In a birth book I've been reading, the author mentions the belief some have in the curse of Eve; that is, experiencing pain in childbirth as punishment for eating the forbidden fruit: "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children" (Genesis 3:16, see also Moses 4:22).
While it is true we women experience pain in labor, this verse has been misinterpreted. The above belief implies that had Eve not eaten the fruit, she would have had no pain in childbirth. However, we learn from the Book of Mormon that she would have had no childbirth at all:
And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. . . .
Adam fell that men might be . . . (2 Nephi 2: 21-23, 25)The Fall brought about the ability to "multiply and replenish the earth." It also allowed for pain and sorrow in all things. Because of the Fall, Eve could have the joy of creating a family, but she would also have the sorrow of creating a family, not only physically but also spiritually. Pain and childbirth coexist together, both consequences of the Fall, not the one cursing the other.
Other consequences included Adam having to grow his own food in a "cursed" ground, and the death of man (Genesis 3:17-19, see also Moses 4:23-25). Everything in and on the earth, including the earth itself, was affected by the Fall, not just Eve.
Furthermore, it is important to realize that pain in childbirth (and any other experience) serves a purpose. Birth is very symbolic of the Atonement, which I discussed in this previous post.
Discussion: How has understanding the Fall helped you endure pain and sorrow?