The Effect of Circumcision on Exclusive Breastfeeding, Phototherapy, and Hospital Length of Stay in Term Breastfed Newborns

Hosp Pediatr. 2020 Jun;10(6):516-522. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2019-0270.


Background and objectives: Little is known about the effect of circumcision on breastfeeding in the hours and days after the procedure. Factors with the potential to negatively impact breastfeeding success in the newborn period may result in higher rates of jaundice requiring phototherapy and formula supplementation, both of which can potentially extend the length of initial hospitalization. Our objective was to determine the impact of circumcision on rates of exclusive breastfeeding, neonatal jaundice requiring phototherapy, and length of stay at hospital discharge immediately after birth.

Methods: Term male newborn infants whose mothers intended to exclusively breastfeed were included in this retrospective cohort. Bivariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression modeling were used to evaluate target behaviors, comparing infant boys who were circumcised with those who were uncircumcised.

Results: Of the 1109 breastfed male newborns included, 846 (76.6%) were circumcised. There was no significant effect of circumcision status or circumcision timing on the rate of in-hospital formula supplementation. There were no differences in peak bilirubin levels, phototherapy requirement, or length of hospital stay for male newborns based on circumcision status.

Conclusions: Circumcision did not affect the rate of exclusive breastfeeding, neonatal jaundice, phototherapy requirement, or length of hospital stay in this retrospective analysis of breastfed male newborns.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Circumcision, Male*
  • Female
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Formula
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Phototherapy
  • Retrospective Studies