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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Private Room

In a bris that takes place outside of one's home, it is important for a room to be set aside for the mother and baby, for before and after the bris. In advance of the bris, many mothers find it advantageous to have their own space, a little peace and quiet, and a chance to mentally prepare for the bris.

In addition, the mohel appreciates the opportunity to speak with the mother without interruption (and the father, when he is there too), and to prepare the baby for the bris in whatever manner he feels is necessary. I do a non-invasive preparation that consists of cleaning the baby with alcohol, marking the edge of his foreskin with a surgical marker and swadding his legs in a receiving blanket.

After the  bris, the room comes in handy in keeping the baby away from the admiration of friends and family who don't "get it." It is also very helpful in any post-bris checkings or monitorings that need to take place. I, for example, always like to see how the circumcision looks, and I change the bandage immediately after the ceremony is over.

As this last procedure might take a few minutes, and mostly because the baby cries during this time, it is best that it all take place in the private room. Additionally, a nursing mother will want to feed her baby after the bris, to soothe and comfort him and to give him the feeding he is ready for as he hasn't eaten for close to two hours. Having a private room is advantageous to giving you the space you need to bond with baby, without the interruptions others may bring - even if they are "only trying to help."

What is the Private Room?
It is either the rabbi's office or the synagogue office (both in a synagogue), the caterer's or manager's office (perhaps a synagogue or a restaurant). It might be the bridal room in a place that sometimes hosts weddings as well.
It will typically have a table or desk and a chair or two, which is ample enough for mother's needs and mohel's needs.

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