PROMOTES HEALTHY INFANCY
(Investigator 51, 1996 November)
The Old Testament states that Abraham’s offspring 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 clues about staying healthy.
In separate and future articles I'll
In the time of Moses, Pharoah of Egypt ordered the death of every newborn Hebrew boy. The women gave birth using a birthstool. (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 called this, "The second stupidest position after standing on your head." (No. 43 pp. 5, 278-288)
The high proportion of caesarian deliveries (10% in some hospitals) was related to using this "stupid" position. The book Health Medicine and the Human Body (B Dixon 1986) has a photo of a woman giving birth in a sitting position and explains, "Increasingly, doctors are encouraging positions for birth that enable gravity to help the contractions."
There was much use of birth-stools in Europe in the Middle Ages. Women in many African and New Guinea tribes give birth 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
|Date||US Mothers Breast-feeding|
The Bible all the way through is positive about breast-feeding up to the age of four or five. The apostle Peter showed 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)
The 1975 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)
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:
Mary, the mother of Jesus, wrapped the new-born Jesus in "swaddling cloths". (Luke 2:7, 12) That swaddling is of benefit is also implied in Ezekiel 16:4 and Lamentations 2:22.
Desmond Morris wrote: