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Discussion Starter #1
My wife is 4 months now and we both miss going to the range. I don't want to go without her because she likes it as much as I do.

I seem to have read somewhere about shooting while Pregnant but can't remember where or if it is safe on the Baby to do so.

Any help for a couple wanting to get to the range?
 

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Here's a medical opinion.

Though there is significant sound dampening (from 10-30 dB) provided by amniotic fluid and intervening soft tissues between the developing fetus' hearing apparatus and the outside, it's still not enough to protect delicate cochlear hair cells from potential noise-exposure damage on an indoor range.

It's safest for the sake of your baby's hearing for your wife not to shoot on an indoor range till she delivers.

On an outdoor range it's probably safe as long as you're the only ones shooting, but a crowded and loud outdoor range could be dangerous too.

Sorry about that, but it's true. Lots of dry-fire practice may have to suffice meanwhile, or the use of an Airsoft or a pellet gun to "keep her hand in"!

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I just finished a new search and found another loooonnngg thread about the same issue. I knew I had read it somewhere and I believe it was here because after reading it, it sounded very familiar.

I guess this means I have to go by myself. All that ammo and no one but me to shoot it. Bummer.

We really enjoy the sport together. We even reload together. She even has more handguns that I do now that I think of it.


Thanks again
 

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While not a doctor...

...Maybe Sawbones can help out with this thought...

...go to an outdoor range and shoot something quiet. (Ok, it's a gun, so RELATIVLY quiet.) Something like a Ruger 10/22.

Other than that, it sounds like a great excuse to buy a suppressor. Can't imagine that either a .22LR long gun or a suppressed handgun in an outdoor setting would hurt the baby.

I live in Az, so finding a 'vacant' outdoor range is easy. Just go out into the Desert 'till you can't see or hear anyone, find a hill, and shoot into it. I don't know if you have it that easy.
 

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I think I'd be more concerned with gasses from spent rounds...lead etc. which could be over come by wearing a smiple dust mask........but then again I'm not a doctor......
 

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FWIW, the airborne lead contamination experienced by a single individual shooting for a short period of time (an hour or less) on a well-ventilated indoor range is likely negligible.

A pregnant or nursing mom might want to wear a surgical or allergy mask just in order to be extra careful, but the risk is very small.

I think suppressors are a great idea for pregnant moms who want to shoot. That's what suppressors were originally designed and marketed for (see the early 1920s Sears catalogues!), that is, being able to shoot in your back yard without disturbing your neighbors!

It took the involvement of "de gubmint" to determine that suppressors were evil and that possessing one would make you likely to commit clandestine murder, unless of course you first paid a high tax. That makes them safe.
 

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Sawbones, you scare me. As a medical doctor, or a person giving an A-OKAY medical go ahead, I am afraid you completely missed the boat on understanding that a dust mask will NOT protect anybody from airborne lead vapor. I think you have also missed out on assessing the potential noise damage to the fetus without actually knowing the amount of noise is being started with (at the muzzle) or at the point of noise impact on the pregnant woman in general. You didn't even inquire as to whether the wife would be shooting rimfire, plated, jackets, FMJ, TMJ, centerfire, or shotguns. There are all levels and types of exposure and basically you okayed all of them so long as it was at an outdoor range.

You have also given the medical go ahead without querty to the situation of the wife, medical history, or other risk factors.

garbageman, if your wife misses shooting, have her be patient. She should not be at the range when you shoot or be around shooting. There is NO reason to risk possible fetal damage due to noise, chemical, or heavy metal exposure. Take time to check the following links and do some checks on lead, lead contamination, lead and pregnancy on line. You will find a plethora of information, much of which will tell you that minimal amounts of lead in the fetal system can retard CNS and brain development. I have no idea where Sawbones got the information of a 10-30 db noise reduction in the fetus from outside noise, but I can tell you that sound travels faster through liquid media than through air which means the sound transfers more directly into the fetus that is suspended in fluid and is largely composed of fluid.

http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=59493&highlight=pregnant

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=23466&highlight=pregnant+fetus

Sawbones, you are welcome to call me a quack and garbageman you are welcome not to pay attention to my warnings. Those are y'all's decisions. With that in mind, know that what I am suggesting is to err on the side of safety, if there is an error being made here. garbageman, by having your wife NOT exposed to the shooting environment, your future child will remain protected. The notion of her shooting a firearm because she misses it is understandable as my wife really missed shooting while pregnant as well, but there was no aspect of joy that she receives that would even remotely compensate for any form of potential noise-induced fetal trauma or chemical/heavy metal-based retardation.

I am no expert, but my wife and I spoke with several medical folks inclusive of my doc, her OBGYN, an audiologist, and pediatrician. Only the OBGYN was a shooter and NONE suggested shooting was a good idea. Between the doctors and what I found on-line, the bottom line was that at best, it MIGHT be okay to shoot, but there were all sorts of reasons why it would not be okay to shoot and all sorts of ways things could go wrong for the fetus.

Fetal damage due to recreational shooting is very definitely something that can be avoided VERY EASILY by not having the mother anywhere near shooting.
 

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DNS, some folks seem to invest perhaps overmuch authority in written words, irrespective of venue, and seem to feel the need to reprimand "authority figures" whom they perceive as falling short of the mark when they write something down.

This is a public bulletin board wherein people interested in the 1911 pistol are welcomed to post ideas, questions and answers that have to do, directly or indirectly, with the 1911, guns in general, and the shooting sports.

I didn't give anyone a prescription about medical care.
I didn't enter into a doctor-patient relationship.
I advised about shooting being probably unsafe for a developing fetus' hearing in an indoor range setting.
This is my opinion, as I stated.
There are, in fact, no documented cases of fetal illness, congenital malformation or hearing loss definitely attributed to recreational shooting.
Does this therefore mean that shooting is "safe" for the developing fetus? Of course not.
I didn't guarantee safety on an outdoor range for the hearing of a fetus or for you or for me, with or without use of a suppressor, and made no recommendations as to caliber, type of firearm, preexisting medical conditions of mother, or you or me, nor did I question the developing infant's course to date.

I gave an opinion in an attempt to present a qualified cautionary guideline. That's all.

The inquiring poster is welcome to take it or leave it. If he has further concerns as to details, no doubt he can inquire of his wife's obstetrician.

As to airborne lead dust, much of this will in fact be screened by an appropriate protective mask of the sort readily available in stores and recently seen to be much in use during the SARS epidemic. It's not perfect, but again, I made no promises about guaranteed health of anybody.
Rather, I stated a non-hysterical, conservative opinion that the slight and brief indirect exposure of a fetus (stated to be past the first trimester) to airborne lead by a mother at a well-ventilated range should probably not be cause for undue concern. I didn't recommend that mothers-to-be inhale dust at the range.

Likewise, the indirect exposure of developing babies to smog and grossly poor air conditions (which include airborne lead residues) in many major cities as well as "second hand smoke" is certainly undesireable, yet it's essentially unavoidable, and most folks aren't anxious about it. It's an imperfect world.

If you have a pregnant wife and you want her to avoid any and all shooting venues, more power to you.
If you want her to live in a sterile environment, that's up to you and her.
But don't tell me I "gave (anybody) the medical go-ahead" about anything, because I didn't.
 

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SAWBONES,

I think that it was very generous of you to offer your input on the above question. The comment critical of your input was, IMO, an unfortunate but classic example of an old saying among lawyers that no good deed goes unpunished.
 

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Thanks for the kind words, hjk.
That was my intent, simply to try to be of help, not to announce rules or statements with the authority of the Decalogue!
 

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I would do everything I could to scare her into not going. But if she insisted, I would only goto an outdoor range, make sure she had a thick coat on (though it may not help much) and fire only lead free ammunition.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone. It is great to know that concern for health and safety is still #1.

Double Naught Spy

I will check out the links just for the information. I was just concerned about the noise level hurting the child. I never even thought about possible lead exposure. She will not be going to the range anytime soon.

saxman

I live in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. All we have to do is walk out on the back porch. There are no indoor ranges in the county I live in. Course I have been thinking about cutting a hole in the building that I reload in and setting up a cable target that I can send out to 7, 25 and 50 yards. Year round shooting that way no matter what the weather. I had asked once about a barrel noise reduction device (don't want to scare the dog) that I had read about somewhere. I never could find plans on building that one.


Thanks again to all those that replied.
 

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I heard about a kid whose mother went shooting while she was pregnant. I don't know if it was the noise or the lead vapors or whatever, but the kid was born bald, toothless, and unable to stand or even hold his head up! Further, he vomited frequently and had no control of his bladder or bowels. After a year or two, most of these symptoms subsided and the child lived a normal life for 80 years or so...and then the symptoms came back!

Be careful!

Rosco
 
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