Although male infant circumcision is much more common in the US than in most industrialized countries, parents are opting to do it less frequently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 2013 CDC report that analyzed decades of hospital data found that the national rate of newborn circumcision dropped from about 65% to about 58% between 1979 and 2010.
That's just one of many reasons a mom-to-be on Reddit shouldn't have heard a peep of opposition from her OB's nurse after she said she wouldn't be circumcising her unborn son.
The expectant mother, writing in the Parenting subreddit, said she was there to rant vs. garner sympathy.
The original poster (OP) noted that she was at her 32-week check-up earlier that day when the nurse asked about forms the mom would need to register at the hospital.
"She asked if I needed a copy of the circumcision form since I'm having a boy," the OP explained. "I politely told her that I didn't need it. Then, she said, 'Honestly I don't know why we have a form for it. They should just automatically do it to everyone. I can't imagine why some people don't circumcise their sons. It's just so disgusting. I have three boys and of course they've all been circumcised.'"
The OP noted in her Reddit post that she prefers to avoid confrontation, so she replied, "I guess not everyone feels that way."
"I tried to change the subject," the OP explained. "It just pisses me off that a 'medical professional' who should be non-biased on personal choices feels the need to inject her opinion in my son's life."
She noted that she was "shamed enough" when she breastfed her two daughters up until their 2nd birthday. "Now I'm being shamed for not circumcising my son when we are not even Jewish or Muslim or anything," she wrote. "I really like my OB, but that nurse just really pissed me off. I'm wondering if this has happened to anyone else?"
Commenters could relate.
"After I had my son, every nurse that came in the room asked if I scheduled the circumcision," one woman shared. "I had to keep telling them I wasn’t doing it. It got awkward after the third time."
Another person had a similar experience. "Same. Asked multiple times. However every time I said no, they were pleased. One nurse said, 'Nurses hate having to help with circumcisions, so we love when moms turn them down.' Anytime they took the baby out of the room, I yelled 'NO CIRCUMCISION REMEMBER!!'"
Some Redditors were baffled by just how much communication took place around the subject.
"'Are you circumcising?' was far and away the question I was asked most during my hospital stay," shared another commenter. "It seemed like every single person that entered my room asked me. And my OB asked several times at my prenatal appointment and even at my 6-week check up, which I found bizarre. After the baby is out, the OB basically has nothing to do with them. Why did my OB need to know if I had my son circumcised?"
Others said they hadn't dealt with the same kind of judgment as the OP but felt for her.
"I just wanted to chime in and say that not all hospitals (or nurses) are like that. My hospital really didn’t seem to care either way," noted one commenter. "They offered us the option during my prenatal visits, then double-checked immediately after the birth. They didn’t put pressure either way, and accepted our decision without comment. Sorry you had a bad situation. Hopefully both options will become normalized soon."
To that end, the OP agreed, writing, "99% of nurses I've dealt with (anywhere) have been awesome."
She concluded in the thread, "I do think in the U.S. as of late, people are starting to change their stance. People can have really strong opinions about it either way (kind of like an abortion debate), which is why I almost hesitated posting here."
Props to her for going for it, though, as discussions like these only serve to reassure parents that no matter what their experience or take, they're not alone.