Reading another post I noticed a lot of mothers are uninformed about circumcision. Yes it is a parent's decision but I would like to express my opinion on why I think, after years of researching, it is a bad thing.
Circumcision forever changes the male body - for the worse:
http://www.drmomma.org/2011/08/intact-or-circumcised-significant.html (Contains image of penis)
Cleanliness and care: Not circumcising is easier
Regarding cleanliness, there is a lot of bad information. I'd recommend you read an anti circumcision site's rebuttal of the claim that circumcising makes the penis cleaner:
Smegma is normal, women have it too and it is beneficial. It keeps things moist and is harmless:
You should be aware of circumcision complications also. The serious ones such as death or a dead penis (pic: http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/images/slide14.jpg ) (Contains image of penis) although rare, can happen.
Care is a lot easier for an intact baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics gives advice on how to care for a penis that isn't circumcised. It isn't great advice though because the intact penis really doesn't require any care. Here is a critical appraisal of the AAP's advice from an anti-circumcision site:
So if you choose not to have your baby circumcised just leave the penis alone. Just wash the outside like all other body parts. The foreskin is attached to the head of the penis in early life and doesn't become retractable until later, so just leave it alone. There is nothing to do really.
Care for circumcised penises is actually harder. There is an open wound to be aware of. This is obviously more prone to infection.
There are also the complications. I would recommend you download this PDF file to see the graphic illustration of what actually happens to your baby during circ and the complications that can occur:
http://www.coloradonocirc.org/files/handouts/Circumcision_Techniques_and_Complications.pdf (Contains image of penis)
Also see this page:
http://www.catholicsagainstcircumcision.org/cac_complications.htm (Contains image of penis)
There is also the psychological and emotional effects of being ripped away from your mother and being put in pain just shortly after your child is born. There will also be discomfort for a long time afterwards as the wound is healing. So it will obviously affect the bonding process. Is this really the best start for a young man? Wouldn't your little son be better off starting off in a more positive light? Don't you just want to take him home and love him?
See this study for the traumatic effect circumcising has on a boy and how it affects the bonding process with his mother, including breastfeeding: http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/goldman1/
See this site for regret stories from mother who circumcised:
So if you want an easier life, the best option is not to circ.
The negative sexual effects
If you don't know what a normal intact penis looks like then see this page for a graphic illustration of what the foreskin looks like and its role in sex:
http://www.circumstitions.com/completeman/ (Contains image of penis)
The foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis. Men get pleasure by moving the foreskin up and down. This tugs on the frenulum.
Intact boys and men find it easier to masturbate because all they have to do is move the foreskin up and down. Circumcised boys and men have to resort to artificial lubrication or else they can make the penis sore or damage it by putting too much pressure on it.
The circumcised penis is also exposed to the air and rubs on underware which means the skin becomes tough and keratinized, further reducing sensitivity. See this page for a graphic illustration:
The foreskin also helps women. It makes it more comfortable during sex. because the gliding motion reduces friction and helps maintain moisture in the vagina preventing dryness. The rhythm of the man's thrust is is different too. He is more sensitive, and his penis is less hardened so he doesn't jab as hard and is more sensuous. See this site:
http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/ (Contains image of penis)
Health concerns - is my baby at a health risk of If I don't circ? Will I have to worry?
The answer is no. Most men in the world aren't circed. The circ rate in Britain France Ireland Germany and Canada and Australia is less than 10%. It is a dying practice. The most recent statistic for the USA is that around 60% are circumcised. It is coming down all the time. So it is around half and half.
No medical association recommends circumcising - merely leaving up to the parents to decide. If you asked most informed doctors they would tell you not to do it. I'd recommend you read this site to see how it got started - basically to reduce masturbation by taking away the most pleasurable part of the penis and the part that moves:
The American Academy of Pediatrics review on the pros and cons of newborn circumcision was done in 1999. You can read the AAP's review on circumcision along with an annotated critique here
The best way to prevent STI's is condoms and not sleeping with prostitutes. As for cleanliness and urinary tract infections they are easily treated with anti-biotics and are rare anyway. The idea that uncircumcised boys get more infections than circumcised boys is false. See this study:
So your child is in no health danger if he is not circumcised.
I'd recommend people watch this video by NOCIRC: