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Arielle MacDonald holds her five-month-old son Liam in her arms, kissing his small, smiling face. She says she would do anything for him, including travelling four hours off-Island to get him a circumcision.MacDonald's family has a history of urinary tract infections and a circumcision procedure could help lower the risk of Liam developing those problems.There's just one problem: MacDonald has been unable to find a doctor on P.E.I. willing to perform the procedure."I'm enraged that I can't get it done in my own province," MacDonald said.The mom has been told that she will need to travel to Fredericton to get a circumcision done, meaning that both MacDonald and Liam's father will be required to take time off work, pay for bridge fare, gas, hotel and food for the night.That cost is in addition to paying for the procedure itself, which MacDonald said will be $625."I don't care that I have to pay for the circumcision procedure, I care that I can't get it done in my own province," MacDonald said.Risks in travellingMacDonald is also worried about the journey itself, which will mean many stops along the four-hour drive following the procedure."Once a circumcision is done you have to watch for the bleeding and infection. So you do have to check their diaper every half hour," she said.The province doesn't keep track of any doctors who perform circumcisions on P.E.I.In a statement to CBC News, Health PEI said it follows the lead of the Canadian Paediatric Society, which does not recommend the procedure."The decision whether or not to perform this procedure is up to the individual physician. Health PEI does not help arrange this procedure," it wrote.Benefits don't outweigh the risksAccording to the Canadian Paediatric Society, reducing the risk of a urinary tract infection is just one of the benefits of the procedure.On its website it writes that circumcised males have a lower risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease and developing penile cancer. It also reduces the risk of cervical cancer in any female partners.But the CPS said it doesn't recommend the procedure because the risks outweigh the benefits. Those risks include complications during the procedure affecting a man's pain tolerance later in life. It also writes that a circumcision "has lifelong consequences and is performed on a child who cannot give consent" and that "interventions should be deferred until the individual concerned is able to make their own choices."An option not everyone can affordBut MacDonald argues the decision should be left to individual parents and the procedure should be made available in every province. "If you don't want to circumcise your son that is your choice. You can leave that option up to your son when he reaches adulthood if he wants to be circumcised or not," she said.MacDonald said she would prefer to have Liam circumcised as a baby so he won't remember the pain of the procedure."Every adult male that I've spoken to that's over the age of 45 that had to get this procedure done ... wishes that their parents would have done them as an infant," she said.That's why on Tuesday, MacDonald will be making the trip to Fredericton, but said she plans to keep advocating for access to circumcisions on P.E.I."I'm doing this for the people that can't afford the trip and want to get their son done but they can't and they don't have any other option," she said. "I don't think that's right." More P.E.I. news
Workout queen Kayla Itsines was shamed on Instagram for her postpartum look. (Photo: Getty Images) Australian personal trainer Kayla Itsines has motivated millions of people to get in shape and feel good about themselves. Two months after giving birth to her first baby, followers are body-shaming the model for her postpartum body. On Thursday Itsines, 28, posted a shot of herself wearing a sports bra and bicycle shorts, sharing her excitement for getting back into her workout routine.
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Growing up together in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, twins Christina and Chris Meeko rode bikes together and graduated high school at the same time.Now 29, the sister and brother have had babies — in different communities — one hour apart on the same day, May 30."That was so amazing, we didn't ever expect anything like this," said Sarah Meeko, Chris and Christina's mother.Chris's daughter Leah Naulalik was born at 11 a.m. with the help of a midwife in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, and Christina's twin girls Makaila and Brianna were born at 12 and 12:15 p.m. in a hospital in Winnipeg.Kelly Naulalik, Chris's girlfriend, was due May 26, and Christina wasn't due until June 9, but ended up delivering early."We couldn't sleep the day the babies were going to be born. Chris's mother-in-law messaged me a little after four in the morning telling me that Kelly went to [deliver] the baby," Sarah said.Sarah says a week on, the family is finally starting to settle down from the excitement, and she's hoping that she will finally get some sleep — though she's not so sure Christina will.She says she remembers raising twins being "hectic," but rewarding. "They did everything together. They were always together."For Christina she has this advice: "You have to be patient, and you have to do things one at a time, even if there's two of the babies."Twins in the familyChristina says she believes her twins are fraternal, because she can already tell them apart. She says they have unique face shapes and hairlines, and she's catching glimpses of their personalities.Makaila, who was born first, likes to eat a lot, while Brianna likes her sleep.Both Christina and her common-law partner Gordon Qavvik have twins in their families; her great-uncle even had triplets.Christina laughs when asked if the timing of the births was on purpose — it wasn't, but she says there are lots of kids in the family, some of whom are born in the same year.Christina still lives in Sanikiluaq, as does her sister Jennifer, but Chris has lived in Rankin Inlet for the last eight years.He has six kids and Christina has seven now with the twins. Her oldest son turns 10 this year."My oldest daughter was very excited. In school, she would always talk about that she was expecting two babies and in all her colouring, she would draw two little babies along with the rest of her siblings and us all together," Christina said.Chris and Kelly were supposed to get married in July, but decided to postpone when they found out they were expecting, so the wedding will be rescheduled for later this year.Christina says she hopes the family will all be able to get together for the occasion and she will be able to meet baby Leah.