The previous post that spoke of the church’s avoidance of pain, relating it to the subject of childbirth where so many women today are encouraged by obstetricians to use spinal blocks, pain medications, and even to give birth by caesarean section, struck a chord with many female readers of the blog, eliciting some insightful responses. Following are a few of the comments received.
Dear Pastor Herrin,
Your series Push Back has been a real eye opener. Yesterday I read an article about how gay rights activists use the African-American civil rights movement as their inspiration, they were influential in keeping a well-known gospel artist Donnie McClurkin from performing at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington because he is vocal about how God delivered him from homosexuality and that it was a sin. The boldness and unapologetic way he stood up for Christ and your recent posts have ministered to me. I have struggled with a sodomite spirit since I was a child. I was exposed to pornography by my birth parents starting at the age of 2 and I was molested by a church member’s relative when I was 7. Because of the pornography and molestation I became promiscuous at an early age. I struggled with lesbianism until Yahweh sent my Godmother to teach me the Biblical teachings of Yahweh and I admit I caused her great pain. Even though she didn’t birth me in the natural, she birthed me in the spirit.
Your series Push Back has been especially forcing me to grow and deal with some things in the spirit that I have avoided because the pain has been so great and I have tried to avoid my issues. When I gave birth to my daughter, my gynecologist was a lesbian. I wanted to give birth naturally, but because my daughter was two weeks late I was induced. I had an epidural because I didn’t think I could handle the pain. After my epidural, I developed a fever of 102 and had an infection which led to my daughter’s heart rate going high which led to my cervix swelling shut, which led me to have an emergency C-section. When my daughter was born she had a fever and had to be on antibiotics for 2 days. I was unable to breast feed her because I was on antibiotics and pain medication because of my C-section. Afterwards, no one told me that I lost a lot of blood during my C-section and that an epidural puts your bowels to sleep. I didn’t have bowel sounds or movement for six days. My colon started to die and I became extremely sick. I had to have emergency surgery where they found 4 perforations in my large intestine, they found that parts of my colon had died and other parts were starting to die and was leaking bile into my stomach. I spent 6 days in ICU (including my 29th birthday), I had to have an ileostomy (which was reversed 4 months later) and I was never able to breast feed because of the powerful drugs I had to take, not to mention the financial toll it has taken on my family. I know that I have to deal with these issues and allow healing to take place. I used birth control and the morning after pill in the past, all these I have never dealt with until I read your series. It has provided so much hope and correction and delivering me from things that I have held onto because I felt that they are too painful to deal with, but I know that there are people like you, Donnie McClurkin, gcmwatch.com, and other ministries that speak the truth and encourage the saints to seek Yahweh and that Yahweh has the power to heal and deliver. Thank-you Pastor Herrin.
A Sister in Christ
I can totally relate to this post. I have two girls and my first one was born in a hospital and the second was a home birth. The difference was night and day. While researching for my home birth I learned the exact same things that you stated about the part of hormones during labor, and that was so amazing. I think one of the other ways that fear of the pain of childbirth is so great is from the flood of lies in the world through media. Movies and TV shows over-dramatize the labor experience as a situation that people have to freak out about. Spiritually from my experience, it was a wonderful time to fully lean on the Father for everything and trust in the fact that He provided me with everything to bring my child into the world. Now I am working on having that mindset everyday and it seemed so much easier to be in that place in labor than it is not being in labor!
This series has been very enlightening. I wanted to share my experience regarding natural birth. I have only one son, born through a C-section I wasn’t counting on. I was given the drug to stimulate contractions because I had none, which was excruciatingly painful, so much so that I couldn’t hardly push and made it even worse. It took four+ hours of that pain without the pain relief of the epidural (at the end I was begging for it!) until the monitoring showed the heartbeats of my baby were not right and the C-section was decided.
After the birth, the baby just didn’t latch to my breast, he just kept crying and sleeping, sleeping and crying, and I had no colostrum or milk for days. The worst thing they did at the clinic was hand me a baby bottle with formula. My son never wanted the breast again! Of course I only learned about the side effects of the epidural AFTER the birth.
If I had to live through this again, I would reject the uterine stimulants and pray for the contractions to come naturally and I would try not to get the epidural shot unless the doctor said a C-section was absolutely necessary (if my baby’s life was at risk).
These testimonies reveal the powerful influence that society has upon the church. It is hard to conceive of a more important event in the life of a woman than giving birth to children. Yet, in this matter the church follows the pattern of the world, and the counsel of medical practitioners. Birthing children is often done for the convenience of the doctors involved, rather than with the health of the mother and baby in mind. Women are “scheduled” to be induced to begin labor at a time when it is most convenient for a doctor and medical staff. The woman is placed flat on her back with her legs in the stirrups so that she will be positioned for the obstetrician’s convenience. There are numerous natural birthing positions for the woman, but they are not as convenient for the attending physician.
Some Natural Birth Positions
One website relates the following information.
It amazes me everyday to see and hear about women who lay flat on their back while giving birth!
Sadly, though it’s not their fault – it’s what they’re TOLD TO DO! Seriously, it goes against basic anatomy!!! …
You see our birth canal is actually shaped like a “J” … not a straight line… The baby doesn’t just slide straight down and out. It comes down, then up and over the pelvis.
Look at the picture carefully and you’ll understand how that works. Actually, it seems utterly crazy to lay flat on your back with your legs up – expecting the baby to come out at all!
In fact, choosing to lie on your back as your main childbirth positions closes up your pelvic area by about 30%.
Plus if you think about it – you’ll also have gravity working against you. This means when you’re trying to push bub out, you’re pushing down and then UP before he comes out – Can anyone say CRAZY!!!!!
A woman lying on her back to give birth makes delivery far more difficult for her and the baby. Why then is this the common way women in the Western world give birth? It is because it is the most convenient position for the attending physician. He/she can stand up straight. He/she doesn’t have to bend over, or get down on his/her knees. To do so would be undignified for one who is a “professional” caregiver, and usually one of the more affluent and educated members of society.
If you think about it, almost all non-emergency procedures done in a hospital are performed at the convenience of the medical staff. It is little wonder that so many doctors recommend that their patients are either induced, or give birth via C-section. The incidence of C-section in the United States was 4.5% of all births in 1965, when rates were first measured. The rate reached 32.8% in 2010 and 2011. That is nearly a third of all births. This is insanity. Cutting open a woman’s abdomen to deliver a baby is major surgery. The inner body is exposed to all manner of infectious elements, and fever resulting from an infection is a common result.
A woman receiving an epidural early on in labor dramatically increases the chance that she will have a C-section. Some studies have been done on the reason that C-sections have increased so dramatically, and one of the factors cited is for the convenience and profitability of the doctor.
Incentives to practice in a manner that is efficient for providers
Many health professionals are feeling squeezed by tightened payments for services and increasing practice expenses. The flat “global fee” method of paying for childbirth does not provide any extra pay for providers who patiently support a longer vaginal birth. Some payment schedules pay more for cesarean than vaginal birth. Even when payment is similar for both, a planned cesarean section is an especially efficient way for professionals to organize their hospital work, office work and personal life. Average hospital payments are much greater for cesarean than vaginal birth, and may offer hospitals greater scope for profit.
Despite such policies being a violation of the Hippocratic Oath, whose primary tenet is “First, do no harm,” physicians are performing alarming numbers of these surgical procedures to the great detriment of mother and child.
As was mentioned in the previous post, there are a great many chemical interchanges between mother and baby during labor and delivery when it occurs naturally. There are numerous biological and mental/emotional benefits as the mother experiences the pain of childbirth, and then experiences the joy of seeing a child enter the world.
A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
This is a profound matter, going all the way back to the third chapter of Genesis where Yahweh declared that pain in childbirth would be the experience of the woman in this world. It is a serious issue for Christian women to seek to alter the natural order established by God. They do so to their own detriment, and to the detriment of their children.
Although I am unable to locate a study on the issue, the rise in the incidence of C-sections parallels the rise of homosexuality in America. Before you roll your eyes, and declare that I have truly gone crazy, I ask you to consider this matter prayerfully. Beginnings are a very important time in the life of an individual. Seemingly small alterations from the normal order of things at the beginning of a matter can manifest in large ways later in life. I am NOT suggesting that C-sections are wholly responsible for the parallel increase in homosexual behavior. Nor am I stating that everyone who was born by C-section will succumb to homosexual sin. What I would suggest is that Satan works along many lines, and that the increase in birth interventions, including pain relieving procedures and C-sections, have played a part in making a generation susceptible to gender confusion.
Certainly the outpouring of pro-homosexual propaganda by the government and the media bears a lot of responsibility for the increase of same sex attraction. Yet, Satan will wage an assault along numerous fronts in order to achieve his purposes. One of the fronts along which Satan has attacked is designed to erode away the profound gender identity of the woman as a mother and nurturer that is deeply rooted in the soul of a child that experiences natural childbirth and is nursed by their mother. By replacing natural childbirth with unnatural medical interventions, and then further disrupting the bond between mother and child by reducing, or eliminating breastfeeding, the gender distinctiveness, and feminine role of the mother, fails to solidify in the child’s mind.
There are many things passed between the mother and child during labor and birthing. That which is communicated between mother and child is both physical, pertaining to the human body, as well as mental and emotional, pertaining to the soul. On the physical level, that which is passed between mother and child includes hormones such as oxytocin. Wikipedia contains the following statement.
Oxytocin plays roles in sexual reproduction, in particular during and after childbirth. It is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor, facilitating birth, maternal bonding, and, after stimulation of the nipples, breastfeeding. Both childbirth and milk ejection result from positive feedback mechanisms.
Notice that it is stated that oxytocin is released in large amounts AFTER the distension of the cervix and uterus during labor. Due to medical interventions, such as C-sections, many women never experience this release of oxytocin. The mother’s blood supply is tied to the baby through the umbilical cord. Whatever is released into her blood is consequently passed to the child during labor.
Conversely, if these beneficial hormones are hindered from being released to the woman, the baby is affected. Little consideration has been given by the medical profession to understand how the presence of pain in labor produces positive consequences for both mother and child. It is assumed that pain is negative and to be avoided, but this is not true. When Yahweh pronounced His judgment upon the woman in Genesis chapter 3, He was telling her what would be the natural course of bringing new life into the world. All things have been designed by Yahweh with purpose. When humanity seeks to circumvent Yahweh’s they introduce chaos and disorder.
In 2003, Lisa Diamond, PhD had an article posted in Psychological Review, where she sets forth a model for sexual attraction that involves the hormone oxytocin. A reviewer of her study states:
Sexual desire is driven by the gonadal hormones of estrogens and androgens. Animal research indicates that attachment is mediated by the neuropeptide oxytocin…
“Attachment,” another way of describing bonding and attraction between individuals, is “mediated,” by oxytocin. Understanding that oxytocin plays a large role in shepherding a person’s attachment to other individuals, both male and female, is it not proper to question what effect occurs when a mother and her baby do not experience one of the greatest releases of this hormone that one can know in life, a release that is triggered by the pain of labor and the experience of natural childbirth? What effect does this deprivation of oxytocin have on the child? Studies have shown that a baby born to a mother who used some form of pain medication, or who was birthed by C-section, will have difficulty bonding with its mother, and nursing may become problematic.
How many Christian women today are feeding their infants formula instead of breast milk? What are the consequences of doing so? Every decision a Christian makes bears consequences. The Bible states:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
If a woman interferes with the natural bond between mother and baby, whether her child be a daughter or a son, the consequences later on in life can be immense. Breastfeeding is about much more than passing nutrients to the child. There is a familial bond being formed. An image of the woman/mother is formed in the mind of the child as one who is nurturing, life-giving, and protective. Gender roles are being developed as the mother establishes a pattern of femininity in the eyes of her nursing children. The following insightful statements are found on an Internet website.
In the Book of Ruth, a Jewish woman, Naomi, experiences the loss of her two adult sons, both of whom die childless. One of her daughters-in-law, the Moabite Ruth, remarries a relative of her late husband and has a son named Obed. Because Naomi has left no biological descendants, however, she adopts Obed as her own; the neighbours even declare, “There is a son born to Naomi.” To cement the mother-child bond, Naomi [takes] the child and [lays] it in her bosom and [becomes] nurse unto it.
Now one might wonder how Naomi could nurse a baby when she had presumably borne her last child decades earlier. This occurred through a process called relactation, whereby a woman’s breast can be stimulated by a child’s sucking to produce milk again years after giving birth. In some poor countries today grandmothers may nurse a grandchild if the baby’s mother dies. Even in the modern United States , feminist sociologist Pauline Bart – who is Jewish herself – writes of having milk reappear in her breasts after suckling her granddaughter.
The idea of various women in a family sharing the duty of nursing a child may appear abnormal to people in western cultures, but this merely reveals how far society has deviated from that which God views as normal and healthy behavior. What is abnormal is going down to your local Walmart and purchasing a case of infant formula whose major ingredients are likely to be corn syrup solids, some derivative of highly processed cow’s milk, and a variety of vegetable oils. Another common ingredient is cupric (copper) sulfate. The government lists cupric sulfate as a hazardous material. It is used as a pesticide. The Material Safety Data Sheet for this chemical says, “Do not ingest” also warning that it is a carcinogen (causes cancer). Yet this chemical is included in the list of ingredients for most of the mass produced infant formulas. For more information on the deleterious effects of infant formula, and the benefits of breastfeeding, see the following links.
The act of an infant suckling at its mother’s breast causes a release of oxytocin in the mother, which in turn releases milk from the breast. Oxytocin is passed from mother to child through breast milk. It is the effect oxytocin has upon an individual that makes it so beneficial in establishing gender identity and the nurturing, comforting, protecting persona of the mother. Oxytocin is a “feel good” hormone. It has been described by many as the “trust hormone” because it engenders a sense of trust between individuals when it is expressed. Oxytocin is a “bonding” hormone, as it fosters a sense of oneness with the individual a person is with when it is manifested.
Take away the interchange of chemicals and hormones produced by natural childbirth, and rob a child of the experience of nursing at its mother’s breast for a normal period of time, and there are bound to be consequences. In the Bible, women weaned their children at a much older age than most women do today, usually after 2-3 years of breastfeeding. It is uncommon to hear of a woman who nurses her child past one year of age today, and many do not make it nearly that long. The number of women who have forsaken homemaking to pursue a job, or career outside the home, makes nursing their children impractical. Many children are given infant formula from the time of birth, never experiencing the health producing benefits of nursing at their mother’s breast. What is perhaps even worse, is the gender confusion that results when the mother does not present herself as the role model God intended her to be.
There is a growing trend for men to be stay-at-home caregivers, and the responsibilities for nurturing the children are increasingly being shared among parents. What is being patterned in the child’s mind when the father is holding the child and feeding it formula through a bottle? Such behavior was unknown in the Bible. A child received milk from the woman’s breast. If a mother had problems providing milk, or the mother died or was absent for some reason, another lactating woman would be sought out to nurse the child. This is what occurred when Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby Moses. She sought out a Hebrew woman to nurse the child, not knowing that the woman selected was Moses’ own mother.
A study conducted in 2011 by Statistics Canada reported that men now account for 12 percent of stay at home parents. The change has been swift. The same report stated that in the 1970s one in a hundred stay at home parents were men. Today that number is one in eight. (Source below.)
To their own hurt, the church has failed to contemplate the consequences of departing from the divinely established order while conforming themselves to the ways of a world that lies in spiritual darkness. The role of being a keeper at home was assigned by God to the woman.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home…
Without a doubt there are many factors that have contributed to the gender confusion present in society today. Christians, however, are not without responsibility. When the church conforms itself to the ways of the world, they are opening the door for a world of ills to enter. It is needful for those who fear the Lord to stop what they are doing, and to begin examining all of their life decisions carefully. All things need to be tested, even those decisions that seem totally insignificant.
As I look back upon my years of being a young father, and I consider the decisions and actions I made, there are many things I regret. I wish I would have been more aware of the consequences of every life decision. I regret that I did not seek the counsel of Yahweh in every decision, both large and small. As a minister whom Christ has appointed as a teacher to His body, I desire to spare others from similarly having the experience of looking back on their past with regret.
I had no teachers in the church to tell me that I should seek God about the method of childbirth I should recommend to my wife. I had no one to explain to us the ill effects of institutionalized childbirth, or the benefits of natural childbirth. There was no influence exerted by the body of Christ to cause us to consider our ways carefully. Life seemed to be separated into spiritual and secular realms. Pregnancy and birthing children was viewed as part of the secular realm. Counsel was sought from medical professionals instead of God. What folly!
I believe that many of those who have fallen prey to homosexual temptations and desires in this hour were rendered more susceptible by the decisions their parents unwittingly made years earlier. This does not absolve the individual practicing homosexuality of responsibility. Rather, it suggests that there are others who also share responsibility. I am reminded of the following words of Christ.
“And that servant who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few.”
Ignorance does not absolve one of culpability. God’s people should inquire of Him about His will in all things. Did you do evil in ignorance? It was still evil, and evil affects the lives of others. If there is one thing I would say to Christians in light of these things, it is “Consider your ways!” We need to STOP, and INQUIRE of Yahweh before we ACT.
There is an account given in the book Joshua, chapter 9, of a group of people who lived within the land of Canaan. They heard of the fame of Israel, and heard of their conquest of other peoples and cities. These people feared that they too would be wiped out by Israel, so they used deception to secure their deliverance.
These citizens of the city of Gibeon put on old clothes. They put patched wineskins on their donkeys. They carried with them moldy bread and provisions. They made it appear as if they had traveled a long journey of many weeks, or months, to reach Joshua and the elders of Israel. They then asked Israel to make a covenant of peace with them. Joshua and the elders were fooled by the disguise, and they made a covenant to not destroy the people, believing that they came from a far distant land. Soon afterwards the deception was exposed, but the damage had been done. The covenant had to be kept.
Yahweh was seeking to teach His people an important lesson. They should have inquired of Him before acting. Yahweh would have exposed the lie. He would have told His people what to do, if only they had inquired. Christians today suffer many hurtful things because they do not seek Yahweh in all of their decisions. The answer may appear obvious to you. It may be something that you do not think requires deliberation. You need to inquire of God anyway.
There are many decisions you will make that will bear great consequences on the lives of your children. The most dangerous path is simply to go with the flow. It may seem to be the path of least resistance, but when the whole world is driving furiously toward moral collapse and a fiery judgment, it is unwise to follow them unheedingly. Question everything. Seek counsel daily from the Father.
A matter that seems so innocent as whether to follow a doctor’s prescribed advice for a pregnancy and birth may bear profound results for both your own life, and that of your child. Remember the reproach that is contained in Yahweh’s description of the life of King Asa.
II Chronicles 16:12
And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek Yahweh, but the physicians.
Of how many Christians can it be said that they did not seek Yahweh, but the physicians? Do not let this be the final testimony of your life.