The American Academy of Pediatrics is reversing its long-held stance on circumcision and now says that the benefits of the practice outweigh the risks, the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times report.
"But the academy stopped short of recommending circumcision for all baby boys, saying the decision remains a family matter. The academy had previously taken a neutral position on circumcision," The New York Times reports.
According to the Los Angeles Times article, this is the first time that the academy has been in favor of the procedure since reaffirming its 1999 guidelines expressing neutrality on the issue in 2005. Back then, the AAP's official policy was that there was not enough data to recommend routine newborn circumcision.
In its new policy statement, published online in the journal Pediatrics, the academy noted that the "specific benefits from male circumcision were identified for the prevention of urinary tract infections, acquisition of HIV, transmission of some STDs and penile cancer." In the same statement, the AAP is urging insurance companies to cover the costs of the procedure because of the health benefits.
Check out our Circumcision Decision page for the pros and cons of this procedure. If you do decide to have your son circumcised, ask that he be given pain relief. Our Newborn Care From Head to Toe page has tips on post-circumcision care.