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So You Want to Have a Christian Childbirth?

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Working with your body, your baby and God

I get interesting looks from people when they learn that I write books about Christian Childbirth.  I will admit, “Christian Childbirth” is not a household word.  So it does not surprise me that people do not understand what I mean when I use the term.  If you are wondering what I mean, let me tell you I do not use the term Christian Childbirth to mean:

  • unassisted childbirth with only a guitar playing husband and hymn singing mother-to-be in attendance;
  • refusing to use medication because women are supposed to feel pain during labor according to Eve’s curse;
  • denying pain is a part of childbirth because women have been redeemed from eve’s curse;
  • encouraging the mother to be a good Christian and follow all doctor’s orders to keep the peace;
  • only involving other strong Chrsitian’s to be a part of the birth experience.

You see, when I use the term Christian Childbirth, I don’t mean anything specific the family does or does not do during the labor.  I do not mean anything specific about where the labor takes place or who is in attendance.  I do not mean anything about the degree of physical comfort or discomfort the mother feels.  When I use the term Christian Childbirth, I mean a family who purposefully uses the unique time of childbearing to mature in their Christian faith, to grow closer to Christ.

So if you want to have a Christian childbirth, understand that you can achieve that at home, in a birth center or a hospital.  You can use every natural comfort measure, use an epidural or not feel any pain.  You can have an easy labor, or have an emergency cesarean surgery.  You can be alone, or invite all your family.  You can use a doctor, a midwife or have an unassisted birth.  You can refuse things that are offered to you, or accept the suggestions of others.

Any of these things can happen because what makes it a Christian birth is not what you do but why.  If, during your pregnancy and labor, you are seeking the wisdom of God and purposefully growing closer to him you are having a Christian childbirth.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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