One of the most persuasive parts of the book, to me, discussed the positive role of multiple births and nursing multiple babies on female physiology. (It does not discuss the increased medical risks of having multiple births, c-sections, etc., just the natural order of women's bodies and the way we are programmed.)
Romans 9:19-20 asks, "Who art thou that disputed against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?" In other words, who are we to argue with the way God made our bodies to function?
More statistics are constantly proving that the more a mother breastfeeds, the less likelihood she has of getting breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or even fibroids and endometriosis.
"Malcolm Pike of the Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, 'the epidemic rates of breast and other female cancers on a afact of modern life: The average American woman starts menstruating at age 12 and typically gives birth to one or two infants. Pike estimates she will ovulate a whopping 450 times during her lifetime. By contrast , a woman who lived even 200 years ago would have started menstruating at age 17 and would have delivered and breastfed eight babies. Thus our foremothers ovulated fewer than 150 times in their lives. Pike argues that pregnancy and lactation provide crucial resting period for the ovaries, the female sex glands that produce not only eggs, but also several powerful hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. Each month, a woman's body readies itself for pregnancy. The ovaries secrete estrogen and progesterone, which tell the breast cells to begin dividing in preparation for milk production. In years past, women went through this cycle less frequently because they were more often either pregnant of breastfeeding.'"
"'The Tania women of Hong Kong, who traditionally only nurse with their right breast, have more cancer in their left breast' (Mark Renneker, M.D., Understanding Cancer)."
"A recent CASH study involving about nine-thousand women revealed that the women with the least breast cancer were those who had the most children and thus a longer breastfeeding experience. CASH researcher Peter Layde, M.D., reports that women who breastfed a total of two years of more had nearly a third less breast cancer than women who did not breast feed."
For more on breastfeeding God's way, I was personally swayed by this article which gives eight solid reasons supporting the essential and nurturing reasons to breastfeed babies...and the more the better! :)
The other point made in the book is that the constant ups and downs of a monthly cycle can and will be averted by giving the ovaries and the hormones they produce when not pregnant or nursing, a much needed break. The average break I get from menses is about 16-17 months. Although pregnancy comes with its own tiredness and sometimes nausea, for me, this is a break from the monthly misery of PMS, cramps, etc. I adore this time of rest and I am a MUCH better mother when I am pregnant and/or nursing. I attribute this to many physiological factors with which God blessed mothers.
The segment below is also from Nancy Campbell's writings, which can be found here.
This hormone, which is released by the pituitary gland, is the hormone that stimulates the mother's letdown or milk-ejection reflex (the tingly sensation you feel when the milk lets down). This is a wonderful hormone that has a calming effect upon the mother. Every time the milk 'lets down' she experiences a feeling of relaxation and calm and sometimes sleepiness comes over her. God is good. When we do things His way, we get His benefits. He knows that mothers need this calming hormone and He has graciously provided it for us.
I am not a calm person by nature, but after nursing my babies for many years, the continual release of oxytocin had a major calming effect upon my whole personality. The more children I had, the more I noticed it. Many mothers notice an increase in tension after weaning their babies. My daughter, who is very similar to me, is now nursing her baby and we see this calming effect upon her. My other daughters look on and say, 'Mother, that 'relaxin' (as they have nicknamed the hormone) sure works, doesn't it?'
A dear young mother who I know very well had just given birth to her third baby when her husband had an accident with very serious head injuries. They didn't think he would live through the night, but with prayer he did. The doctors then said that if he lived he would be a vegetable. It was a traumatic time for this young wife. Well-wishing friends advised her to wean her baby because it would be too much for her to cope with, especially as she had to drive an hour and a half to the city each day to visit her husband. But her wise mother encouraged her to continue nursing. Every day she went to the hospital, taking her baby with her, and continued to nurse her through the long difficult months. It turned out to be her greatest blessing. The hormone oxytocin helped to keep her calm through all this time. By the way, I should tell you the end of the story. Because of the prayers of God's people across the world, this husband, who they said would be a vegetable, is alive today and doing well - and they have since had two more children.
A study cited by Dr. Niles Newton, Professor of Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University of Chicago says 'mothers who were exclusively breastfeeding their infants had higher levels of oxytocin during feedings than mothers who were breastfeeding and giving formula supplements.'
Randee Romano writes about a study, which 'indicates that the secretion of oxytocin is a conditioned response, meaning that a mother's body may produce oxytocin in response to familiar sights, sounds, or activities, not just from the direct stimulation of breastfeeding. In a small sample of nursing mothers, all showed an increase in oxytocin before the baby was put to breast. This will not surprise mothers who feel their milk let down when their babies cry. In fact, half of the women in the study experienced this. An increase in oxytocin levels was also measured in 30 percent of the mothers when their babies became restless and in 20 percent of the women as they were preparing to nurse.'
Oxytocin is known as the 'hormone of love'. Dr. Niles Newton says, 'Oxytocin also triggers nurturing behaviour.... Both men and women release oxytocin with orgasm. Married couples, after lovemaking, and nursing mothers, after breastfeeding, all reported lower levels of anxiety and depression than a group of mothers surveyed after a bottle-feeding. Even eating triggers oxytocin release, which is another reason to share family mealtimes.'"
Lastly, on this particular issue, I read what initially seemed awfully harsh to me, that women who delay pregnancy are more prone to have endometriosis or "career woman's disease." Studies reveal that women who bear their first child before age twenty-two are less likely to develop this disease and ovarian cancer as well. God knows this and says in Psalm 127:4, "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth." Interesting.
Saved by Childbearing:
1 Timothy 2:14-15 says, 'Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgresson. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and love and holiness with sobriety."
childbearing=teknogonia in this instance
gonia=root word "gen"--"to beget"
Vine's says it "denotes bearing children, implying the duties of motherhood." This means more than clhildbirth, but rather a career in childbearing...
The "saving" referenced in this scripture is not the salvation from sin, but salvation from deception. Women will be saved from getting into deception and from being lured away from thsir divine destiny, if they continue to walk in the role of motherhood God planned for them...if they continue to view motherhood and childbearing as their career.
Now honestly, I know there are many questions begged by this post. But, let me reiterate, this is only one tiny section of this book that initially began the persuasion process in my heart. There is SO MUCH MORE! And many of those questions lurking in your head like, "What about finances? What about people having babies that are poor and uneducated? What about all those people who are drug addicts and abusive?" All those things are discussed or at least addressed.
And, I am quite sure, though Nancy Campbell might adore the praise and publicity, that she does not want me cutting and pasting her whole book here. So, tomorrow, I will pick up with her answers to the financial concerns this culture has with "big families." And then, I think I will leave it to you to read further yourself and pray about what you have read.
Although I feel peaceful with only four children in our home, there is something still tugging at my heart after reading this book...something very real, and very intense. I am so curious what other believers would think after reading it themselves.
If nothing else, this book has really made me think. And I like that. I hope this post is making you think too. Blessings!