Background: We sought to look at whether early circumcision is associated with a decreased duration of breastfeeding. We compared circumcised infants to their uncircumcised siblings, to control for religious, cultural, and socioeconomic factors associated with circumcision that may affect breastfeeding.
Purpose: To determine if early neonatal circumcision, done within the first 3 days of life, is associated with a decreased duration of breastfeeding.
Methods: Chart review was done on all in-hospital healthy breastfed males born within the past year at ≥37 weeks of gestation who were circumcised within the first 3 days of life and had at least one full-term sibling. Phone interviews were conducted to gather information about the infant’s older sibling. The primary outcome was the duration of breastfeeding of the circumcised infant and their sibling control (female or uncircumcised male). The paired samples t-test and chi-square test were used to determine statistically significant differences between duration of breastfeeding between subjects and controls.
Results: 98 circumcised male infants met inclusion criteria. Breastfeeding duration was lower for circumcised infants (16 ± 12 weeks) than for sibling controls (20 ± 12 weeks), p=.034. Circumcised infants were less likely to breastfed for 4-6 months (49% vs. 71%) and less likely to breastfeed for at least 6 months (29% vs. 55%).
Conclusion: Early circumcision, within the first 3 days of life, may have a negative effect on the duration of breastfeeding. In our study, circumcised male infants had more than 4 fewer weeks of breastfeeding than their sibling controls.