One of the issues to deal with during pregnancy is whether to circumcise. Here is some info I learned on why I dont think it is a good idea. I will try to be as balanced as possible even though you should know I am against it.
Most medical organisations are against the procedure. Here are their statements on circumcision:
Immediate negative effects of circumcision + complications
You will be able to see the immediate effect and a picture of what the penis looks like after circumcision here (NSFW):
Note that complications and injuries to the penis are not uncommmon from circumcision. See this page for more information:
Gallery of pictures (NSFW):
Here is a list of complications from a neutral source - Stamford medical school:
WIll my baby be in danger if he is intact or not circumcised? Will I have to worry? Does it require more care?
These are probably the most important questions. A lot of parents have babies circumcised for peace of mind.
Losing the protective foreskin may cause meatal stenosis - which is inflammation and ulceration of the meatus (the pee-hole). This is due to exposure of the pee-hole to ammonia from urine in the diaper. This can cause the peehole to become scarred and it may cause narrowing resulting in difficulty urinating.
There is a lot more after care for a circumcised baby. With an intact baby there is nothing to do. No care required. You do not have to clean - the foreskin cannot be pulled back at this point.
With a circumcised boy, there is an open wound as can be seen from the second link above. So it is more likely to be infected. You will also have to prevent skin bridges from forming:
This is where the loose skin re-attaches to the shaft of the penis and forms a permanent attachment. There can be too mcuh or too little skin removed.
So it is quite likely you will have to return to the doctors.
Infections are not common in boys. As long as you leave the intact penis alone and don't try to pull the foreskin back, there is not likely to be a problem. If there is an infection (unlikely) you can give him antibiotics and that will clear it up. Infections are not serious or life threatening so there is no need to have an operation. Boys in Europe, Canada and Australia do not get circumcised - because there is no danger in being left intact.
Circumcision may make it harder to bond with your child. With an open wound he will be in pain and distress for some days. Circumcision is very stressful for a child. The physical pain may go but he will remember it. It will be better for you if he doesnt have this painful experience at the start of his life.
At the moment around 60% of boys are circumcised in the USA, 40% are not. So it is not 'the norm' anymore, and it is likely that circumcised boys will be the minority in a few years.
Regarding sexually transmitted infections (STI's) - there is little difference - and no convincing evidence it prevents STI's. Condoms and not sleeping with loose women are what prevent STI's.
According to the National health Service (NHS) Website in the UK:
"Routine circumcision may offer a number of potential benefits, such as reducing the risk of some types of bacterial or viral infections. However, most healthcare professionals now agree that the risks associated with routine circumcision, such as infection and excessive bleeding, outweigh any potential benefits."
The effect of circumcision on sexual function.
The foreskin contains many special nerves not found in normal skin.
See this article for the functions of the foreskin: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html
Circumcision makes it harder to masturbate. There is no skin to glide up and down as in a normal penis:
Consequently circumcised guys may have to use artificial lubrication to masturbate which is inconveniant.
It is likely that the skin will be become chafed and sore when masturbating due to the friction. They may also cause damage to the 3 spongy chambers of the penis due to the pressure of the hand.
There is also keratinization. This is hardening of the skin. Without the foreskin protecting the glans, it brushes on underwear and comes under pressure during masturbation. This causes a loss in sensitvity:
As the drmomma article outlines the mobility of the foreskin helps make sex a better experience for the woman. The foreskin traps moisture. Also the man is less rough with his thrusts; the circumcised man has lossed sensitivity and needs more friction.
Without the nerves of the foreskin circumcised men also finder it harder to control ejaculation.
History of circumcision: http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/
How to care for an intact child: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/basic-care-of-intact-child.html