Intact Don’t Retract Victory!

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I recently shared a story regarding an incident during my son’s 18th month old check-up that didn’t sit well with me. During his check-up my son’s pediatrician gently retracted his intact penis and told me I needed to retract it when cleaning.  I was immediately taken aback because I knew she was incorrect.  Rather than stew about it I acted!  I contacted my HMO’s membership services to file a complaint and started a petition on to bring awareness to this issue.  I was honored by the support I received not only from people who took the time to sign the petition but also from groups like The Whole Network, Colorado NoCir, and Mama Natural.

Today I received the most amazing phone call from the Chief of Pediatrics for my HMO in Colorado! She not only agreed that my pediatrician was providing me with misinformation but she has promised to make sure all 75 of the pediatricians she oversees are up-to-date on the care of the intact penis. I hope this can be a reminder to everyone that if a care provider is telling you something you believe to be untrue it’s so important to speak up.

While I’m feeling victorious I know my fight isn’t over because this updating needs to take place on a national level.  All parents of intact boys need to be provided with current care information.  Please continue to show your support by signing and sharing the petition, Update Pediatricians: Intact Don’t Retract.  The more awareness brought to this issue the more likely something will change.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clearly states the following; “But foreskin retraction should never be forced. Until the foreskin fully separates, do not try to pull it back. Forcing the foreskin to retract before it is ready can cause severe pain, bleeding, and tears in the skin.” All pediatricians follow AAP guidelines and yet many of them are still misinforming impressionable parents.  Please speak with your child’s pediatrician about this even if you’re the parent of a daughter or a circumcised son.  You can make a difference!    







  1. Sasha

    April 11, 2012

    Great story! It must be wonderful to know that you have made such a difference for so many little boys. With my first son I had a similar experience but I was not nearly so brave or helpful as you were. I did the lazy thing and just changed doctors. Bravo to you mama and may others follow in your footsteps!

  2. ConcernedMama

    May 18, 2012

    My son had a very unpleasant experience with a very uneducated nurse here in WA state. She hurt my son, who was loudly saying “Ow”. I had to slap her hand away because refused to stop. She then said she would “have a male doctor come in and teach me how a penis works”.

    I filed an official complaint with the WA state Nursing Commission. 6 weeks later I received a form letter stating that no wrong doing had taken place, and that the nurse in question was sent a copy of my letter. A week later I was informed that we were being switched to another provider.

    Where can I turn now?

    • plussizebirth

      May 19, 2012

      Oh mama I can’t imagine! I’d reach out to The Whole Network ( for support since the way I proceeded didn’t get you anywhere. Make sure your current pedi is up to date on the proper way to care for intact boys. I’m so sorry this happened…

  3. Stephen

    April 18, 2013

    Great news. I honestly don’t understand how doctors not only do this, but also see nothing wrong with retracting an infant. That is such a deeply personal thing to do…. Glad I live in the uk where our doctors are taught intact care as almost 99% of men are intact.

    Good work.

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