Generation Cedar

(Just a head’s up…this is a “chic post”.)

I can’t help it…I love to post statistics about the health benefits of pregnancy (especially as my large self needs the extra encouragement πŸ˜‰

But mostly because I think we are a culture that treats pregnancy like a sickness. I mean, why wouldn’t we with the constant expectation of “prevention”? (No one ever tries to prevent anything good, healthy and profitable…they only try to prevent “bad”.)

Anyway, a few fun facts…with a quote I thought worthy of posting. I love that the wisdom of our Creator flies in the face of human wisdom, especially when science proves it. I may point out the fact mentioned below, yet again, that the decrease in certain cancers is relative to the number of pregnancies a woman has. In other words, the more babies, the less her chance of these cancers.

Does that mesh with what the general buzz is about multiple pregnancies? (I’ve been questioned more than once about “a uterus falling out”??? Sorry, hope that’s not too graphic, but c’mon, people, really…)

  • “Say Bye-Bye to Menstrual Cramps–Sooner or later after childbirth, your menstrual cycle will resume. But here’s a welcome side effect: You may have fewer bothersome cramps. Some women even find that menstrual pain ceases altogether after pregnancy and childbirth. This pain reduction is a well-known phenomenon, but no one really knows for sure why it occurs. One possible theory is that childbirth eliminates some of the prostaglandin receptor sites in the uterus. Prostaglandins are hormones with several functions, one of which is to direct the uterus to contract during labor. They also play a role in menstrual pain. The upshot? Fewer pain-receptor sites, fewer cramps.”

Let me testify here…I had never heard of this “phenomenon”, but experienced it and was completely, gleefully amazed. I think it was after my third, maybe fourth child, when suddenly, what used to be pretty bad cramps on the first day of my cycle completely disappeared–and have never returned…well, what few times I’ve had the chance to see πŸ˜‰

  • “Cancer Risk Is Reduced–Recent studies report that pregnancy produces a protective effect against breast and ovarian cancers. The more pregnancies you go through β€” and the younger you start having babies β€” the greater the effect; some research has found that breastfeeding for more than three months can also lower the risk of certain cancers.”
“Childbirth has been compared with marathon running, for good reason. Some studies suggest that women gain a newfound sense of their own strength after going through labor and delivery. At minimum, pregnancy and childbirth can change your perspective for the better. When you’re living with the knowledge that your body is creating a new person and delivering him or her into the world, you’re less likely β€” at least some of the time β€” to sweat the small stuff.”

“Pregnancy, on balance, is good for women. The benefits of childbirth far outweigh the risks involved…The likelihood that a woman will contract breast cancer, for example, is significantly reduced when she carries a pregnancy to full term. How fitting that the life a mother gives birth to gives life back to her.” Peter McFadden

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46 Responses

  1. You know, that makes sense. I was close to my high school Spanish teacher and her husband; she married late and never had children. She also had to have a hysterectomy – I forget the specifics, but it was pretty bad. Her husband always thought it was because she never had children, especially since that’s a large part of what women were designed for, and that somehow it had messed with her “female system” as a whole.

    -Miss H.

  2. Aw, thanks for this Kelly. I really needed it, being uncomfortably pregnant at 33.5 weeks right now πŸ™‚

  3. Before I had my first daughter I would experience mittelshmertz every month. After, I never felt it. Definitely an improvement, comfort-wise. Whenever I start my cycle again after this baby, we’ll see if that sticks. I definitely expect it to!

  4. well now.. how cool is *that!*

    God is so amazing… the intricacies of His creation will never cease to amaze meβ™₯

  5. Here’s another:

    I suffered from depression for as far back as I can remember.

    During my pregnancy, it left me and has not yet returned.

    Apparently, this is a not-uncommon phenomenon.

  6. I actually heard an OB on TV say that Michelle Duggar’s uterus was going to fall out if she didn’t stop having babies. She said it very conversationally, not factually so it even seemed like such an absurd statement to hear her say.

    I always love when people use this as an excuse for us to stop having children. If I stop having children so that my uterus doesn’t “fall out” what good is it to have one anyway? How ridiculous!

  7. Actually, a prolapsed uterous is a very serious condition that is very uncomfortable to a woman and can be quite dangerous to the child she carries. It occurs with increasing frequency among women who have numerous pregnancies, and those with pregnancies close together. It probably shouldn’t be treated lightly by people on either side of the issue. Actually, as long as you’re researching health and pregnancy, I love to see some articles about how to have many pregnancies while taking proactive measures against the condition. Thanks!

  8. Lori,

    Yes, prolapsed uterus is a condition that can occur when the pelvic structure loosens and has trouble supporting the uterus.

    Interestingly, this can happen after just one or two births, and is far more likely to happen in a post-menopausal woman. The same condition can also occur from chronic constipation, and other conditions.

    There are estrogen-rich supplements that aid the strength of the pelvis and surgery is sometimes necessary to repair it, though a minor prolapse is usually not even bothersome.

    I’m guessing that even exercise would be preventative.

    Generally, though, it’s an uncommon condition and should not be viewed as a reason to not have children.

    I think of it as similar to someone who exercises; walking a lot may have some negative effects on one’s knee; but the benefits of walking outweigh the risks/injury ;-).

  9. Kelly – Just found out yesterday I am pregnant with No.9 – this was so timely. Although I don’t worry much about the health side of pregnancy, my sweet mother does. I worry more about being able to do the enormous job of training 9 precious souls. But not to worry for He is sufficient!! I will forward this to my dear mom.

  10. Terri,

    Congratulations!!! There are more pregnanacy benefit posts that you should be able to find in my archives.

    I know what you mean about the anxiety of training souls (interesting, I was thinking about a “soul” post πŸ˜‰

    But “faithful is He who called you who also will do it!”

  11. Just for fun…

    Doe anyone know the world’s record for the most children? Are you ready for this?

    The world record for having the most number of children officially recorded is 69 by a peasant from Russia.

    In 27 confinements, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. The children were born between 1725-1765.

    In case you don’t want to do the math–that’s 69 children!!!

  12. “Generally, though, it’s an uncommon condition and should not be viewed as a reason to not have children.” – Kelly

    I quite agree, unless it’s already a problem for the woman, in which case I tend to think it’s a case by case issue.

    Kim M. – I doubt she ever heard much of anything over the din in her house!

  13. I can definitely testify to the decrease in menstrual cramps! I used to spend the first 2 days of my cycle with cramps so bad that I would throw up repeatedly, and were only abated by prescription pain killers/muscle relaxants. My cycle would be very heavy and last 8-10 days. Since the birth of my first, cramps and flow have consistently decreased after each pregnancy, and now (after 6 pregnancies) I barely have any cramps at all, and it my cycle only lasts 5-6 days, with only one day being especially heavy. I will also say that its also quite nice, between being pregnant and nursing, that I only have about 6 cycles every 2 years or so! I’m so thankful!

  14. I didn’t start having bad menstrual cramps until I was 21. They got so bad I wasn’t able to do anything the first day, and the doctor prescribed birth control to help. Well, it did help, but there’s other issues with that, and I am glad to have been shown a better way. At this point we are happy to have God plan our family, and after my first was born, my cramps were much lessened.

    Our culture is so different than it used to be. Now it is not uncommon for people not to even consider marriage until they’re 30+ years old, when I believe before girls frequently got married as soon as they turned 18 (or before!).

    It would be nice to see a shift back to that. If godly people were to commit to marriage at a younger age, they’d likely begin having children at a younger age, and be able to reap the health benefits you’ve described, rather than being prescribed medication.

    It’s interesting, when you think about it, how many things in life would just be better altogether if we’d just let go and do things God’s way.

  15. I fully agree the most healthiest women I know are the ones that had 4 or more children.

    I too experienced severe menstrual cramps before children after each child they have gotten less and less πŸ™‚

    But for me the greates blessing of being pregnant is the baby πŸ˜‰ Oh how I long for another little blessing…

  16. Thanks for your post! My Mom, a registered nurse, bitterly retorted some comment publicly about my uterus falling out. She only had one child, me, and my husband and I have chosen to have whatever the Lord gives. He has blessed us with two girls in two years of marriage. This is a really encouraging post. When I struggle to mentally accept my weight fluctuations, I consider that this childbearing season is short and it’s an investment. After the Lord closes my womb, then I can concentrate on maintaining a reasonable figure. We’re only responsible for being disciplined now to refuse gluttony and embrace healthy living habits. Thanks again for the encouragement. I really enjoy your blog.

  17. This might be to graphic for some of you, but this information is to be taken medically and I know we can all be grown-ups about it. The thing about people saying that “a woman’s uterus might fall out from having too many babies” is so ridiculous. First of all, it is important to realize that a person that would say such a thing is usually just saying it to be “funny” in their own weird way. I do not think that any of these people really think a uterus can fall out. That being said, the only incidence I have know of such a thing in my 36 years was a relative’s dog during her FIRST litter. “Please understand I am not comparing dogs and humans here. πŸ™‚

    My second point is that there seems to be a misconception about a woman’s vagina being stretched out and I believe that is what people are referring to. There are people that really seem to believe that the vagina stays open at 9 centimeters… absurd, right?! Any of you that have had natural births know that not only does it go back, but in many cases it is tighter. Please do not think I am being tacky. I am just trying to address the issue. I do not think the “issue” is a prolapsed uterus, either. I think the issue is people just saying tacky things thinking it is somehow their business and appropriate to speak such things just as candidly as they might say, “Don’t you know what causes that?”. Some things you just have to ignore… hard to do, but you are going to have a difficult time explaining any of this to this type of people.

    I know because I have been raised by parents with this type of thinking. I have grown up with relatives (and a lot of them.. my dad had 7 siblings) that have this comic bluntness and somehow think it is okay to speak this way. I find it embarassing that they would say such things, but they think it normal. Can I change that? Is it worth it? It is much simpler to let it slide and go on. They are who they are … with all the rough edges. :0

  18. I’ve seen studies showing that long term breastfeeding significantly reduced the incidence of breast cancer as well.

    God knew what He was doing!

  19. I want to say that just liek the ‘walking-bad knee’ analogy, I agree with the overall jist of this thread.

    But I am wondering this….last time I went to visit my GYN, he commented that my bladder was now at a level ‘2’, verses a ‘1’….he asked if I had leakage, pressure, etc. I said no. I know this man specializes in incontinence and related issues with women, so thinking he could be overreacting, I didnt think much of it except to inquire ‘why’ my bladder would have changed. He replied well, having 4 childrem ,getting older, etc. He suggested kegels and exericse….which I already do as I try to keep in good shape.

    Well, lo and behold, 3 months later, I *am* having pressure and related bladder issues…..feels like my bladder is just ‘weaker’, if that resonates. Ladies, I am 39….please say it isnt true. yikes.

    Anyway, I do sometimes wonder if there is any clout in what my doctor claimed. I always had a lot of lower pressure in my pregnancies, with some not-so-coveted issues, if yanno what I mean.

  20. I think that the reproductive organs are just like the rest of our organs. They were meant to help our body but because we live in a world that is dying they sometimes don’t work. You wouldn’t tell somebody with a bad heart to run a marathon or eat fried chicken everyday. Their heart is supposed to beat and let them live but things can go wrong.

    So to tell a woman with a severely prolapsed uterus to continue to have children isn’t great advice.

  21. Kyla Jean,

    Perhaps…and this post wasn’t for that purpose.

    Although, you must consider that your analogy gets sticky when you delve into biology and the sovereignty of God.

    Running a marathon is something one must *do*. They have to make a choice.

    A woman doesn’t make a choice to create life in her womb; she can only make the choice to try to prevent it. And there’s where the debate begins πŸ˜‰

  22. This is true across a population, but is not true in each individual case of course. I have a friend who is diabetic and on a pump. Her pregnancies (4) got increasingly dangerous for her and she has been advised to not have any more. For myself the concerns were not nearly as dire, but the risks of another pregnancy do not outweigh the benefits. . . .

    Interestingly public health advocates use this same logic for vaccination–across populations the evidence is clear about their relative safety and efficacy, but individuals have diverse reactions.

  23. My aunt had 5 healthy children breast fed them all and died at 44 years old. (of breast cancer) I guess I figured it was God that decided how many children He was going to give you… and It is His timing when He was going to take you home.

    God has given me 2 children and I feel very healthy.

    I guess I sort of feel left out of the many children thing???


  24. Kelly,

    I guess that I should have prefaced my comment with the fact that I did actually like the point of this post. I was responding more to the comments about the fact that it is sometimes dangerous to a woman’s health to continue to bear children.

    I think that our society trys to sweep allot of natural things aside. And what can be more natural than a woman giving birth?

  25. Kelly- A “glorious heaviness”, indeed πŸ™‚ I try to explain this to my friends who have never been pregnant, and they think I’m just trying sugar-coat things πŸ˜› Someday, they will understand.

    I’m interested in the question that Lori asked, too. Kelly, do you think you could write a post about how to stay healthy through multiple pregnancies and how to prevent some of the risks that are associated with multiple pregnancies? Since I hope to one day have a large family and am only on baby #2, this has been on my mind.


  26. Kelly Thank you so much for this post. I am pregnant with my 4th and I am always amazed at how much people give advice and ask questions that are none of their business. I have people ask me all the time if I am wise to continue having children? You see, I am a walking miracle. I received HELLP syndrome after I delivered my child. My liver began to crash, blood transfusion, blood pressure at stroke level, bladder did not function, blood not clotting, etc. I was a walking TIME bomb. Since, HELLP syndrom with the severity that I had it is rare and also their were no previous symptoms, and no medical “medication” to cure a person, it is truly the hand of God. After I got better and was released from the hospital I still dealt with a bladder that did not work. The infections were numerous. It took me 6 months to get it working again. My hormone levels were so shifting at this time. I was told not to have any more children!! That with each pegnancy it would be worse!! 9 months after I had my second child I got pregnant again with my 3rd. I felt sick the entire pregnancy with hormone shifts ect but I could tell that I was starting to feel better. Once I delivered my 3child it felt like my body went back to its normal self. I had no complications and everything is functions 100%. IT was like the 3rd child flushed the toxins out out of my body. When I spoke to my Dr about this he said, “yes. That can happen and it isn’t uncommon!” Amazing that he didn’t mention that before huh?! I am so thankful for God’s blessing. If I had not had that child that GOd so specifically directed us to have I might have missed out on a “natural” healing! PTL, right? Since, I am in my late 30’s we still feel like our family is not complete. Once again even though I knew the Dr suggested again not to get pregnant we felt like God was opening my womb again. I am more concern about being obedient to God than Men. I know that this wouldn’t be forever one to make the decission that I have made but I get so tired of hearing those that don’t understand the benifits of Children in more way than one always giving “excuses” that are based out of not really asking “GOD what he wants for their life but out of a sence of their feelings.”

    Thanks again also for tackling the parent topic on “training” I look forwad to reading more.

    C in TN

  27. Kyla Jean…no problem–just wanted to clarify for the common discussion about when we take our health into our hands and when we allow God’s sovereignty to reign-that depending on a couple’s belief, it may not be as simple as it looks…thanks for clarifying.

  28. This is such a meaningful topic – we have regrets, almost daily, about our decision to permanently “complete” our family.

    I was my “better self” when pregnant. I LOST weight – not unhealthily, but slimmed down considerably, when I was expecting. I was one of those women who had clear skin, a great figure, and shiny hair during pregnancy, when all had eluded me for years. My blood pressure was so low that the ob nurses would ask if I had fallen asleep, my husband was never more enchanted with me, I was never more satisfied with my life, than when I was pregnant. I love being a mom, too – what we call in our family the “Double Jesus Bonus” – what’s good for us is GOOD!!!

    So, in all my worldly wisdom, on the advice of family, and my doctor scolding me about “women my age” continuing to have babies, since I refused all genetic testing, only wanted to see that little heart on the ultrasound (I was the ripe old age of 37, with no history of even a hint of a problem), my ever-abiding husband went “under the knife”. We decided that it was best, he had just left a government job for his own, more lucrative business, and our insurance would expire within 45 days of our new baby’s arrival – what? More money and less insurance should decide a family? It’s as ludicrous as it sounds. As it turned out, my Prince of a husband was in ICU for 3 days, when we had been promised he would be playing golf by the end of the week. He suffered, and I mean SUFFERED for 2 months after his surgery because a “doctor” who had had a mini stroke the day before the procedure, decided for himself that he was fit to proceed. Huh?

    I sincerely believe that a family should be prepared for children, spiritually, emotionally, financially, etc., as much as possible. I have serious problems with the notion that we should impose our loose standards on others in the form of children, or any other means, in a financial sense. Whole other discussion. I also think families should be prepared to listen to the call of the Holy Spirit to “be fruitful, and multiply”. God’s commandments are gifts, nothing less. I wish I had been a more obedient and willing recipient…I love presents! What was I thinking? I have great comfort in knowing that he can redeem that, too.

    I do not mean for one minute that God is so unkind that he would “send” this punishment to us. It’s just the opposite. I’ve learned that when I attempt to subvert his intention for our lives, we’re left open for all sorts of abuse. He told me, showed me, that my body was meant to bear children. I foolishly ignored that.

    I love my sweet family. I hope I can share with them that God would love for them to have has many beautiful babies as he means for them to…naturally, adoptively, spiritually…don’t deny yourselves that blessing. He doesn’t sacrifice our health in the name of numbers. That’s not the point, at all.

    Just me.

  29. Anon: C in TN,

    Thanks for that amazing story!

    I’ve looked all over the Internet for a story someone sent me (I think Focus on the Family published it) of a young woman who was dying from a horrible problem (there was a hole in one of her organs)…she was withering away until the doctors let her go home “one last time” at Christmas to be with her family. They STRONGLY advised her against having children as the pregnancy would certainly finish her off.

    She became pregnant; and miraculously, she began to heal before the doctor’s eyes.

    Turns out, the baby’s pushing up on the organ began to close the hole (something apparently surgery wasn’t able to do??)

    She recovered completely. Again, it’s why I’m so careful about leaning on human wisdom.

  30. I'm going to go anonymous here because of personal information I'm sharing. But I want you to know that I'm speaking as a fellow believer who loves children, and loves large families. And I'm saying this out of concern, not debate.

    I don't think it's wise to dismiss all medical advice about pregnancy as "earthly wisdom." God gives wisdom and knowledge to doctors, and though we must be wise in heeding other's advice, I am very thankful for the advances in medicine we've had. Women still die from pregnancy and childbirth, sometimes preventably. I still remember as a child seeing my best friend's mother and dead infant brother in their shared coffin.

    I don't think that you can say categorically that pregnancy is good for our bodies (which it frequently is and I agree with your points) and then dismiss any concerns by implying that doctors don't know what they're talking about.

    I know that for some QF-minded people, safety of the wife is not an issue, but I feel like from much of what you write, you're usually more balanced with this issue. When I was preparing for marriage, I was handed a work from a QF person that had a hypothetical Q&A section in which someone asked, if the doctor told him that his wife would die if she became pregnant again, must he impregnate her? And the answer was, yes, and then there were some Bible verses about widows and orphans taken out of context. I don't feel like such an answer is expressing love for the wife as Christ loved the church.

    I have trouble getting pregnant, and in order to have children, I took medicine to help my body become and retain a pregnancy. We did this with much prayer, and I don't feel like we were trying to take away God's sovereignty.

    One of my relatives has the opposite problem, she is hyper-fertile, and can become pregnant only a few weeks after pregnancy, despite full-time breastfeeding. She is in her early twenties, and at times, can barely walk because of having four babies in 2.5 years, and what it has done to her hips and ligaments, not to mention two c-sections barely a year apart. Her pro-life doctor has told her that the consequences of another pregnancy without allowing her body time to heal will most likely destroy her body irreparably. Is it sin for her and her husband to prayerfully postpone having a child for a year or two until she can heal? What about my aunt who will most likely die if she becomes pregnant again? Is it sin for her and her husband to pursue adoption rather than risk her life? I feel like the blessing of being fruitful must be read in the context of the other commands and principles that God has laid down, including the principles of protecting life, and of a husband loving his wife and protecting her.

    Thank you for letting me write this, and hopefully, reading it in the tone it was meant.

  31. Anon,

    I appreciate your comment (and your tone πŸ˜‰ And I didn’t intend for this post to be what it may have come across??

    **I don’t think that you can say categorically that pregnancy is good for our bodies (which it frequently is and I agree with your points) and then dismiss any concerns by implying that doctors don’t know what they’re talking about.**

    I don’t remember dismissing any concerns about health in the post. I did refer to the miracle pregnancy and the reason I did that is to prove how feeble even the best of our wisdom can be.

    I know there can be real health issues that a couple needs to wisely consider, praying and asking for God’s wisdom. I would never suggest a couple throw any and all medical warnings out the window.

    At the same time, I think it is SO easy for us to dismiss the mandate to be fruitful as Chistians with every little “my doctor suggested I shouldn’t have more children”, a suggestion often completely unfounded.

    That’s all πŸ˜‰

  32. I am a woman with a severely prolapsed uterus, due to both a family history/predisposition and trauma suffered by having a D/C for a miscarriage.

    I have three children who are such blessings from God, and my heart aches for more, but I was told by my doctor that having more children WOULD make my uterus fall out. It can happen, although rare for the general population, and I can tell you that it almost did with my last two pregnancies! I had to be on complete bedrest until my uterus became too large to fall through anymore.

    I am not saying this to shock or scare anyone, but fact remains that having another pregnancy would endanger me and/or the baby because of my anatomical deficiencies. I have a QF heart and open arms to all children God brings into my life to mother and instruct in His ways. . . but, sadly, I will not be able to conceive and birth another biological child.

    After much prayer and searching in the scriptures, my husband and I felt like the LORD had released us from pursuing adding to our Quiver by birth and that He will now bring the children He has chosen for us through adoption, etc.

    My heart years to fulfill His will in this. May God bless all who welcome these gifts from the LORD with thankfulness and joy!

    God bless you,


  33. Gina,

    Thank for sharing your painful experience, and I SO appreciate your heart…I’ve said all along, it’s not nearly as much to do with the final decisions a couple may have to make about health, as it is the right heart attitude…which sounds like you have.

    If we begin with the right attitude, there may still be those hard decisions to make; but if we begin with the wrong thoughts toward children, anything and everything becomes our excuse for saying “no” to children.

  34. Here’s an interesting thought: You have a problem with people who medicate their children (and I do too, surely). But can’t you see that some of them are doing so because they are not emotionally suited to mothering? Can’t you see the damage that might cause instead of encouraging women to keep having them and having them and having them DESPITE their inability to support them emotionally or financially? That child abuse often happens when women are overwhelmed, whether their family is two or twelve? I’m not suggesting that is true of you or anyone on here but it is not an uncommon phenomenon. One should know one’s limits and respect them instead of insisting that this is how it SHOULD be. Yes, it should be that everyone can take care of themselves and their children but so often they cannot.

    That’s just life, you know. πŸ˜‰

  35. I know there are “grey” areas, but I’ve never know one one that started “you should never have more children” good grief! That seems pretty concrete.

    there are things that husbands and wives much confer upon–surely you’re not getting in the midst of all that. . . . .

  36. I wholeheartedly agree with every word. What awesome wisdom our Lord has. He IS wisdom! I feel so blessed to have experienced this miracle not just once but 6 times so far. I am constantly receiving revelation of Him through each pregnancy, birth, and each year (plus) of breastfeeding my treasures.

    Still wiping tears after watching yout natural birth of your daughter. Just precious! Praying for your upcoming birth!

  37. Hi there, i have forwarded all the essential documents after i get my first letter. So can u please suggest me that when do i get the second letter. Thankyou for replying my first question. Appreciated.

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