“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you…”
Does the mother’s body or the unborn baby’s body trigger the birth process? Those who advise that the baby will come when it’s ready may be correct.
Researchers studying mice have found that a protein called SP-A, which coats the inside of a newborn’s lungs, begins to rise in concentration in the amniotic fluid shortly before birth. Normally, the protein is used by the newborn to fend off lung infections. SP-A causes the release of the unborn child’s immune cells, called macrophages. These macrophages leave the amniotic fluid and go to the uterus. Once there, they produce inflammation that eventually causes the cervix to open and contractions to begin. It seems that this entire sequence of events that leads to a successful birth is controlled by the unborn infant’s own body. If the researchers’ findings with mice also apply to humans, many premature births might be prevented by manipulating levels of SP-A in the mother’s amniotic fluid.
Every step of this system must be in place and work if there is to be a next generation. This fact in itself argues against this carefully tuned system having evolved through trial and error. Rather, it is the gift of our loving God, Who also gave us the new birth into His kingdom by calling us through the Gospel of the forgiveness of sins in His Son, Jesus Christ. p.a.b.
Lord, I thank You for my birth into this world, and I thank You for my new birth into Your kingdom. Amen.
Science News, 3/27: 2004, p. 198, J. Travis, “It’s Time!” Photo: 3D ultrasound, taken at 20 weeks. (PD)