The New Oxford Annotated Bible gives a helpful comment on the above found within Genesis 3:16-19,
“Though this is often understood as a “curse” of the woman to pain in childbirth, the word “curse” is not used in these verses. Others have suggested that this text sentences the woman to endless “toil” (not pain) of reproduction, much as man is condemned in v.17-19 to endless toil in food production. The man’s rule over the woman here is a tragic reflection of the original connectedness between them.
This tops some interpretations coming down through the eons around about woman and childbirth and God. Some folks used to have a creepy view that women should not even take Lamaze classes for fear of relieving the pain God assigned to women. My sister, Deborah, gave me The Joy of Natural Childbirth, when I was expecting my firstborn. This little volume begins telling the story of a couple who, while expecting their first child, went to their pastor for some biblical insight into childbirth.
The author, the late Helen Wessel, used this vehicle to dispel the teaching of the curse of pain and espouse the view of childbirth as toil—labor. If I recall correctly—it’s been nearly 29 years since I read it—she equates the birth of child as tantamount to the ultimate, euphoric sexual climax. Hmmm. Wessel may have overstated it, but she makes a vibrant case for women, childbirth, and the grace of God in Christ.
I recommend it.