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For many couples, making a baby isn't just a physical act; it's a spiritual one as well. What is God's role in the creation of human life? Well that depends on which faith tradition you follow.


Here's what some of the world's major religions teach about the start of life.


Christianity

A number of Bible verses point to God's knowledge of a soul before conception and God's active role in the creation of a child.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." —Jeremiah 1:5

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." —Psalm 139

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“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." —Psalm 127:3

Mormonism

Teachings from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints explain:

“We lived as spirit children of God in a premortal existence. There is no way to make sense out of life without a knowledge of the doctrine of premortal life.

“The idea that mortal birth is the beginning is preposterous. There is no way to explain life if you believe that. The notion that life ends with mortal death is ridiculous. There is no way to face life if you believe that. When we understand the doctrine of premortal life, then things fit together and make sense."

Catholicism

Catholic bioethicist and Fordham theology/ethics professor Charles Camosy says the Catholic church speaks using imagery to understand the origins of life:

“We use images rather than speak with precise, step-by-step language. I personally love the image in Genesis of God rolling some clay around in God's hands, putting it to his mouth, and 'breathing-in' the soul. It shows the level of intimacy God has with the creation of each one of us."

“The Catholic position on what happens (which is different from explaining how it happens) is that God infuses our soul or spirit into each one of us from the begin of our life as a new human animal, which is after fertilization of the egg by the sperm is complete and brand-new organism is present," Camosy says. “And it is that spirit which keeps us growing and living as the same animal until we die as that same animal. Indeed, the terms animate, animal, etc. refer to the spirit or soul (anima) which separates living things from things which are not living."

“How does that happen? We don't know. No one knows. All we have are images and metaphors to help us imagine it."

Buddhism

Buddhist scholar Robert Kritzer writes that the cycle of death and rebirth is a central concept in some branches of the faith, and the moment of conception is key.

“A number of Buddhist sūtras, meditation manuals and doctrinal texts... describe in various degrees of completeness the stages between one lifetime and the next," Kritzer says. “The process of rebirth begins at the moment of death in one life, continues through the intermediate existence or antarābhava, the moment of conception, and the period of gestation, and culminates in the moment of birth in the next life."

Judaism

In Jewish law, although the human soul exists before birth, human life begins at birth, that is, at the time when the child is more than halfway emerged from the mother's body. Rabbi Goldie Milgram explains:

“The soul a baby will receive is traditionally understood to be pre-destined. The combining of the particular soul with the particular body it enters results in a human. An often-cited commentary relates that all the souls that will ever exist were 'created during the six days of Creation, and were in the Garden of Eden, and all were present at the giving of the Torah [at Sinai].' This perspective is reflected in Jeremiah 1:5: 'I knew you, before I formed you in the belly, before you left the womb.' Or as sometimes friends or family are known to say to small children, 'We knew you before you were even a twinkle in your parents' eyes."

Islam

The Qur'an describes the development of a fetus as a process with stages:

“God created you in stages." —71:14

“(God) creates you inside the bodies of your mothers, in stages, one after another." —39:6

Asma Uddin, founder of altMuslimah and director of strategy for the Center for Islam and Religious Freedom, explains, “Islamic teachings say that a child is assembled in the mother's womb during a 40-day period, after which it becomes a 'clot of thick blood' for a similar length of time. It is after that that God sends an angel who writes four things pre-determined by God: the child's deeds, his/her livelihood, the day he or she will die and whether or not he/she will be religiously blessed. At 120 days after conception, God breathes the soul into the child."

“Once the child is born, God tells us that it is our job as Muslim parents to raise and care for our children by bringing them up as moral, righteous Muslims," Uddin adds. “'Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock,' the Qur'an states."

Our babies come out as beautiful, soft and natural as can be—shouldn't their clothes follow suit?

Here are nine of our favorite organic kids clothing brands that prove safe fabrics + stylish designs are a natural fit.

Estella

A brick and mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2002, Estella is NYC's go-to shop for luxury baby gifts—from sweet-as-pie organic clothing to eco-friendly toys.

L'ovedbaby

@lovedbaby

We l'oved this collection from the moment we laid eyes on it. (See what we did there 🤣) Free of things harsh added chemicals, dangerous flame retardants, and harmful dyes, this collection is 100% organic and 100% gorgeous. We especially adore their soft, footed rompers, comfy cotton joggers, and newborn-friendly kimono bodysuits.

Looking to stock up? Don't miss Big-Find Thursday every week on their site—a 24-hour flash sale that happens Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST and features a different body style, collection, and discount every week!

Hanna Andersson

@happyhannas

One of our all-time favorite brands for durability, style, + customer service, Hanna Andersson doesn't disappoint in the organic department, either. From an aww-inducing organic baby layette collection all the way to their iconic pajamas, there are so many organic styles to swoon over from this beloved brand. And we swear their pajamas are magic—they seem to grow with your little one, fitting season after season!

Monica + Andy

@monicaandandy

The fabric you first snuggle your baby in matters. Monica + Andy's (gorgeous) collection is designed for moms and babies by moms with babies, and we love it all because it's made of super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton that's free of chemicals, lead, and phthalates. Newborn pieces feature thoughtful details like fold-over mittens and feet.

Finn + Emma

@finnandemma

"Here boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints and heirloom quality construction are abundant." We couldn't agree more. Made from 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and in fair trade settings, we love this modern collection's mix of style + sustainability.

We especially love the Basics Collection, an assortment of incredibly soft, beautiful apparel + accessories including bodysuits, zip footies, pants, hats, and bibs, all available in a gender-neutral color palette that can work together to create multiple outfit combinations. The pieces are perfect for monochrome looks or for mixing with prints for a more modern style.

SoftBaby

@littleaddigrey for @softbaby_clothes

You'll come for SoftBaby's organic fabrics, but you'll stay for their adorable assortment of prints. From woodland foxes to urban pugs, there's no limit to their assortment (meaning you'll even be able to find something for the new mama who's hard to shop for). Plus, the name says it all--these suckers are soft. Get ready for some serious cuddle time.

Gap Baby

@gapkids

Organic may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Gap, but this popular brand actually carries a wide variety of organic (and adorable) baby + toddler clothes. From newborn layette basics to toddler sleepwear—and more—there's something for everyone in this collection. Everything is 100% cotton, super soft + cozy, and perfect for eco-conscious mamas.

Winter Water Factory

@winterwaterfactory

Certified organic cotton with Brooklyn-based swagger? Be still our hearts. Winter Water Factory features screen-printed textiles in bold designs you'll want to show off (get ready for some major Instagram likes). And the husband-and-wife co-founders keep sustainability at the forefront of their brand, meaning you can feel good about your purchase--and what you're putting on your baby.

The company makes everything from kids' clothes to crib sheets (all made in the USA). For even more cuteness, pair their signature rompers with a hat or bonnet.

Under the Nile

@underthenile

Under the Nile has been making organic baby clothes since before it was cool. Seriously, they were the first baby clothing company in the USA to be certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. They've kept up that legacy of high standards by growing their Egyptian cotton on a biodynamic farm without the use of pesticides or insecticides, and all of their prints are made with metal-free colors and no chemical finishes.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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