Shooting while Pregnant??


bcslack

New member
This week I introduced my female work partner to the joy of shooting. For one who had never shot ANYTHING, she did well and is now very interested in getting her own.
The question came up about shooting while pregnant (the other carry). As a male, I have never considered the question. Would the noise & concussion be detrimental?
TIA
 

My biggest concern would not be the noise, it would be the lead. After every time you shoot, you are to wash you hand and clothes throughly because of the lead that may contaminate your clothes and get all over your hands. You need to be carefull not to touch your eyes and month with your hands until you have washed them. Lead can cause birth defects. So my advise is you should avoid shooting until after the baby is born.
 
My wife is pregnant and I've looked into this a little bit. From what I found both noise and lead are issues of concern. There is no definitive research I could find on this issue but I determined it was best to just wait until the pregnancy was over, no reason to risk it.

What I found was that the noise is believed to be an issue especially after 20 weeks gestation because that is when the baby's hearing is beginning to develop. Sound travels much easier in fluid as opposed to air. The concussive force of the sound could also cause damage to the baby. It was recommended that if you were going to shoot, to do so at an outdoor range and to wear many layers of clothing and a coat to help shield the baby from the noise and concussive forces and to use smaller caliber ammunition.

Lead exposure was also listed as a concern for the mother and baby. Again it was recommended that if you were going to shoot, to do so at an outdoor range to get the most fresh air, have someone else handle all ammo and loading, to wear a mask, do not eat or drink while on the range, to wash hands with cold water after shooting, wash all clothes seperatly after shooting and to take a cool shower after shooting.

Again, there was no definitive research on this subject that I could find. Just lots of opinions and suggestions. I found the word "could" and "may" used frequently. There are some law enforcement dept. that do not allow their pregnant officers on the range or to qualify if they are pregnant. In the my wife and I made the decision to keep her away from the range until after the pregnancy. Too bad because I think she was just starting to get a little interested in shooting. She just told me she wanted to join me at the range the next time I went! Better safe than sorry though.

The best answer though would be to have the mom to be talk to her OB and get their professional opinion.
 
I had a pregnant (first trimester) lady inquire about firearms classes for her and her husband. I told her that I would be glad to teach her, but only upon receipt of a statement from her Dr. saying that it would be safe for her fetus to do so. I've had several similar requests over the years, with identical requirements by me, and have never received a statement from a Dr. saying it would be safe to shoot during pregnancy. I haven't found any concrete evidence, either way. I won't risk damaging the hearing of an unborn child, but here are a couple of considerations.....

Link Removed
•A typical conversation occurs at 60 dB - not loud enough to cause damage.
•A bulldozer that is idling (note that this is idling, not actively bulldozing) is loud enough at 85 dB that it can cause permanent damage after only 1 work day (8 hours).
•When listening to music on earphones at a standard volume level 5, the sound generated reaches a level of 100 dB, loud enough to cause permanent damage after just 15 minutes per day!
•A clap of thunder from a nearby storm (120 dB) or a gunshot (140-190 dB, depending on weapon), can both cause immediate damage.
then this........

http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Czarnecki/pregnant_officer.htm

Noise usually is considered to be detrimental during pregnancy. In most European countries, health regulations forbid pregnant women from working in surroundings with a continuous noise level greater than 80 dB or a rapid-impulse noise level greater than 40 dB, which is much less than the noise of a firearm [6]. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration permissible exposure limit for rapid-impulse noise is 140 dB, with additional regulations for continuous noise. The sound levels of firearms are about 125 to 140 dB for rimfire rifles; 140 to 150 dB for rimfire pistols; and 150 to 160 dB for centerfire rifles, pistols, and shotguns.

Intrauterine measurements showed that the fetus was not significantly protected against loud noises . One study in human volunteers found a maximal intrauterine noise attenuation of 10 dB at 4000 Hz [9]. In a study of ewes, the noise attenuation was 20 dB at 4000 Hz, but the noise inside the uterus was 2 to 5 dB greater at 250 Hz . In comparison, foam plugs offer attenuation of 12 to 20 dB and are considered to be the least effective hearing protection .

Noise exposure during pregnancy has been associated with several disorders, including miscarriage, intrauterine growth retardation, preterm delivery, hearing loss in babies and children, altered immune response in the fetus, and hypertension. A combined exposure to noise and lead seems to have an increased toxicity, causing heart lesions, which are not observed for those agents alone.

For information only.....
 
My wife is 17 weeks pregnant, we have a doctor's visit in a couple weeks, I'll be sure to ask him then.

Sent from my HTCONE using USA Carry mobile app
 
Conclusion from this thread. If you feel it is dangerous to the mother and the fetus then you let her die at the hands of a BG, which BTW is more dangerous to the mother and the fetus. Not sure how you can get a new woman to practice though. Odds are that any "what if" will be within that 5 yard type confrontation and all she really has to know is what to expect with the firearm. Practice with a 22 with its minimum noise and recoil and she should get enough familiarity to carry a small caliber firearm.
 
Train her BEFORE she becomes pregnant. NOT rocket science. Whatever works for ya.
 
Train her BEFORE she becomes pregnant. NOT rocket science. Whatever works for ya.

Maybe, if maybe you had read my entire reply, your bile would not have gotten to your brain with your reply. I assume from your answer the first thing you will do when you decide to have children is buy her a firearm and take her to the range. Sometimes, if you understand birds and bees, this does not always work out the right way.
 
Conclusion from this thread. If you feel it is dangerous to the mother and the fetus then you let her die at the hands of a BG, which BTW is more dangerous to the mother and the fetus.

One of the more ludicrous posts on this forum.

My wife and I shot together BEFORE we had children. Again, NOT rocket science.... for most of us. You sir, appear to be an exception.
 
Since getting ear muffs on the fetus would be incredibly challenging (if not painful)... I'd advise against it. :lol:
 
My biggest concern would not be the noise, it would be the lead. After every time you shoot, you are to wash you hand and clothes throughly because of the lead that may contaminate your clothes and get all over your hands. You need to be carefull not to touch your eyes and month with your hands until you have washed them. Lead can cause birth defects. So my advise is you should avoid shooting until after the baby is born.

I would add to that you should also wash your face. When you wash after shooting, it should be done with cold water since warm water opens your pores.
 
Conclusion from this thread. If you feel it is dangerous to the mother and the fetus then you let her die at the hands of a BG, which BTW is more dangerous to the mother and the fetus. Not sure how you can get a new woman to practice though. Odds are that any "what if" will be within that 5 yard type confrontation and all she really has to know is what to expect with the firearm. Practice with a 22 with its minimum noise and recoil and she should get enough familiarity to carry a small caliber firearm.


Practicing at the range with a lot of ammo, lead dust in the air, and lots of noise that cannot be muffled for the fetus is very much different than carrying for protection. I don't believe I saw one person post that the woman should not carry at all. I have seen that posters have said they will stop shooting at the range.
 
well, what would be wrong with keeping in practice with an air gun? just for the time being to stay on top of your skills? just a suggestion.
 
Conclusion from this thread. If you feel it is dangerous to the mother and the fetus then you let her die at the hands of a BG, which BTW is more dangerous to the mother and the fetus. Not sure how you can get a new woman to practice though. Odds are that any "what if" will be within that 5 yard type confrontation and all she really has to know is what to expect with the firearm. Practice with a 22 with its minimum noise and recoil and she should get enough familiarity to carry a small caliber firearm.

Or maybe you are just completely misreading what all these replies have said? This thread is talking about sport shooting, not defensive shooting. No one would say that a pregnant woman should not defend her life if the need arises. All the people here are saying that it could be harmful is a pregnant woman purposely goes to the range and practices while she's pregnant.
 
Get a LaserLyte target and the appropriate laser cartridge for her firearm. She will not get the recoil or lead exposure but WILL get positive shooting practice. The target records the "hits" from the laser cartridge. Another option is an SIRT trainer. This might be a great option for Dad AND Mom. You can both practice trigger control, target acquisition, loading and unloading drills.
 
My wife and I looked into while she was pregnant. Some on the Internet said no shooting at all, some said no shooting after 23 weeks. However, every single specialist we saw in person while she was pregnant said it was all a load of crap. Unless you're shooting a .50 cal the noise level is way to muffled for it to hurt the baby. Shooting is fine. However like others have said, wash your hands and don't chew on any bullets. You'll be good to go
 
Lead exposure is a bigger issue then the noise factor (not saying noise couldn't/doesn't have an effect) but the solution to the lead issue has been mentioned:
Shoot at outdoor ranges (if/when possible)

Limit your time and if the range is really busy, come back another time

Buy/use lead free ammo if possible (let's face it, these day ammo in general can be a pita to find at times and is more costly, but still...)

Wash up thoroughly immediately after shooting

If possible, bring a change of clothes and a dedicated bag to put the "dirty" ones in
At the very least a change of shoes, (I recommend canvas shoes for the range as they can be thrown in the washer)

Go straight home from the range and shower/wash hair....don't stop to eat etc first

Throw the "dirty" clothes/shoes in the wash right away

Some of these same suggestions apply for after the baby is born

Beyond that, dry fire practice, the laserlyte target etc are good suggestions (heck, those are good suggestions even when not pregnant)
 

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