pregnancy and indoor shooting range

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OK. Wife says lead is not an issue unless Mom has lead poisoning. Unless you ate lead, you're gonna be OK, especially from just one outing.

Noise . . . there's no data on noise and its effects on unborns. Women come to see her who work in loud factories, and share the same concern. She tells them, if you don't have to do a risky activity when pregnant, avoid doing it.

Your one hour outing likely had no effect.
Thanks for checking on this for me. You don't know how much it helps ease my mind. I appreciate it! Really, this has been the most helpful and informative forum.
Good luck!

Having gone through the experience as a bystander I'm constantly amazed at how fear mongering many folks are about prenatal care yet those same folks will act as though every difficulty you face as a parent from that point on is "just a phase".
I figure that if a person can't tell me the ratio of similac to water they've forgotten just how viceral the experience of parenting is (perhaps their advice would be more cheritable if they did).

I think it's great that you're looking for your own answers to be a good parent. Welcome to THR, I hope you enjoy our rowdy mix!
I have to echo Tommygunn, all my experience tells me that noises coming from outside water are greatly muffled inside it. That said, it almost certainly won't hurt to avoid shooting, while it might hurt to do it.
One trip to a indoor range and length of time spent there is nothing to worry about. My wife shoot a little bit while she was expecting with our son. It was all outdoors and I loaded the mags for her and used D-lead wipes to clean her hands immediately after she finished. Hygeine is the biggest factor in reducing lead exposure. Wash thoroughly and no eating or drinking until you do so. You (the collective you) are constantly being exposed to lead everyday in things you would think should not have lead at all. I ran a few spot checks around the house (I'm a scientist;) ) and found detectable amounts of lead in 3 cups my wife was using, several electrical devices, and a few plastic toys given to us for the kiddo'. As for sound, I highly doubt any injury from such a short range session. Bottom line has to do with real vs perceived risk. The real risk is to you and you baby was the car ride to the range. Much more likely something bad will happen in the car than at the range. You can have your OB or family doc give you a quick lead check if you are concerned, but if it is high mostly likely it was high befor your range session. Congrats on the little one, they are great :D
Well I can tell you that the first time I took my wife shooting, she was pregnant. Somewhere around 25-30 weeks. And our son has no problems whatsoever thus far.

This is something they don't really teach in medical school. Many physicians aren't familiar with the risks b/c they're completely ignorant about shooting. So unless you find an OB/GYN who's encountered the situation before, you're not likely to get a great answer.

The risks, as you mentioned, would be lead exposure and possibly noise. If the range is well ventillated (as it should be), then that should minimize your risk from lead. Also, wash your hands after shooting to remove any lead residue.

The noise factor would be difficult to assess in terms of its effect on your baby. Sound travels much faster under water, but when the sound originates outside the water, it's muffled by the interface of the air & water. For example, if someone yells at you from above the surface while you're under water, it sounds muffled & quieter. On the other hand, if you scuba dive and someone taps a diving knife on his/her tank, it's a crisp, loud sound that travels so fast it's difficult to figure out where it's originating.

If you're at all worried, just don't go to the range much until you deliver. Less frequent trips will minimize risk.
First off, Congratulations on the baby!
The only thing I can add, is that I went to the indoor range at least 2 times a week the whole time I was pregnant. I was even going to go the day I delivered Audrey. But she decided that it was time to be born. So I had to skip out on that day.:D
She was born healthy and happy. And turned 2 years old on Dec 22.:)
I wouldn't worry too much. Just be sure to wash your hands really good just as soon as you finish shooting. And of course be sure to not take any food or drink with you into the range. And get someone else to do the gun cleaning or be sure to wear gloves. Those are just a couple of the things I did while I was pregnant. (And I still do them.) Just use some common sense and you should be just fine.Best of luck to you. :)
shooting while pregnant

to my fellow THR colleagues,
it is easy to find opinions;
wisdom is harder to come by.

i thought i learned my lesson previously. [right, Pax?]
suffice it to say that i am indeed an OB/GYN (no, really)
(my contact info is below, feel free to verify).
and a shooter--
i have other creds as well, but i doubt they make any difference...

as Juna points out

This is something they don't really teach in medical school. Many physicians aren't familiar with the risks b/c they're completely ignorant about shooting. So unless you find an OB/GYN who's encountered the situation before, you're not likely to get a great answer.

The risks, as you mentioned, would be lead exposure and possibly noise.

i have encountered the situation of pregnant women shooting many times before.
and i must be able to assess risk to the mom & fetus; its what i do

many physicians are ignorant about guns and shooting: true.
most physicians have little interest or training in teratogenics: true
(they have little use for the information;
except OB/GYNs who must asses risks for moms -teratogenic or otherwise-).
many physicians 'err on the side of caution' and recommend against
possibly situations of which they have little knowledge or understanding:
true, and correctly so.

ionized lead in large quantities is teratogenic, especially if ingested.
shooters ALREADY have lead in their systems; stable & unionized, mostly bound to bone.
lead is not cleared if a prenant woman stop shooting for, say, 9 months.
with normal precautions (hand washing, etc) the incremental increase in
exposure to lead from shooting and the resultant risk is infinitesimal.
(so pregnant moms can shoot from the lead risk perspective.
however, prenant moms can also certainly shoot 'green' lead free ammo
and forgo ANY risk and contraversy in that regard)

though sound is well transmitted through water or air,
it is not amplified in water but dissapates just like in air.
sound, however is VERY POORLY transmitted across interfaces of differing materials.
hence, the sound recieved by the fetus is not at a level near that
of the shooter. (i have used the swimming pool analogy which TommyGun cites many times.
i usually use a hot tub with the jets on...bear in mind, too, that the uterine environment is not silent.)

further there are many exponentially louder environments wherein
pregnant women are exposed to prolonged high sound pressure levels
(stamping plants, baggage/cargo loading on airport tarmac)
so since women can work in the factory or on the tarmac with only
ear protection for themselves and no prohibition from OHSA or
other safety authorities, it is safe for women to shoot from the noise perspective.

The thread in which I previously posted on this topic at length is:

I would be happy to e-corresond or speak to you by phone to address any of your fears and concerns.



[email protected]

Peter L. Stevenson, MD FACOG
Assoc Clinical Professor
Wayne State University
School of Medicine
Detroit, Michigan

313.278.3900 (office)

"Always willing to assist in the defense of the righteous against the loud."
Jim Simmons, Esq
^ there we go, great post. The short of it-
1. Shooters already have lead in their systems. It doesn't clear well. The lead that was in your system from before you got pregnant is still there, so whatever tiny amount you added made no difference.

2. Sound travels well across water, but it transfers between differing materials extremely poorly, so it would be very muffled for your baby. Only if the sound orginated in water is it a concern, when it needs to be transferred by the air into water it is greatly muffled so the sound was much quieter for your baby than you.
I wish my mother would have taken me to the range like you did. I would probly score a little better from the experence. In the small town i live in the city crew still finds lead water lines going into homes. yes pure lead. it holds up much better in frost than other materials from its day.
My 6 year old grandson know witch deer stand is his, I built it when his mother was 7-month, she loves to shoot, and so dose that little rascal.
Someone should ask me about my daughters 1st deer, (the shot she made)

Unfortunately, the effects of gunshot reports on developing foetuses have not been studied.

In utero lead exposure, however, has been researched-- and the conclusions aren't pleasant. Should you decide to go shooting while pregnant, be sure to wear a respirator and wash thoroughly after eash session.

There is no safe lead threshold for children. Any exposure dramatically increases the risks of cognitive or developmental disorders arising later in childhood.
Congrads on the baby!

It sounds like you only have another month left or so, if it was my wife I would ask her (borderline demand) not to shoot until the baby is born. For all the right reasons, one month of not shooting is certainly worth a healthy baby.

Wait it out your almost there! :D
I hate to add controversial comments, but the indoor range I go to (Impact Guns) doesn't allow pregnant women in the range. Probably just a paranoid lawyer, but its a data point I thought you'd want.
Yeah. I'm not going to do it again! I had never been to an indoor range before, so I was a little unsure what to expect. But I wish the range owners would have cautioned me or had signs listing the rules of the range, including cautions to pregnant women. I figured the sound would be muffled and didn't even think about the lead. After reading more about it on the web and reading that several ranges don't allow pregnant women, I started to question how safe it really was. It probably is ok, but I don't know for sure.

After reading other research and talking to a bunch of people and seeing my doctor yesterday, I doubt I did any damage, but to be on the safe side, I think I will wait to go backto the range!

Thanks again for all the help.
Here is my somewhat educated position on a pregnant woman in an INDOOR range. I too am a physician but my area of practice is sports medicine/orthopedics.

My concerns are about possible toxicity from lead vapors both for the mother and especially for the developing fetus. If you were my patient or my relative I would strongly advise against shooting/being in an INDOOR range until you have delivered AND finished breast feeding. Lead toxicity is rather serious.

The noise issue is not so much of a concern (unless) possibly from a high caliber in a confined space.

The risks associated with lead toxicity or noise are much smaller if shooting outdoors.
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