Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about piercing a baby's ears.
A Pittsburgh Gazette reader recently wrote into the newspaper about her strong disapproval of babies getting their ears pierced. She called it borderline child abuse and compared ear piercing to getting a tattoo. The reader expressed that parents should let their children grow up and make their own decision about whether to poke permanent pinholes in their years.
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Does this woman have a point? Is it cruel to pierce a baby’s ears?
The answer from most pediatricians is no.
“Ear piercing is usually done without painkillers because the piercing itself hurts less than a shot of anesthetic would,” Dr. Meredith Goodwin told BabyCenter.
Dr. Goodwin says that the procedure is perfectly safe, especially when performed by a doctor with a sterilized needle. The guns used at shopping malls aren’t always sterilized and babies are at a risk of catching hepatitis from these.
Of course, there are other small risks after the piercing procedure. Infections can develop if the ears aren’t regularly cleaned.
Would I pierce my baby’s ears?
This is a personal question for me and all moms because the answer is rooted in cultural traditions, family history, your own mother’s beliefs.
In some cultures, it’s common for babies to get their ears punctured just as in some cultures boys are circumcised. In many Southeast Asian and South American countries the procedure is performed at the hospital the day after birth. The gold studs in the ears of a 3-month-old are viewed beautiful, charms of good luck.
Do these babies grow into women who hate their mothers for making the decision for them? “I have yet to meet a Latina or a woman who had her ears pierced as a baby that has told me they regret having pinholes in their ears and blame their parents for doing that to them,” Ana Flores wrote on her blog SpanglishBaby.
Keep reading for more about piercing babies' ears.