Intact baby care starts when parents make the decision to keep their son intact and to include breastfeeding. As you will learn, intact baby care is actually very simple. It is the misinformation and ignorance of a circumcising society that requires increased parental education to avoid future issues.
Many physicians today are totally ignorant on the care of the intact penis, and frequently give incorrect advice to parents. Medical schools do not train doctors on the proper care of intact babies, because the assumption is made that all babies will be circumcised. Furthermore, many pediatric medical anatomical textbooks only depict circumcised penises.
Due to this lack of training, some doctors may attempt to retract the foreskin of infants and young boys prematurely. When they do this to a child, they cause damage and complications. Most American medical doctors are themselves themselves circumcised or female, and therefore have no first hand knowledge of the care and function of an intact penis. We will go into further details later in this article about foreskin retraction.
The foreskin has protective functions
As we have mentioned in other articles of HNB, the foreskin is actually designed by nature to provide protection against disease and injury. By understanding these protections, we allow the foreskin to function in its role of protecting the child’s body from infection and disease.
First, some basic intact penis facts:
The foreskin of the newborn is fused to the underlying tissue (glans). Nature has designed the infant penis to be sealed by a membrane. This attaches the foreskin to the glans (head.) The membrane seal keeps urine and fecal waste from contacting sensitive penile tissue. Therefore with an intact baby, irritants from urine and harmful pathogens cannot reach the sensitive mucosal tissue.
Foreskin Separation and Retraction
At some point in a boys life, the foreskin will naturally separate from the glans as part of the growing and maturation process.
The separation may occur at any age. Separation frequently starts around age 5, but the age can vary from 3 years to 15 years. The boy is the only one who should retract his foreskin. He will know when it is ready to release without pain or discomfort. Parents need to be vigilant and prevent doctors or other care-givers from forcing the foreskin back in order to inspect or clean the penis.
Forced retraction causes:
- Tearing the foreskin from the glans which leaves raw, open wounds, which can lead to infection.
- Raw surfaces on the foreskin and glans that can heal together, forming skin adhesions.
- Small tears in the opening of the foreskin can heal to form non-elastic scar tissue, possibly causing acquired phimosis.
Forced retraction is painful for the child, and can cause scarring (phimosis/para-phimosis) or other disfigurement.
Ballooning of the foreskin may happen with some boys while urinating. The occurrence of ballooning indicates that separation has started, but the foreskin has not started retracting yet. Ballooning does not interfere with urination, and it is a normal occurrence. Parents should not worry or be concerned when this happens. A child may report some discomfort or pain while urinating during this period. This occurs because the ballooning may tug at any residual connections to the glans. The discomfort will stop when separation is completed. The foreskin may still not be retractable at this point because the opening is still narrow. With increased growth and maturity, the ballooning will end when opening of the foreskin widens and starts to retract. If spraying occurs, the boy can be told to sit down to urinate to prevent making a mess.
Cleaning and Washing
As we previously mentioned at the beginning of this article, intact baby care is very simple. Parents just need to simply wash the external parts with soap and water. That’s it. As we like to say, “Only clean what is seen.”
Red Foreskin in Children : What does it mean?
We’ve all been there: you’re changing a diaper and realize that the tip of your son’s foreskin is red or irritated. Or perhaps your child is complaining that his penis hurts, and it seems to be itchy, inflamed, or sensitive.Don’t worry! This is common, and depending on the cause, can resolve itself very quickly. Read more about this situation on the Whole Network.
Intact Care Summary
- The intact infant penis is a sealed organ.
- Do not allow anyone to retract a child’s foreskin
- Clean only the outside external parts with soap and water.