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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why Can't the Baby Eat Before the Bris?

I generally recommend that the last pre-bris feeding take place 90 minutes before the bris.

For babies who drink formula, this usually does not present a problem, as they are usually on a schedule.

But for babies who nurse (I am happy to report that the number of nursing moms is on the rise), this presents a bit of a problem. My wife likes to call herself "Mommy's 24-hour open bar," so I understand very well how nursing moms like to provide when baby asks. And this is a wonderful thing. One might argue that the only downside of nursing is that babies love it! and don't want to give mommy a break.

Before a bris, however, the problem is twofold.
A: Nursing during the bris is impossible - for obvious reasons.
B: The baby's system needs to be cleaned out in anticipation of the bris.

I assume I don't have to explain the first reason, so here is the explanation for reason "B."

The baby will be crying in a way he might not be consolable while the bris or bandage change is taking place, and if he happens to have recent food in his system, there is a good chance he'll spit it up. "Spitting up baby + crying and can't be moved due to position he is in when caring for his circumcision wound" is not an equation we want to deal with.

The best I can recommend if the 90 minute window does not work for you is to try to estimate how much time he can handle, so he'll be ready for a good feeding (nice and hungry) 15 minutes after the bris is scheduled to begin.

After the bris he can eat all he wants.

But it is not worth risking a spit up during the bris or when I am checking his bandage right after the bris. Choking baby is much worse than crying baby.

I hope you will agree.

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