Genital Integrity is a basic human right.

A educational blog about routine infant circumcision and intactivism.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

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INTACT BABY CARE-It's so easy!

Lot's of parents have heard that foreskins are unhygienic and caring for an intact child is more time consuming or complicated. The truth is actually the exact opposite. Not only do you avoid wound care (gauze, vasoline) when you leave your baby intact, but care is amazingly simple: Wipe off the outside like you would a finger. That's it.

But, what about pulling back the skin to clean?

When babies are born, the foreskin is fused to the glans much like your fingernail is attached to your fingertip. At the tip of the foreskin is the preputial sphincter that is designed to be open just enough for him to urinate freely, but closed enough to keep all of the 'yuckies' out. Over time, the natural adhesions (synechia) that attach the foreskin to the head of the penis break down, and the opening of the foreskin becomes progressively more 'stretchy'.

Most boys discover they can comfortably retract their own foreskins between the ages of toddlerhood and adolescense, although some may not be able to retract until their teens and that's perfectly normal as well. Nobody should ever try to retract a baby or young child's foreskin before it's developmentally ready to.

The American Academy of Pediatrics warns, "Most boys will be able to retract their foreskins by the time they are 5 years old, yet others will not be able to until the teenage years. As a boy becomes more aware of his body, he will most likely discover how to retract his own foreskin. But foreskin retraction should never be forced. Until separation occurs, do not try to pull the foreskin back — especially an infant's. Forcing the foreskin to retract before it is ready may severely harm the penis and cause pain, bleeding and tears in the skin."

So, the number one rule for intact baby care is: Leave it alone.

Just like the vaginas of little girls don't need to be stretched or douched, the foreskins of baby boys are self-cleaning.

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