Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
aspirant
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Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by aspirant » Tue May 28, 2019 8:51 am

Our new born baby lived for 21 days and passed away 5 years back. After that, we got more involved in attending meditation retreats, and helping monastics.
Now, we want to have a child again. Both of us meditate regularly and help out at various retreats. Question: Is it ok to have baby in early 40's? Any advice and suggestions from the Sangha is welcome. :anjali:
Atta hi attano natho atta hi attano gati;
-Dhammapada - 380
You are your own master, you make your own future.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by retrofuturist » Tue May 28, 2019 9:27 am

Greetings,

I was 40 when my youngest of three sons was born.

If that's what you want to do, what you can do, and if it works well for all of you (both born and unborn), then why not?

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

budo
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by budo » Tue May 28, 2019 9:39 am

For men, the science suggests it's even better for them to be older (until age 65), as the sperm have longer telomeres. For women, the younger, the healthier (post-puberty that is), but shouldn't be too much of an issue if she's in her 40s, as long as she is carefully monitored.
Last edited by budo on Tue May 28, 2019 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

SarathW
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by SarathW » Tue May 28, 2019 9:40 am

Life expectancy in Western countries is around 82 years.
The child will become independent at the age of say 20
So when you are 60 years old your child will be independent.
However, there are a lot of other constraints such as income, health, the stability of your relationship, state of your mind etc.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Polar Bear
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by Polar Bear » Tue May 28, 2019 2:41 pm

My apologies if the advice of a 20-something male is unwanted and not needed, but you should probably talk to your doctor.

https://www.marchofdimes.org/complicati ... ter-age-35.

You might also consider whether it is even ethical to bring humans into this world.

The Case for Not Being Born : The anti-natalist philosopher David Benatar argues that it would be better if no one had children ever again.

BirthStrikers: meet the women who refuse to have children until climate change ends

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

budo
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by budo » Tue May 28, 2019 3:21 pm

Polar Bear wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 2:41 pm

You might also consider whether it is even ethical to bring humans into this world.

The Case for Not Being Born : The anti-natalist philosopher David Benatar argues that it would be better if no one had children ever again.

BirthStrikers: meet the women who refuse to have children until climate change ends

:anjali:
I've contemplated anti-natalism for a long time, maybe over a decade now.

From a Buddhist perspective, giving a being a chance to attain path is good karma.

From a selfish naturalist perspective, having kids to take care of you when you're old is a good insurance policy.

From an altruist atheist leftist perspective, bringing kids into the world is bad for the climate, being poor sucks, existentialism/nihilism etc..

Would I have kids if I were in a concentration camp? No. But the world isn't at that point yet. Therefore my conclusion is as long as I can teach them the dhamma and they can enjoy nature, then life is worth living.

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Polar Bear
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by Polar Bear » Tue May 28, 2019 4:47 pm

budo wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:21 pm
I've contemplated anti-natalism for a long time, maybe over a decade now.

From a Buddhist perspective, giving a being a chance to attain path is good karma.

From a selfish naturalist perspective, having kids to take care of you when you're old is a good insurance policy.

From an altruist atheist leftist perspective, bringing kids into the world is bad for the climate, being poor sucks, existentialism/nihilism etc..

Would I have kids if I were in a concentration camp? No. But the world isn't at that point yet. Therefore my conclusion is as long as I can teach them the dhamma and they can enjoy nature, then life is worth living.
I do not think there is a single sutta where parents are praised for giving someone the opportunity to be born as a human. Yes, children are encouraged to have gratitude for those who raised them but the Buddha never praises parents.

It is considered better to not have kids and therefore not have attachment to kids.
For as long as an atom of desire
of a man for his kin is not cut down,
the mind is in bondage there,
like a calf in bondage to mother’s milk.

...

That person whose mind is attached and besotted
by cattle and children,
is snatched away by death
just as a sleeping village by a great flood.

Children are not a refuge, nor fathers, not even brothers,
for one afflicted by the End-Maker there is no refuge in relatives.

Relatives cry and wail together in this way
people still depart, against their desires they give him up.

Understanding this the sage, wise, free of selfishness,
should constantly purify the path...

https://suttacentral.net/pdhp358-375/en/anandajoti
With children comes pain, grief, and fear:
Seek no intimacy with the beloved and also not with the unloved, for not to see the beloved and to see the unloved, both are painful.

Therefore hold nothing dear, for separation from the dear is painful. There are no bonds for those who have nothing beloved or unloved.

From endearment springs grief, from endearment springs fear. For one who is wholly free from endearment there is no grief, whence then fear?

From affection springs grief, from affection springs fear. For one who is wholly free from affection there is no grief, whence then fear?

From attachment springs grief, from attachment springs fear. For one who is wholly free from attachment there is no grief, whence then fear?

https://suttacentral.net/dhp209-220/en/buddharakkhita
Each person has to make their own decision though and warnings about the dangers of any kind of human relationship from an ancient text might fall flat for some.

I wish everyone the best in their own decisions although I’ll admit I have a bias and am basically interested in humans having as little children as possible.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

dharmacorps
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by dharmacorps » Tue May 28, 2019 5:33 pm

It strikes me as a intensely personal decision which involves many factors (social, health, mental, financial, etc). Asking for advice about this on an internet forum may not be terribly helpful, since we don't know you or your situation personally :anjali:

budo
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by budo » Tue May 28, 2019 7:15 pm

Polar Bear wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:47 pm
budo wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:21 pm
I've contemplated anti-natalism for a long time, maybe over a decade now.

From a Buddhist perspective, giving a being a chance to attain path is good karma.

From a selfish naturalist perspective, having kids to take care of you when you're old is a good insurance policy.

From an altruist atheist leftist perspective, bringing kids into the world is bad for the climate, being poor sucks, existentialism/nihilism etc..

Would I have kids if I were in a concentration camp? No. But the world isn't at that point yet. Therefore my conclusion is as long as I can teach them the dhamma and they can enjoy nature, then life is worth living.
I do not think there is a single sutta where parents are praised for giving someone the opportunity to be born as a human. Yes, children are encouraged to have gratitude for those who raised them but the Buddha never praises parents.

It is considered better to not have kids and therefore not have attachment to kids.
...

I wish everyone the best in their own decisions although I’ll admit I have a bias and am basically interested in humans having as little children as possible.
Seems like cherrypicking due to your bias.
To have friends in need is sweet
And to share happiness.

And to have done something good
Before leaving this life is sweet,

And to let go of sorrow.
To be a mother is sweet,
And a father.

It is sweet to live arduously,
And to master yourself.

O how sweet it is to enjoy life,
Living in honesty and strength!
And wisdom is sweet,
And freedom.

- Dhammapadda 23

There's probably more suttas, but this just comes off the top of my head.

Yes, everything that is impermanent is dukkha but there's a reason being born human is the best condition for attaining enlightenment.

One should not take the human state for granted
"Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water, and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole there. A wind from the east would push it west, a wind from the west would push it east. A wind from the north would push it south, a wind from the south would push it north. And suppose a blind sea-turtle were there. It would come to the surface once every one hundred years. Now what do you think: would that blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?"

"It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole."

"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, arises in the world. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world. Now, this human state has been obtained. A Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world. A doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world.

"Therefore your duty is the contemplation, 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress.' Your duty is the contemplation, 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'"


- SN 56.48

Ideally one should become a monk and be celibate, but without the lay community monks wouldn't survive, let alone be born in the first place.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by Sam Vara » Tue May 28, 2019 7:41 pm

aspirant wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 8:51 am
Our new born baby lived for 21 days and passed away 5 years back. After that, we got more involved in attending meditation retreats, and helping monastics.
Now, we want to have a child again. Both of us meditate regularly and help out at various retreats. Question: Is it ok to have baby in early 40's? Any advice and suggestions from the Sangha is welcome. :anjali:
I'm very sorry to hear about your loss; that's every parent's nightmare, and very hard to bear. It's certainly OK to have a baby in your forties, if that's what you both want. My last child was born when I was in my fifties, and the only problem is my bad back caused by lifting him as he got bigger! Check out any medical advice regarding self care, diet, etc., and good luck!

aspirant
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by aspirant » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:39 pm

Thank you all for your responses. For some unknown reason I had a doubt in my mind. But your responses give me hope and support. Our mindset is that we will be able to give Dhamma to one being. The rest is in nature's hand. :namaste:
Atta hi attano natho atta hi attano gati;
-Dhammapada - 380
You are your own master, you make your own future.

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Akashad
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by Akashad » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:34 pm

aspirant wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 8:51 am
Our new born baby lived for 21 days and passed away 5 years back. After that, we got more involved in attending meditation retreats, and helping monastics.
Now, we want to have a child again. Both of us meditate regularly and help out at various retreats. Question: Is it ok to have baby in early 40's? Any advice and suggestions from the Sangha is welcome. :anjali:
Hello,

I am sorry for your loss.This is probably a question you should ask your doctor.If your the mother carrying the child and are over 40 then it's a high-risk pregnancy. It's not impossible to have a healthy child after 40 but specifically with your previous history the risk increases.If your the father or the male in your 40 then it's not an issue but if your the mother or female and have to carry the baby the risk of complication increase.including miscarriage and down syndrome,i would advice to talk to several doctors.

Kind regards,

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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by DNS » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:51 pm

Akashad wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:34 pm
If your the mother carrying the child and are over 40 then it's a high-risk pregnancy. It's not impossible to have a healthy child after 40 but specifically with your previous history the risk increases.If your the father or the male in your 40 then it's not an issue but if your the mother or female and have to carry the baby the risk of complication increase.including miscarriage and down syndrome,i would advice to talk to several doctors.
I was wondering that too. Are you (aspirant) the father or mother?

aspirant
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by aspirant » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:09 pm

Would be mother.....
Atta hi attano natho atta hi attano gati;
-Dhammapada - 380
You are your own master, you make your own future.

binocular
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Re: Early 40's, wanting to have baby

Post by binocular » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:10 pm

Akashad wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:34 pm
If your the father or the male in your 40 then it's not an issue
Paternal age effect

The paternal age effect is the statistical relationship between paternal age at conception and biological effects on the child.[1] Such effects can relate to birthweight, congenital disorders, life expectancy, and psychological outcomes.[2] A 2017 review found that while severe health effects are associated with higher paternal age, the total increase in problems caused by paternal age is low.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paternal_age_effect
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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