Whether you’re expecting a baby boy or he’s just arrived in the world, you probably have some questions you want answered. And you may be thinking a lot about one in particular: Should I circumcise my baby?

For centuries, babies have been circumcised for religious and cultural reasons. And over the last several decades, circumcisions have also been recommended as a matter of health and hygiene.

Circumcisions are common in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 58% of U.S. males born between 1979 and 2010 were circumcised.

It’s perfectly normal to have questions about circumcision such as: What exactly is circumcision? Or, does circumcision hurt babies?

On this episode of the For Health’s Sake podcast, pediatrician Brian Cress gives a great overview of what circumcision is. Specifically, he covers:

  • The benefits and risks of circumcision
  • Why babies are circumcised
  • When babies are circumcised
  • How to care for a circumcised baby
  • How long circumcisions take to heal
  • How to open a baby’s foreskin

Make an informed decision about circumcision

Ultimately, whether or not your baby should be circumcised is up to you. A pediatrician can help answer all your questions, make a recommendation and honor your choice once you make it.

“Like a lot of things in and around having a baby, there’s a lot of advice and a lot of opinions [about circumcision],” Dr. Cress says. “So, my advice is, this is your child and your decision.”