Christian Perspectives | Labor Pain Medications

This article is part of a series of articles sharing the reasoning behind Christian family’s opinions based on Biblical understanding of issues.  Reasons are given for both the answers Yes and No.

Opinions about…

Should a Christian plan to use pain medication in labor?

Women who answer “Yes” often share these thoughts…

Romans 14:1-4 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

My faith and freedom in Christ allows me to use medication in labor. I have only to answer to God for my decision, and I believe he has given me the freedom to choose to use it.

1 Corinthians 10:23-31 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”
If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’ sake— the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

I accept the pain medications as a gift from God, and I am thankful that he has made them possible. Why should I be judged by someone else’s conscience? Why am I denounced for something I thank God for?

Women who answer “No” often share these thoughts…

1 Corinthians 10:23-24 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

I have the freedom to choose to use medication, however I know there are risks involved in its use. I want to use wisdom and discernment to make sure I only resort to medications if they are medically necessary so I do not add risk to the health of my baby or risk my health. I will not plan to use them because I am afraid. Instead, I will let God strengthen me.

Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.

I do not think God wants me to rely on current technology to “save me” any more than he wanted the Israelites to rely on the powerful technology of their day. There is nothing wrong with technology, but it cannot take the place of God and I must be sure that my faith is in God and technology is only a tool I use if necessary.

Ephesians 5:1,2 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Romans 12:10-12 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

1 John 4: 9-11 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Philippians 2:3-8

It is not easy to love sacrificially, but it is what God calls me to do. I don’t expect labor to be a piece of cake, but I am willing to labor without medication because it is the safest thing for my baby. I can sacrifice my comfort for a few hours.

Genesis 3:16

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Women should not use pain medication during labor, delivery, or afterwards. God has placed pain in childbirth because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Pain in childbirth is a way for us to remember that God judges but also that God cares for us. God specifically placed pain in birth for women to experience – I don’t want to miss out.