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Spirituality and childbirth

From The Christian Science Journal - May 30, 2011

Originally appeared on

Prayer over childbirth is a totally joyous experience! One is obviously not dealing with a disease, but with the happy, natural unfoldment of good. So prayer is always affirmative, a rejoicing attitude that allows the gentle development of right activity to take place normally and harmoniously, both during the nine months of pregnancy, and at the actual time of delivery.

In Science and Health, the Christian Science textbook, Mary Baker Eddy has given the complete healing treatment for childbirth (see p. 463).

There is so much in this paragraph to help guide our prayers at the time of the appearing of the new child. Although childbirth appears to be a material activity, there is a need to lift it right out of being a mortal event into seeing the whole experience and condition as a divine activity, entirely untouched by physical laws. The whole unfoldment is God’s work. An expectant mother needs to have a happy nonresisting state of thought, and the little one will develop as naturally and as easily as the flower bud opens.

The first chapter of Genesis in the Bible shows how easily unfoldment takes place. Every command of creation begins with the word let. And our prayer for childbirth is, “Let the idea appear.” To let. That is our only part in the work. Let the divine law of orderly, harmonious unfoldment operate. It operates painlessly and perfectly, and it is “the unlaboured motion of the divine energy” (see Science and Health, p. 445). This idea applied does away with “labour” and the struggle, pushing and pulling that goes along with it.

All we have to do is acknowledge the governing, controlling, divine law that is in charge of the case and that cares for every detail, and is gentle, tender, kind, and efficient. It causes everything to function in just the right way and at just the right time for the mother and child.

As the birth unfolds, it is reassuring to consider the passage from the Bible where it explains that the draught of fishes was so much heavier than was expected, “yet was not the net broken” (John 21:11).

Every step of the way the law of the divine Mind counteracts the mortal mind belief. It is the law of Love that is governing, and “His arm encircles” the mother and the little one all the time (see Mary Baker Eddy, Poems, p. 4). There is no “confinement.” There is just “conception unconfined” (see Science and Health, p. 323). It is unrestricted, unobstructed appearing. All the power there is, is operative for the mother and for the baby.

Everything in God’s universe is normal. Everything is adjusted. It is “Love’s work and Love must fit” (Mary Alice Dayton, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 51). It is reassuring to remember that it is all God’s activity. Isaiah 46:4 says in part, “I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”

It is God’s process all the way through. God’s law of expansion, contraction, enlargement, direction, and expulsion are all present and powerfully operative. They work at the right time, at just the right speed, and so produce exactly the right and perfect result. We can rejoice all the time that each expansion and contraction is God’s work—is a painless, divine urge. We can acknowledge “that we are subject to the divine ‘powers that be’ ” (Science and Health, p. 249).

I’ve also found it helpful to acknowledge, in the words of Acts: “They came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord” (12:10). There is nothing that can refuse to open. The Bible promises, “Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it” (Rev. 3:8). Also, the seamless garment had no seam or rent (see Science and Health, p. 242), so there is no tearing of God’s idea.

After the little one has arrived, we can rejoice in the fact that “a spiritual idea has not a single element of error, and this truth removes properly whatever is offensive.” This thought can be helpful when it comes time to remove the placenta or afterbirth.

Mrs. Eddy has also written in the chapter “Genesis” in Science and Health, “Spirit duly feeds and clothes every object [idea], as it appears in the line of spiritual creation, thus tenderly expressing the fatherhood and motherhood of God” (p. 507), so what a child needs for nourishment can be present in bountiful measure.

The “obstetrics” paragraph in Science and Health concludes this way:

“The new idea, conceived and born of Truth and Love, is clad in white garments. Its beginning will be meek, its growth sturdy, and its maturity undecaying. When this new birth takes place, the Christian Science infant is born of the Spirit, born of God, and can cause the mother no more suffering. By this we know that Truth is here and has fulfilled its perfect work.”

God fills His office of Father and Mother. He is the perfect Father to every one of His children and the perfect Mother. Perfect Motherhood is God-expressed, and there is never a penalty for motherhood.

In preparation for the joy of parenthood, it is helpful to study in the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy such words as bear, support, hold up, sustain, convey, and carry. Also the two chapters in the Christian Science textbook “Creation” and “Genesis” throw fresh insights onto this subject.

The truths in this passage can be prayed with and pondered during the nine months of pregnancy; imbibed and practiced at the actual time of the birth; and is a wonderful guide as the child matures and grows up.

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