Preppers love to shoot guns, but it’s not just because we are gun-obsessed survivalists… at least not totally. In truth, shooting is one of those survival skills that you have to practice on a regular basis if you want to stay on top of your game. Target shooting is something you should work at so you can hone your skills and be prepared to shoot accurately if you are ever faced with an emergency situation that requires you to use your firearm. Shooting is a vital skill for any prepper, but is it safe to do some target practice when you are pregnant?
While most doctors will tell you that it’s fine to go shooting during pregnancy, it’s still essential that you take a few extra precautions. There is not real evidence that shooting during pregnancy is harmful for the baby, but there are still a couple of legitimate concerns – lead levels and noise.
When you are out shooting your gun, you are exposed to lead and that could be a problem if you aren’t careful. Firing your gun causes a release of gas that is made from the powder in your ammunition. The powder could contain lead and after you fire the gun, tiny amounts of it could end up on your hands, face, or even in your hair. You could also inhale tiny particles in the gas. Ultimately, we are all exposed to some amount of lead just by regular daily life events.
Even your lipstick probably has lead in it. However, research shows that women do transfer exposure to lead to unborn babies. There is no certain level of lead exposure that is deemed safe during pregnancy, but doctors have discovered that lead exposure is linked to lower birth weight, premature delivery, preeclampsia, and even miscarriage.
So how can you safely do some shooting practice during pregnancy? Just make sure that you use lead-free ammunition for starters. You should also wear shooting gloves and try to shoot at an outdoor range if at all possible to decrease exposure to inhalable lead particles. After you are done shooting, let someone else clean your gun and make sure you wash your hands, face, neck, and arms thoroughly after target practice.
Some pregnant women might notice that their babies seem bothered by exposure to loud noises. In fact, a few of the pregnant girls I know couldn’t stand to be a the shooting range while pregnant because their babies would kick and jump around so much that it was uncomfortable. Developmentally speaking, babies can respond to sound as around 16 weeks gestation. This is ultimately a matter of whether you feel comfortable with it or not. The best way to protect your baby during shooting practice would be to use a suppressor and try to shoot with quieter guns like a .22. You should also consider wearing thick body armor to cover the clothing, especially your abdomen.
The bottom line is that the decision to do target practice during pregnancy is a personal one. Talk to your doctor about it and do your research to make sure you make a thoroughly informed decision.