubt I would have succeeded in breastfeeding my son.

If I had received informed consent I would have never consented to have this painful, unnecessary cosmetic procedure performed on my helpless newborn baby. I live with the guilt of allowing my son to be irreparably injured, but my doctor, my son's doctor, and the hospital staff had a responsibility to give me accurate information about circumcision and they failed me and my son miserably.

Informed consent on any procedure is the right of every patient.

Most Sincerely,

Beth Long
Mother of Keith, A.J., and Evan

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