If there is one thing every first-time gun owner learns very quickly, it’s that firearms are insanely loud. Unless you are caught in a situation of self-defense, there’s no reason to avoid wearing hearing protection. But can you shoot guns while pregnant? A baby in the womb is afforded no such protection, after all.
Yes, you can shoot a gun while pregnant, provided you’re not overindulging in it, and you consider the potential risks involved. The truth is, there aren’t any definitive studies on the subject, so it’s kind of up in the air.
The two greatest risks are lead poisoning and noise. Even a small caliber firearm is incredibly loud without hearing protection. Fortunately, the baby is somewhat protected by layers of muscle, fat, and skin. But how much is too much?
Is it safe to shoot guns while Pregnant?
The easy answer is that, yes, shooting guns while pregnant is generally safe. There are a few things you may want to consider, however. The primary concerns are lead and noise. You wouldn’t think that lead wouldn’t be an issue nowadays, but it is when you fire a weapon.
As far as noise concerns go, repeated gunfire can cause damage to the inner ear. If it’s so loud that it causes hearing damage, it’s reasonable to consider what it might do to a baby while in the womb.
The above-mentioned fact that a baby is protected by tissue, organs, and muscle, is a considerable argument in favor of hearing protection for a baby who obviously can’t throw some earplugs in whenever it’s necessary. However, it’s probably not the best idea to go to the range and put 500 rounds down range.
Lead is dispersed into the air every time the weapon is fired. There are two ways you can take it in—by breathing it in or through absorption. Human skin is like a sponge, and it absorbs airborne particles very well.
While it may not be enough lead exposure to cause any harmful effects to you, it might be enough to harm the baby.
Will it affect the baby’s hearing
It’s safe to say that prolonged exposure to the sound of gunfire might have undesirable effects on an unborn baby. Depending on the firearm, the decibels can be anywhere between 130 and 175.
Its common knowledge that prolonged exposure to 85 decibels or more has the potential to cause short-term and long-term hearing loss. If you’re firing something 175 decibels, is the protective layer of muscle, tissues, and organs enough to reduce that to below 85 decibels? It’s hard to say, but it’s best if done infrequently.
Safety precautions to take
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to limit or seriously negate an unborn baby’s exposure to gunfire. Since it’s both loud and unhealthy to inhale, those are the two areas a pregnant woman should prepare for the most.
- Ensure that you are firing outside or the range is well-ventilated
- Wear some sort of protective mask
- Change your clothes after you’re finished on the firing range
- Don’t spend too much time at the range and don’t go often
- Wear gloves
“Everything in moderation” as the saying goes. Since there is really no rock-solid evidence that points to damage from firearms, pregnant women should still exercise caution when it comes to firing a gun.
Doing so excessively is just asking for it, especially if the firearm in question is a high-caliber firearm that makes a lot of noise. It’s also a good idea to protect yourself from both inhalation and absorption of lead. Wear the right clothes and change out of them as soon as possible.
For the most part, OBGYN doctors don’t have anything negative to say about shooting firearms while pregnant, other than what we have detailed here. It’s always a good idea to exercise a bit of extra caution while pregnant.
That goes for just about everything—not just shooting firearms at the range. So long as you wear the right protective equipment and keep the number of outings to a minimum, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
While there is little in the way of scientific studies that show harm to unborn babies, most doctors will give the go-ahead, so long as every precaution is taken.
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