Should you circumcise your baby boy?

If you're pregnant and expecting a little boy, you've got a lot to think about. Will he be into sports, like his daddy? Will he be a rebellious teenager? A bad driver? Little boys are wonderful, but they can also be a handful – and for mothers, the worrying can start soon after birth. That's when a complicated decision must be made: Should you circumcise your son?

Traditionally, men of the Jewish and Islamic faiths must be circumcised according to their religious ideals. Even if you're not particularly dogmatic about your religion, many people choose circumcision for secular reasons – because the father was, because they believe it to be more common, or because they think it will be healthier. Overall, circumcision is a safe and relatively painless procedure, but like all surgeries, it does carry some risks.

Those risks are enough to deter many parents from choosing circumcision for their infant sons. They see it as an unnecessary surgical intervention to which an infant can't consent. Medical science has thus far found no real benefit to being circumcised versus leaving an infant's foreskin intact, so parents who believe their son is perfect just the way he was born are choosing to eschew circumcision at a surprising rate – these days, it's estimated that only about one-third of baby boys undergo the procedure. There's even a movement to make circumcision illegal in some parts of the country.

Ultimately, the decision to circumcise or not rests solely with you.

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