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is it normal to have breastfeeding issues when a baby boy is circed? update in purple 4/16/2012

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i had my son wedsday morning and he nursed well wedsday and thursday but come friday i was told not to bf him after 5 am so thathe had an empty stomach when he got circed. they came in to get him and he was just screaming mad cause he wanted to eat. it took all i had not to cry my slef. but every since he got circed he dosnt latch on the breast. i had to resort to pumping friday to make sure he got what he needed. i even ended up giving him 2 oz of formula which made me cry cause i feel like im failing. i want to breast feed i want to hold him up to my breast and feed him that way but he wont latch on at all and when i put my nipple in his mouth he acts like he cant find it or feel it he dose the same thing with his bottle. he also puts his hands in the way of his face so i cant put the bottle of bm or my breast in his mouth it turns in to a fight with his arms and mouth. i meet with his ped tommorrow morning for a weight and color check i am going to bring up my breastfeeding problems. I didnt relise til today how diff breast fed baby poo is from formula feed baby poo is. i dont want to end up giving him formula i really want him back at the breast i cant seem to pump every 2-3 hrs but i do try. i do get about 1 1/2-2 ounces combined when i pump. each time i pump.  


Well I took Eli to his weight check/color check. i did bring up that im haveing a few problems with Eli wanting to breastfeed. His dr is a little concerned with his weight. his birth weight was 7lbs 14oz and this morning after feeding him 2 oz i had already pumped this morning he only weighed 7lbs 3oz. he has his two week check up next week i dont want to suppliment one feeding aday because that takes milk away from me and from my son. im tring to get him to latch on every two hrs and he wont latch on or want to feed from the tap so to say. the nurse told me i could nurse in the room we were in but im not comfortable nursing around someone i dont know yet. im not sure aboutnursing in public im big chested and feel i hang out all over the place. where would i get an sns? how much are they? do they really help get baby back to the breast? how much should i be feeding him? the dr said 1-2 oz is what he should be eating. his dr told me to feed him more often. thank you for your advice. his binky has been washed and sterilized and put away. 

by on Apr. 16, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Replies (51-52):
by on Apr. 17, 2012 at 5:49 PM

i had this problem w/ my dd at two days old...nursed awesome right away then all of sudden issues as my milk came in and she would scream...i refused to give her a bottle and it was hard lots screaming on her part...and tears coming down my eyes..i had two sons i never had any problems except jaundice caused some issues...good luck too you hun..they were both circed and got pass/sugarwater...

by on Apr. 17, 2012 at 5:54 PM
1 mom liked this


Breastfeeding & Circumcision

written by Yuki
edited by Danelle Frisbie

image available at the Intactivism Shop

Starting in the late 19th century many changes were made in the way childbirth was viewed. These changes took wide effect by the 1950s. The birthing procedure was taken over by male obstetricians and childbirth became a medical condition - one that women were in need of being saved from. During this time women were routinely pumped full of drugs to give birth, subjected to shaving, enemas, episiotomies, they were encouraged not to breastfeed, and if the baby was born male, chances are likely that he would be circumcised whether it was asked for or not.

Today, more and more women are going back to doing things in a more humane manner - the way nature intended. It can be great to use modern medicine to aid in childbirth, when truly needed, but that does not mean we must medicalise every aspect of birth and the post-partum period. Mother Nature usually knows best.

Even when it was frowned upon for some time, breastfeeding has now made a comeback. Today, it is largely embraced by the medical community, and women breastfeed regularly in public, even if special laws are required to protect them in doing so. Although it hasn't quite become ubiquitously accepted across the country, breastfeeding is becoming a mainstream practice.

In recent U.S. history, breastfeeding and circumcision were treated as opposites by some in the medical community. Circumcision [the complete amputation of the prepuce organ at birth] was claimed to be beneficial and encouraged, or even forced -- while breastfeeding was said to offer no benefits for the longest time!

Today the claimed "benefits" of circumcision have been found to be without merit, while new benefits of breastfeeding are found all the time.Circumcision is not recommended by any medical or health organization in the world, while breastfeeding is universally recommended by all medical and health organizations.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now states that babies should receive exclusive breastmilk (nothing else at all) for a minimum of the first 6 months of life, and continue nursing for at least the first 2 years of life. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that breastfeeding should be done for the first 2 years of life at a bare minimum and most infants world-wide receive their mother's milk past the age of 2.

Unfortunately in some U.S. cities, circumcision is still more common than breastfeeding. According to 2008 CDC statistics, only 26% of babies in the U.S. are still breastfed at 6 months of age, and the figure drops to just 19% by 12 months of age. At the same time, approximately 50% of baby boys born in the United States continue to be circumcised at birth. Most startling is that lactation reports from several U.S. hospitals show that it is circumcised baby boys who are most at risk of "failure to thrive" and are least likely to have a 'successful' breastfeeding relationship with their mother. Intact boys tend to latch better, nurse more effectively, and breastfeed longer than their circumcised peers.

Medical benefits of breastfeeding

According to the AAP, "human milk feeding decreases the incidence and/or severity of diarrhea, lower respiratory infection, otitis media, bacteremia, bacterial meningitis, botulism, urinary tract infection, and necrotizing enterocolitis infant death syndrome, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, lymphoma, allergic diseases."(1) It should be noted that urinary tract infections (UTIs) are also reduced by breastfeeding (2,3) even though some claim circumcision may reduce UTIs during the first 12 months of an infants life. Breastfeeding, which does not permanently alter a boy's body via amputation as does circumcision, is shown to be much more effective at reducing UTI risk throughout infancy and childhood (not just in the first 12 months).

Formula fed infants have higher rates of infections, allergies, and a greater intensity of problems from infections and allergies. Over the course of childhood and life they have higher rates of cancer (including increased childhood lymphomas and increased breast cancer in women who were not breastfed as infants), adult intestinal disorders. Infants denied human milk score lower on tests of neurological development. (4,5) Man made breastmilk substitutes clearly do not offer the same nutritional value of breastmilk, and formula fed infants suffer as a result. They experience higher rates of morbidity and mortality across the board, but we continue to ignore the severity of the issue while presenting formula as a safe alternative to breastfeeding. (5)

Effects of circumcision on breastfeeding

In their policy on breastfeeding, the AAP states, "Except under special circumstances, the newborn infant should remain with the mother throughout the recovery period. Procedures that may interfere with breastfeeding or traumatize the infant should be avoided or minimized." (1)

Circumcision is the most commonly performed traumatic and painful surgical procedure done on infants today and is usually conducted in the first 48 hours of life without anesthesia.

Even if we ignore commonsense and human observation on this issue, studies demonstrate without a doubt that circumcision interferes with breastfeeding. Dixon et al., conducted a study on circumcision pain and behavioral consequences with and without anesthesia. The Brazelton Neonatal Assessment Scale (BNAS), a series of stimuli designed to elicit measured response from infants, was used and researchers found that all neurological and behavioral aspects of an infant circumcised at birth were impacted - including breastfeeding. They state, "Behavioral differences were still evident on the day following the procedure. This report adds to the growing body of data that indicate that circumcision is a painful procedure that disrupts the course of behavioral recovery following birth" (7)

Marshall et al., performed a study on how circumcision effects mother-infant interaction. This study also used the BNAS and was double blind (neither the researchers nor the mothers breastfeeding their babies knew when boys were circumcised). One group of babies were circumcised at two days and the other at three weeks. They found that infant behavior changes after circumcision in 90% of cases and that it has a "brief and transitory effect on mother-infant interactions observed during hospital feeding sessions." It was also found that mothers attempted to feed their infants 62% of the time, when their baby's eyes were closed (71%), had negative or neutral facial expressions (91%), did little vocalizing (8%), were clinging (13%), or not feeding (40%)." (8)

Howard et al., did a randomized, double blind and placebo controlled study on acetaminophen analgesia for pain management with circumcision. Among their results they found, "Neonates in both groups showed significant increases in heart rate, respiratory rate, and crying during circumcision with no clinically significant differences between the groups. Postoperative comfort scores showed no significant differences between the groups until the 360-minute postoperative assessment, at which time the acetaminophen group had significantly improved scores. Feeding behavior deteriorated in breast- and bottle-fed infants in both groups, and acetaminophen did not seem to influence this deterioration."


Circumcision and breastfeeding both represent areas that too many parents are simply uninformed in. Many parents are not well educated on the advantages and purposes of the prepuce organ (foreskin), and are not aware that NO medical organization recommends circumcision for their baby. Equal numbers of parents do not realize that exclusive breastfeeding IS recommended for a minimum of 6+ months of their infants' life, with partial breastfeeding for 2+ years to follow. Just as parents are not aware of all the side effects that result from circumcision, they are not aware of the gigantic health problems that result from denying a human baby human milk.

Some people buy into the myths of circumcision benefits, but they are not aware of all the documented benefits of breastfeeding -- those that do not put a newborn baby through pain and trauma and the permanently loss of a body organ.

Only in modern U.S. history have we found breastfeeding to be discouraged, while the cutting of newborn baby's genitals was encouraged. Unfortunately, we continue to see the repercussions of this discord played out in the lives of many newborn babies still in 2009.

But times are changing. People are wising up to the myths and misconceptions that surround birth and babies. Parents are choosing to become educated on the realities of breastfeeding and the horrors of circumcision. Advocates of breastfeeding (lactivists) and keeping babies intact (intactivists) share common ground in their missions, and we can work together to help children receive the very best care that they deserve.
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