Circumcision: What Your Baby Can't Tell You

"I Was Never to See Those Beautiful,

Mystic, Leboyer Newborn-Baby Smiles Again"

And Other Statements by Mothers Who Regret

Having Had Their Baby Sons Circumcised

"The most tragic words in
any language are 'too late.'"
Author unknown

"I'm against it [circumcision] because my son was locally given some medicine and he was screaming and screaming and screaming and I couldn't get in to him ... When he came out I thought he was a basket case." (Woman in audience, Phil Donahue show on circumcision and foreskin restoration, 6/17/87)

"I have two sons, one circumcised, one not, and I'll tell you, it has affected my whole family ... One is very well adjusted, the one that just so happens to be not circumcised, and the one that is circumcised is not ... I think it is [because he's circumcised] ... My oldest [circumcised] son has not adjusted to his personal parts very well ... [He] Does not like to be looked at or touched." (Woman caller, Phil Donahue show on circumcision and foreskin restoration, 6/17/87)

"Nothing had prepared me -- nothing could have prepared me -- for what I was about to witness or for the realization that I had let the same thing happen to my own three sons." (Marilyn Milos, RN, founder and director of NOCIRC, upon seeing a baby being circumcised during a nurses' training class. "Infant Circumcision: What I Wish I Had Known")

"[I]f I could take one thing back in my life of many mistakes, it would be the circumcision of my sons -- the gravest mistake of all!" (Marilyn Milos, RN, Founder/Director, NOCIRC, from her inscription in the copy of Sexual Mutilations: A Human Tragedy she gave to her youngest son)

"If there was only one thing I could take back and redo, it would be that [the circumcision of her second son]. But I can't." (Carole Alley, RN, The Nurses of St. Vincent: Saying "No" to Circumcision, [video] by Barry Ellsworth)

"I spoke at the Third International Symposium on Circumcision about my experience and was shocked and sickened as I became aware, during the symposium, of the parallels between what was done to me and what I had been brainwashed and pressured, against all my maternal instincts and common sense, into letting still another genital mutilator do to my own baby son." (Carla Miller, Founder, Patients In ARMS, "My Own Nightmare and Fight for Justice," Deeper Into Circumcision: An Invitation to Awareness, compiled and edited by John A. Erickson)

"Why didn't you tell me? Why didn't you talk me out of it? Why didn't someone stop me?" (Mother and health care provider after watching a video about male and female circumcision after her son had been circumcised. "Quotations and Comments by North Dakotans Since 1992 Regarding the Ritual of Routine Infant Circumcision," compiled with comments by Duane Voskuil, PhD, NOCIRC of North Dakota/ Bismarck.)

"What incomprehensible force brought me from this beautiful, untraumatized birth at home to a strange doctor's office one week later sitting there frightened and reluctant, holding my sleeping, peaceful, trusting newborn infant? ... The trauma and torture inflicted upon this tiny, helpless little being were to come back and haunt me again and again." (Rosemary Romberg, "Circumcision," Circumcision: The Rest of the Story (A Selection of Articles, Letters, and Recources, 1979-1993, edited by Peggy O'Mara, Mothering Magazine, 1993)

"I was never to see those beautiful, mystic, Leboyer newborn-baby smiles again." (Rosemary Romberg, after the circumcision of her third son, 8 days old. Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma, p. xx)