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Thread: Shooting while pregnant

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Default Shooting while pregnant

    My wife recently has become worried that shooting while pregnant will harm the babies hearing. Has any one heard any thing of this. I would hate to have to stop shooting while she is pregnant, but I don't want to harm the little ones ears.

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    That's a very interesting dilemma. I do know a smidgen about ultrasound, and the same principles apply... whenever there are accoustic barriers, a large portion of sound gets reflected away. That's why it's hard to hear people shouting when you're under water. That means a lot of the sound of a gunshot will not reach an unborn infant, but I have no idea if it will still be enough to damage their hearing. Youngsters usually have a sense of hearing that's several times more accute than an adult's.

    If you don't find any concrete info about it, you can play it safe and shoot far enough away that she doesn't need hearing protection, or just shoot something quiet like a .22 rifle. I'm going to post the same question on a few other gun forums because my future wife also shoots, and this issue sounds important.

    Edit: I found this link on the subject. It also covers issues like lead exposure: http://gemini.tntech.edu/~cpardue/pregnant.html
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    We were planning on going to a loud concert during my wife's pregnancy, but the midwife advised against it. Apparently before the 6th month sound isn't an issue, but beyond that there is a risk of damage to the child's hearing, though it is slight.

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    Default lead exposure

    In addition to the late term sound issues (which are real), you also need to consider lead exposure. At no time during pregnancy should she be handling ammunition, bullets, dirty guns, fired brass, or be close enough to the firing line where she is exposed to the vaporized lead that is in the cloud of gases that comes out of the barrel with each shot. The lead can get into her bloodstream and then into the fetus' blood, which is medically proven to increase risk of birth defects.
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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    I know when I took my pregnant wife to the range those guys said they would advise she not be firing a gun or be close to the firing line.

    Ill admit, it never even occured to me it might be harmfull till they said something about it.

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    lead: toxic to bone marrow and nerves

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    Smile Good question...

    ...for your wife's OB-GYN. If the physician doesn't know, ask him/her to research the journals and find out.

    You sound like a caring father to be and received some thoughtful responses from others, but this really is a question for your wife's physician.
    Last edited by Doc; 03-28-2008 at 16:19. Reason: wanted to be respectful

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    I highly agree with doc, this is a question for you wifes doctor.

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    Well, it's said that the baby learns to recognize the mother's voice while in the womb. In fact some women play classical and other easy-going music while pregnant so the baby can relax. Also, it's said that babies can tell the difference between the father's and the mother's voices.

    Other than that, I don't think anybody knows, so I have always played on the safe side of the issue just in case. I don't want a son or a daughter with a flinch, right?

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_dog60 View Post
    My wife recently has become worried that shooting while pregnant will harm the babies hearing. Has any one heard any thing of this. I would hate to have to stop shooting while she is pregnant, but I don't want to harm the little ones ears.

    So that's what is wrong with our kids hearing. I noted that I had to raise my voice a lot more with them, as they got older.
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    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    We never thought of it until a range told us my wife could not shoot (indoor range with a gun shop, we weren't planning on shooting) certainly not worth any risk.

    That's a very interesting dilemma. I do know a smidgen about ultrasound, and the same principles apply... whenever there are accoustic barriers, a large portion of sound gets reflected away. That's why it's hard to hear people shouting when you're under water.
    That is strange to me because when I dive I can hear boats waaaay far away like they're on top of me, and I have been to pools where they had underwater specific speakers that you could hear good underwater, but not a bit out of it. Perhaps it is a matter of frequency, which is perhaps why whales sound the way they do. A gunshot outside however, likely would be more like a yelling human voice above the water? Interesting...
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    I just asked my wife about this. She a retired nurse. She said not a good idea as the fetus has air chambers near the ears (dont ask me I dont know anything about all this medical stuff and she dosent know anything about reloading), that can be injured. As DOC said check with your wifes OB-GYN doctor for further medical info. Hope this helps.

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    By all means don't take my word for it but I would think that since water does not compress that the damaging sound shock wave would be nullified. Regardless of the presence of air pockets around the ears. Do a test and put your head under water and have a friend shoot a rifle next to you then let us know. I am going to the range pretty soon I will see if I can get a sound pressure meter from work, suspend it in a bucket and take a couple readings.

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    A few years ago, The Air Force sent out a directive to the CATM units (Combat Arms,Training and Maintainence) to ask the female troops if they were expecting and to exclude them from Weapons firing.
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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info.
    Yes, I would normally have asked a doctor or other medical person but the people she is seeing are kind of nut jobs in my opinion and I wouldn't trust them to give me an answer not based in their personel politics. Note: I think they know the medical things I just don't trust them to keep politics out of it.

    I know sound does travel well through liquids. I also know that it is muffled when it crosses phases (solid, liquid, gas). The reason I asked was because all the information I had found was from questionable sorces and I was hoping that some one would have some insight as to what is reasonable.

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    The primary concern is lead. During the first six weeks the majority of brain/nerve tissues are forming, this is the greatest risk. If she wants to go shooting with you that's fine, but as it has been stated, it would be better to use a quieter firearm and she needs to be upwind to not breath and vapors.
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