PROMOTES HEALTHY INFANCY
(Investigator 51, 1996 November)
The Old Testament states that Abraham’s
would become a great nation with a high population growth rate and low
disease rate. The New Testament also teaches that obedience to "God" is
related to health and happiness.
We can therefore search the Bible for
about staying healthy.
In separate and future articles I'll
(1) Psychological benefits of commands
and counsel given in the Bible and their connection to health;
(2) Foods favourably mentioned in the Bible.
In the current article I'll present a few of
the Bible clues to better health for mothers and babies.
In the time of Moses, Pharoah of Egypt
the death of every newborn Hebrew boy. The women gave birth using a
(Exodus chapter 1) This was related to rapid and vigorous births.
Even earlier, the maid of Rachel, wife of
Jacob, gave birth in a sitting position. (Genesis 30:3)
In contrast most modern women gave birth
lying on their back. In 1986 the German periodical Der Spiegel
this, "The second stupidest position after standing on your head." (No.
43 pp. 5, 278-288)
The high proportion of caesarian
(10% in some hospitals) was related to using this "stupid"
The book Health Medicine and the Human Body (B Dixon 1986) has
photo of a woman giving birth in a sitting position and explains,
doctors are encouraging positions for birth that enable gravity to help
There was much use of birth-stools in
in the Middle Ages. Women in many African and New Guinea tribes give
in a squatting or sitting position. However, my aim is to emphasize the
Bible and failure to employ clues to health given therein.
Breast-feeding of infants in the Western
World seemed on its way out in 1970. Many mothers regarded it as a
"Some obstetricians actively advocate
feeding because breast feeding mothers take up too much of their time
follow-up consultations." (1970 December 1)
The Bible all the way through is positive
about breast-feeding up to the age of four or five. The apostle Peter
approval by using it as an analogy for salvation:
"Like newborn babes, long for the pure
spiritual milk, that by it you may grow to salvation." (1 Peter 2:2)
After 1970 the tide turned. For example:
"The increase of breast feeding has
a 40 year trend of declining figures in Australia.
annual report of the Director of
Maternal and Child Welfare in Victoria, Dr Elizabeth Wilmot shows a 50
per cent increase over four years for mothers who breast feed their
up to the age of three months." (The
News 1976, June 2)
In the 1990s breast feeding of babies is
and often seen in public. Breast-fed babies develop faster, and are
Human milk kills certain parasites which cause disease in the digestive
system. The nipple stimulation in the mother reduces chances of future
My article The Bible, Science and Sex
Relationships (investigator 48) demonstrated the health benefits
pyschological benefits of abstaining from pre-marital sex. Problems not
there discussed included those of unwanted pregnancies.
Recently The Advertiser reported: "nearly
two-thirds of teenage
in South Australia ended with abortions last year." (1996 October 12,
"Just one abortion significantly
women’s risk of developing breast cancer, a study of 40 years of
evidence has found." (The Advertiser 1996 October 12 p.14)
The report cited the Journal of Epidemiology
and Community Health and went on:
"The annual 800,000 first-time
in the United States would produce an extra 24,500 cases of breast
not attributable to other causes, said the authors, led by City
of New York’s Professor Joel Brind."
(1996 October 12, p.14)
The few comments in the Bible about the
imply that to kill them is to kill a human being. (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm
139:13-16; Luke 1:44; Exodus 21:22-25)
Mary, the mother of Jesus, wrapped the
Jesus in "swaddling cloths". (Luke 2:7, 12) That swaddling is of
is also implied in Ezekiel 16:4 and Lamentations 2:22.
Desmond Morris wrote:
"Recently the matter was examined
with both swaddled and unswaddled babies checked for discomfort by sets
of sensitive instruments. The conclusions were that swaddling did in
make the babies less fretful, as shown by reduced heartbeat rate,
rate and crying frequency. Sleep, on the other hand, was increased."
(Intimate Behaviour 1971, Corgi Books, p.
The article Biblical Values Promote
World (Investigator 41) showed the value the Bible placed on
and that this was at odds with the popular, ancient, practice of
One source there referred to said:
"It was this Hebrew view of the
of human life, passing through the medium of Christianity into the
world, that finally destroyed the monstrous evil of infanticide."
(Castle, E B 1961 Ancient Education And
Today, Penguin p. 169)
then, are some of the clues and
in the Bible which make for better health to infants and mothers.
defends the Bible on this website: