pregnant wife

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Sep 23, 2004
my wife is 5 mo pregnant and we are curious as to and danger to the baby involved with her shooting and/or observing shooting at an outdoor range. any info is greatly appreciated. thanks
I'm no expert, but I would say no. I assume you are talking about the noise hurting the baby's...YES i said baby...little ears. If you are worried about it you can insulate well with layers of clothing. You might want her to lay off the Heavy Recoil/Loud shooting of her own in the latter weeks, but I don't think there would be any damage from observing, especially outdoors. I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night either, might be a good question to ask the doctor....
Congrat's by the way, I have two children and they are one piece to the "meaning of life" puzzle, you will enjoy your child and enrich your life. As to the shooting, my wife is a neonatal nurse and the big issue is breathing the lead and other bad chemical combinations caused by the ammo. That goes for gun cleaning chemicals as well. Lead and children, even unborn ones, are a deadly combination. I know it is an outdoor range, but there are still levels of toxins that will be inhaled and passed through the placenta. Err on the side of caution for now, she can shoot in a few months and your child will have a lifetime of good health. After birth the same rules apply, growing children can have problems too, talk to your pediatrician. Best to you both!!!

This is just from one study, there are many more if you google "lead and placenta"

"When a pregnant woman has an elevated blood lead level, that lead can easily be transferred to the fetus, as lead crosses the placenta. In fact, pregnancy itself can cause lead to be released from the bone, where lead is stored—often for decades—after it first enters the blood stream. (The same process can occur with the onset of menopause.) Once the lead is released from the mother's bones, it re-enters the blood stream and can end up in the fetus. In other words, if a woman had been exposed to enough lead as a child for some of the lead to have been stored in her bones, the mere fact of pregnancy can trigger the release of that lead and can cause the fetus to be exposed. In such cases, the baby is born with an elevated blood lead level."
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Congratulations! The noise mention in another post makes good sense to me. I look forward to a new THR'r in the coming months! Enjoy your wife and enjoy the pregnancy. If you are like me, you will look back on the "before" years and wonder how life before the baby was possible.
Air rifles and pistols with BBs do not generate lead dust...


Hope sleep is not that important...

;) :)
Nobody really knows the answer for sure. Lead and noise are both potential risks to your baby.

Keep her away from the range for now. It's just not worth putting your baby at risk.


thanks for the replies. i figured best to err on the safe. and we see her doctor agai soon. as i am navy, i plan to teach her as much ass i can at home before i deploy in march i would like fpr her to be confidant with whaterver gun i leave i will do my best at 'home 'training' home for now........
OB doctors will advise against shooting while pregnant.

Sound transmits better through fluid than air, and your baby's head is underwater right now, so sound is an issue.

Lead is a possible issue also, I guess, but I am not sure if it would pass across the placenta.

I can only speak from the experiences with my wife. We went shooting once when she was right around 5 months pregnant, and she gave up after about 5 rounds with my .40S&w, because she got tired of the baby 'jumping' each time she pulled the trigger. It was fairly obvious to us that some form of stimulous was getting to the baby, and it seemed the safe, prudent and overly cautious thing to do was stop shooting.

Get her a Red Ryder BB gun. I know she won't shoot her eye out.

More seriously, I don't know what the medicos say, but if you want to play it safe, let her practice with an airgun. The principles are the same (but the joy isn't quite there).
Here's a good article about just this subject, written by a medical doctor:

The author summarizes :
It is the carefully considered opinion of the authors that pregnant women should evaluate the risks involved in consultation with her doctor. Obviously, shooting in self-defense if needed would be recommended, but shooting on regular basis during pregnancy would just increase the risks to both mother and child. It is recommended that pregnant women avoid working on or near firing ranges where chronic noise and lead exposure would be an issue. Commercial shooting schools should carefully consider whether or not to allow pregnant women on their courses, or on the ranges, and with what safety measures in place. Gila Hayes of the Firearms Academy of Seattle does not allow pregnant women on the range, even as visitors.


As one of our colleagues (a female police sergeant) recently remarked, "pregnancy is a temporary condition. Why risk it?"

I'll just add this: When YOU are done shooting, change clothes and shower before hanging around or sleeping with the wife. And if your wife usually does the laundry, put the range clothes in the washer yourself!

Better safe than sorry.

Welcome to the adventure!
Don't do it. The sound waves are amplified by the embryonic fluid and can cause serious concussive damage to the baby. As everyone else has posted, its just not worth the risk. Plus, there is always the risk of leead too. But its the concussion effect from the BANG that rally poses the most concern.

Congrats on the baby, btw. Good friend's wife had one this weekend, and another friend had one two months ago. My baby is turning 3 in April and the wife is starting to want another (I'm wanting one too)
Yeah, there are signs posted at a local range that basically says pregnant women shouldn't be near the shooting lanes. Sound, lead, whatever, it's not worth the risk.

Congrats. Ours is coming end of February. :)
If I were to bring my pregnant wife to a shooting, it's guaranteed the 5 watt bulb didn't light in my cranium. It's no place for pregnancy, Period!

This was not meant to cut down or belittle the author. Please don't take it the wrong way. :)
Last edited: as you like, but remember that there is a definite potential for problems due to lead posioning (I used to work in the lead-acid battery business in EH&S), but also from the percussion of the sound waves. Also remember, if they do enough testing, EVERYTHING is harmful for you and an unborn child.

My wife and I just had a little girl on Dec 22. We used to ride on my vibromatic- Harley Davidson up until the end of month #7. We also rode my Ducati on really twisty roads at up to 3x the speed limit. Both bikes are not good for the baby....weren't necessarily "good" for us, either. When my wife got too big to get on the back of the bike, we started going to an indoor range. We only shot smaller caliber loads, didn't shoot if there were more than two other people shooting besides us, if the baby got to moving too much, she left the range, and she wore a respirator to reduce lead exposure (and washed her hands and changed clothes after shooting).

I know. Lots of you are thinking "Oh, so horrible!". Yeah, well, things that cause more damage to a fetus were avoided throughout the pregnancy.....I quit my band so that my wife and I weren't around cigarette smoke (she always went with me to gigs), BOTH of us quit drinking, vitamins were taken as directed, diets were watched, and all doctor's appointments were met......interestingly, my mom smoked with me and my three sisters, drank, went to the range with my dad, and who knows what else was done. All of us came out fine.......Anyway, our daughter was born 2 1/2 weeks early, was in all safe areas of size and weight, her hearing and sight checked out fine by all of their preliminary tests, and she's healthy as a mule...gaining 33% worth of her birth weight in the first two weeks.

Anyway, my two cents as you like, take precautions, understand that there are consequences for EVERYTHING you do, and don't worry too much..........don't forget, using a cell phone can cause cancer, sitting too close to the TV can cause cancer, drinking too much water can cause you to drown, the aluminum in your drink can will cause Alzhiemers, and every time you get in your car, you run the risk of getting into an accident. :evil:
Don't risk it. Between the lead dust and the fact that the unborn doesn't have its own ear-protection....just don't risk it.


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pellets/BBs and lead dust-pregnancy

"Air rifles and pistols with BBs do not generate lead dust..."

Always be aware of the ingestion route of lead contamination. Handling pellets and BBs does put lead on your hands. Always wash up thoroughly after shooting air.

Women's Outlook (NRA magazine) did an article on shooting while pregnant a year or so ago. Maybe look in the Women's Shooting area on the web page.
Do not do it.

I knew a couple that shot together at the skeet and trap club untill she was about 7 months pregnant. When the baby was born, aboy, he had serious hearing problems that required many surgeries to correct. They don't know for sure that the shooting was the problem, but the doctor who took care of them said it could of lead to the initial problem of hearing damage to the baby after the second month.

It's been about 10 years since this has happened, and they have not shot again at our club. I have seen them around on occasion and inquire how they are. They say that their boy has only about 60% of his hearing and has to wear hearing aids. :(
I've got 3 with a 4th on the way and there is NO way I would let my wife shoot or watch me shoot. First, I know that each of my kids responded adversely to moderately loud noises (e.g. dropped plates)--I can't imagine what the noise of a firearm would do to the baby. Second, lead exposure. This is the whole reason they banned lead based paints (and yes it does cross the placenta--numerous global studies). That said, I only live my life, not anyone else's.

My two cents... :)

hmmm, relative THERE'S a interesting analysis...

"I don't know nothin' about shootin' or fightin' but if it was me..."
Clint Smith
Congrats on your future bundle of joy!

I'm 14 weeks pregnant now. I won't go shooting at an indoor range due to lead/noise issues. I did hunt deer quite a bit during my first few weeks of pregnancy, but 1) I hunt with a suppressed rifle so noise isn't an issue, and 2) I never had to fire more than one round a day :D so exposure to lead was minimal.

Someone else mentioned solvents and oils. This is important - your wife shouldn't handle them at all until after she's done breastfeeding. Also, do all of the gun cleaning outside.

pythonguy mentioned that lead in a woman's bones will leech out into her bloodstream while she's pregnant. Just a thought - and no I'm not a doctor - but I know that if a woman doesn't ingest enough calcium while pregnant to support the growing baby's needs, her body will supply it from her bones. The lead may be released along with the calcium in those women. So, tell her to keep her calcium intake high!
You might investigate the 'Beamhit' simulator. It will allow for all phases of shooting with no sound or lead. It uses a laser in the barrel that is acitvated by the trigger pull/hammer fall.

My experience echos Priv8ter's. At each shot, the baby would jump. We figured it probably wasn't the best for the baby for the wife to continue shooting then.

Hey, the bright side is that it won't be too long now, and she can pick back up again.

Kindest Regards!
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