Why am I in better health than many other women who are about to be 40? Why do I feel as good as I did when I was 23? I am preserved through motherhood. Here is a great article about the details of how mothering restores, heals and rejuvenates a woman's body. This is by Nancy Campbell.
(By Nancy Campbell)
“I’m not going to have any more than two children. I don’t want my figure ruined.” “I’ve got my career. I’ve got more important things to do than stay home with children.” “I don’t want to nurse my baby; I don’t want to get sagging breasts.” The comments keep coming—women trying to preserve themselves from childbirth or any extra sacrifice to their womanhood.
But, in actuality, does this work? I am always challenged by the words of Jesus in Mark 8:35, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” It is an eternal law, that when we try to save our life we end up losing it.
And what about this lovely promise in 1 Timothy 2:15, NAS. “Women shall be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self restraint.” Every woman wants to be preserved. She wants her body to be preserved in good health, her figure to be in shape, and she wants to be preserved mentally and spiritually.
This world system feeds us lies. It pours out the reasons why women should not have too many babies. But God’s Word says we will be preservedthrough embracing motherhood and the bearing of children! A woman’s body was created for this task and her womanly functions atrophy when they are no longer used. The word “preserved” in 1 Timothy 2:15 is the Greek word, sozo. It means to be “protected, delivered, restored, saved and preserved.” I certainly want to be preserved in my womanliness, don’t you? Let’s discover some of the ways we are preserved.
We are Preserved Physically
Ovarian cancer is on the increase today. Twenty-two thousand women are diagnosed each year and 15,000 die of this cancer. One of the reasons is that women are cutting off childbearing. Pregnancy and breastfeeding provide a crucial resting period for the ovaries. Because of limiting their families, most women today are ovulating about 450 times during their life time instead of only about 150 times.
An article called, Timing of Pregnancy and the Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer states, “The accumulated evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that the risk of epithelial cancer of the ovary is strongly related to the number of ovulations throughout a woman’s reproductive life.” (2) Pregnancy hormones are beneficial to the ovaries. They help to clear precancerous cells from the epithelial lining of the ovary. Because older women will have accumulated more cells than younger women, pregnancy at an older age is also a blessing. (3) A case-controlled study revealed that women 30 years of age or older at the time of their last birth had approximately half the risk of women who completed childbearing before age 25 years. Another study reported a 60% increased risk of ovarian cancer among women who delivered their last birth before age 25 compared with women who delivered at an older age. (4)
The more children a mother has, the less risk of ovarian cancer.
Women who bear their first child before the age of 22 are less likely to develop ovarian cancer which again proves the Bible when it says, “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” (Psalm 127:4) Interestingly, a mother who gives birth to twins, or more, reduces her risk of ovarian cancer even more than a single pregnancy. (5)
Breast CancerBreast cancer is the most common malignancy in women. With every menstrual cycle, cells in the breast grow and divide and therefore have the possibility of accumulating mutations which could lead to breast cancer. Therefore, the longer a mother breastfeeds, the less likelihood of breast cancer. In The International Journal of Epidemiology it says that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 30 percent. (6)
David Bjerklie writes in Time Magazine, “An analysis of nearly 50 studies involving 150,000 women in 30 countries found that the number of children women bear and how long they breast-feed may help determine their chance of developing breast cancer. Women who had six or seven children and breast-fed each for two years had cancer rates less than half those of women who had two or three children and breast-fed them for only two months.” (7)
And what about your figure?
Breastfeeding helps you to get back into shape sooner, bringing you back to size by six weeks postpartum. And you use up to 500 calories a day while nursing! Isn’t that good? I loved all the years I was nursing babies. I didn’t have to worry about what I ate and I still stayed slim!
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
Do you feel sick when pregnant? It is the hormone, hCG, which is produced by the placenta to maintain the early stages of pregnancy. Don’t despair; try and smile for it is actually a blessing. When you feel lousy with morning sickness, remember that this hormone is helping you to prevent cancer. Johana Vanegas, M.D., a research associate at Fox Chase, revealed that rats exposed to hCG over a 21 day period (the length of rat pregnancy), are far less likely to develop breast cancer when exposed to a known carcinogen.
Estriol is a protective estrogen hormone. It is one of the three estrogens produced by the body—estrone, estradiol and estriol. During pregnancy the body produces up to 1,000 times more estriol to protect the mother and developing baby.
In one particular study, researchers compared estriol levels during pregnancy with breast cancer incidence 40 years later. Results revealed that of the 15,000 women who entered the study, those with the highest levels of estriol relative to other estrogens during pregnancy had the lowest cancer risk. As the relative level of estriol increased during pregnancy, risk of breast cancer decreased 40 years later. In fact, women with the highest level of estriol during pregnancy had 58% lower risk for breast cancer compared with women who had the lowest serum estriol levels. (8)
Estriol has also been shown to improve EAE, MS and collagen-induced arthritis. (9) It also has benefits for heart health, bone density and postmenopausal health.
Estriol, this wonderful pregnancy hormone, also has anti-aging properties. Manufacturers are now using estriol in face creams to reduce wrinkles, maintain skin firmness, elasticity and moisture content. This is just another proof of being preserved through motherhood. Every pregnancy will help your aging. I love this, don’t you?
Pregnancy can help heal the adrenals. I know a young mother who suffered with panic attacks because of going through a serious trial in her life. She feared getting pregnant again knowing she did not want to combine the traumatic panic attacks with pregnancy. Eventually, after much research she read that adrenal burn out could be remedied through pregnancy. She went ahead in faith, became pregnant and has not had a panic attack since. Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, page 252 quotes, “Pregnancy helps adrenal fatigue because the fetus produces a greater amount of natural adrenal hormones than the amount in the non-pregnant female.”
God is so good to the mother. He doesn’t give her a baby and say, “Here you are; now you can manage on our own.” Instead, He gives her two hormones to help her with mothering. Both oxytocin and prolactin are produced in the pregnant and nursing mother. Oxytocin is known by different names—the “love” hormone, the “cuddle” hormone and the “bonding” hormone. I love to call it the “calming” hormone. When the mother puts the baby to the breast and the milk lets down, she experiences a calming feeling come over her. Often she will fall to sleep on the job! This is such a wonderful boon to a mother, especially when she has a number of little children. I was not a calm and relaxed person when I started on the adventure of mother—the very opposite, in fact. But as I nursed my babies over the years, constantly being calmed by this God-given hormone, my personality changed. My daughters used to call it “relaxin” instead of “oxytocin.”
A dear young mother, who I know personally, gave birth to her third baby when her husband had an accident with very serious head injuries. It was touch-and-go for his life. 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, through the long difficult months, she took her nursing baby to the hospital with her. It turned out to be her greatest blessing. The hormone oxytocin helped reduce her stress levels during this trying ordeal.
Oxytocin is also released in love-making, touching and even eating together. I am sure we would see a lot more peace and contentment if families would sit together and fellowship for their family meals. It is interesting that studies reveal less domestic abuse in breastfeeding families. And few breastfed mothers suffer from postpartum depression.
Oxytocin also causes contraction of the uterus, which inhibits the risk of bleeding and promotes the return of the uterus to its original shape and size.
Prolactin, which is involved in milk production, also has a calming and sedating affect upon the mother. Prolactin increases with sucking stimulation. The more a mother nurses her baby, the more prolactin she produces and the more motherly she feels. An interesting study disclosed that when prolactin was injected into a rooster, he became clucky, gathering the little chickens under his wings. Researchers on animals in the wild show that while nursing, the mother will fight to death any intruder that would touch her young one. But once she has weaned, the young animal is left to fight for itself. This hormone binds the mother to the baby and causes her to be very motherly and protective.
Today many women are using biodentical hormones (not chemical HRT) to balance their hormones, to increase lacking libido, to feel good and to stop anti-aging. What are these hormones? They are the same hormones that increase amazingly in the pregnant woman—HGH (human grown hormone), estrogens, progesterone which increases one hundredfold and available testosterone which increases by 20 percent. Each time a woman becomes pregnant, she has all these benefits and the blessings continue throughout her life.
I’m sure you’ll want to know just a few more plusses you receive from progesterone which jumps up 100 times when you are pregnant. Not only does it guard you from breast cancer, but it protects you from cardiac-related health problems and also promotes the function and maintenance of the brain. Progesterone helps alleviate anxiety and depression by increasing your production of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), the neurotransmitter that causes you to feel calm and relaxed. GABA is often called the “sleep inducer”!
If all this is not enough, progesterone also improves the immune system, builds bones, improves hearing, protects from seizures and decreases allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis and water retention. (10)
Prolactin also spurs spontaneous production of myelin, a fatty substance that rebuilds a protective coating around nerve cells. This process can repair damaged nerve cells responsible for MS. A study at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute compared pregnant and non-pregnant mice of the same age group. They found that pregnant mice had twice as many myelin-producing cells as non-pregnant mice and they continued to generate new cells during pregnancy. This is another reason why MS usually goes into remission during pregnancy. (11)
A diabetic mother who is breastfeeding her baby needs less insulin than a bottle-feeding mother.
Rheumatoid ArthritisSeventy-five percent of women who have RA go into remission when pregnant.
We are Preserved EmotionallyAs we have already learned, God gives calming hormones to nursing mothers that help her stress levels.
Having children also delivers us from a self-centered life. Before we have children, we have time to dote on ourselves. Some young people take at least half an hour or more to put on their make up each day. Wait until children come. They soon learn to do it in two minutes or less!
We are all prone to self-pity and selfishness but children take our mind off ourselves as we minister to their needs. This is healthy. We are much better emotionally when we care for others. Often when people come to me, depressed and full of self-pity, I encourage them to think of something they can do for someone else. I myself have been healed from sickness in my body and self-centeredness in my mind by doing something for someone else. We come back again to the eternal law that Jesus gave, “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” (Luke 17:33)
I have observed women totally taken up with their problems, fears and phobias, but when they married and children came along they soon forgot about all their little personal problems. How wonderful to be preserved from our self-pitying, self-complacent, self-pleasing, self-satisfying, self-gratifying, self-seeking, self-pampering, self-conceited, self-opinionated, self-serving, self-preoccupied and self-centered life. There is no greater deliverance!
We can rejoice that motherhood delivers us from emotional weakness. For the sake of children we must not give into emotional stress. We have to be strong and take courage, exercising self-control and a disciplined life. And who gets blessed in doing this? You and me.
I am always challenged by 2 Corinthians 5:15. “And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again” And also John 12:24, “Except a corn of what fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
We are Preserved Spiritually
The context of the Scripture in 1 Timothy 2:13-15 is that we will be saved from deception. Verse 14 NEB says, “It was not Adam who was deceived; it was the woman who, yielding to deception, fell into sin. Yet she will be saved through motherhood…” The more women move away from the purpose for which they were created, the more prone they are to get into deception. Embracing motherhood keeps us in the perfect will of God. Embracing child-bearing keeps us walking in the very purpose for which we were created.
Thousands of women have been lured from the home by humanists and feminists trying to find their fulfillment in their career outside the home. They have been deceived to think that childbearing is an inferior task when all along it is the greatest mission given to them. Many women come to me after a seminar and say, “Thank you for giving me permission to be who I really want to be!”
God didn’t make two Adams to go out from the home and leave the children. He made an Adam and an Eve. He planned for the mother to be in the heart of the home and embrace and nurture children. Feminists have deceived women to believe that motherhood is second-rate, yet they themselves are deceived. They are actually annihilating womanhood. They purport that a woman can only find status in doing what a man does, whereas a woman doesn’t have to do what a man does to find her worth. She finds her worth in who God created her to be—a woman! She has been given the wondrous gift to conceive life, to nurture it in her womb and to nourish, mother and train this life.
Each new life a woman conceives is an eternal soul that will live forever. Motherhood is an eternal career, not some earthly aspiration that will be left behind one day. Truly, as we embrace motherhood, we are saved from deception.
NANCY CAMPBELL, Above Rubies
1 David C. Whiteman1, Victor Siskind, David M. Purdie and Adèle C. Green. Timing of Pregnancy and the Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer. Population and Clinical Sciences Division, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Queensland 4029, Australia
2 Banks E., Beral V., Reeves G. The epidemiology of epithelial ovarian cancer: a review. Int. J. Gynecol. Cancer, 7: 425-438, 1997 and Risch H. A. Hormonal etiology of epithelial ovarian cancer, with a hypothesis concerning the role of androgens and progesterone. J. Natl. Cancer Inst., 90: 1774-1786, 1998.
3 Fathalla M. F. Incessant ovulation—a factor in ovarian neoplasia? Lancet, 2: 163 1971 and Adami H. O., Hsieh C. C., Lambe M., Trichopoulos D., Leon D., Persson I., Ekbom A., Janson P. O. Parity, age at first childbirth, and risk of ovarian cancer. Lancet, 344: 1250-1254, 1994 and Rodriguez G. C., Walmer D. K., Cline M., Krigman H., Lessey B. A., Whitaker R. S., Dodge R., Hughes C. L. Effect of progestin on the ovarian epithelium of macaques: cancer prevention through apoptosis?. J. Soc. Gynecol. Investig., 5: 271-276, 1998.
4 Titus-Ernstoff L., Perez K., Cramer D. W., Harlow B. L., Baron J. A., Greenberg E. R. Menstrual and reproductive factors in relation to ovarian cancer risk. Br. J. Cancer, 84: 714-721, 2001.
5 Whiteman D. C., Murphy M. F. G., Cook L., Cramer D. W., Hartge P., Marchbanks P., Nasca P., Ness R. B., Purdie D., Risch H. Multiple births and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. J. Natl. Cancer Inst., 92: 1172-1177, 2000 and Thomas H. V., Murphy M. F., Key T. J., Fentiman I. S., Allen D. S., Kinlen L. J. Pregnancy and menstrual hormone levels in mothers of twins compared to mothers of singletons. Ann. Hum. Biol, 25: 69-75, 1998.
6 WESTPORT, Jun 24 (Reuters Health) - International Journal of Epidemiology.
7 David Bjerklie ,Time Magazine, Published: July 29, 2002
8 Siiteri PK, Sholtz RI, Cirillo PM, et al. Prospective study of estrogens during pregnancy and risk of breast cancer. Public Health Institute, Berkeley, CA.
9 11 Samantha S. Soldan, Ana Isabel Alvarez Retuerto, Nancy L. Sicotte, and Rhonda R. Voskuhl. Immune Modulation in Multiple Sclerosis Patients Treated with the Pregnancy Hormone Estriol.
10 Uzzi Reiss, and Yfat Reiss Gendell, “The Natural Superwoman”, pages 112-117.
11 Dr Samuel Weiss and Dr V Wee Yong, Hotchkiss Brain Institute