Can I go to a concert while I’m pregnant?

Okay, the biggest problem I am finding with this one is that most sites ask audiologist how damaging concerts can be. See, that’s sort of like asking a dentist it brushing is important. Someone who specializes in hearing is going to be pretty partial to avoiding loud noises. I’m sure not all of them are hyper focused on silence, but the ones that are writing for pregnancy sites sure are. A couple of them even started lending their opinion on the importance of stress hormones that music can supposedly release and providing the best environment for a developing baby. I’m thinking these guys should stick to ears and have a tall cool glass of shut the hell up.

As for the actual possibility of damaging your kid’s hearing because you like thrash bands? Well, by 22 weeks, your baby’s inner ear is fully formed, but it’s in amniotic fluid, so everything is muffled. Sort of like when you’re swimming underwater and can’t quite hear someone screaming, “someone shit in the pool!”

Now as for prolonged and repeated exposure to very loud noise like a full shift in an industrial workplace where the sound level is more than 90 or 100 decibels (about the same as standing next to a chainsaw or listening to me try to sing along to Heart in the car), this raises the chances of your baby suffering some hearing loss. It can also increase the risk of premature delivery and low-birth-weight – probably because the baby wants to get the hell out of there and hang somewhere quiet.

Anything over 150 or 155 decibels can cause similar problems for the baby, although your eardrums rupture around 160 decibels so you may have decided that it’s best that you get off the aircraft carrier with the military jet take-off long before your baby’s hearing is damaged.

What about guns?

Many of you have also asked me about firing guns. Of course, I’m assuming that you’re firing recklessly in the air screaming “yahoo” or killing someone as a hired assassin. Those being the two most likely scenarios.

Guns seem to be in 150 db range, so they are pretty loud (no kidding, right?) so it’s probably not wise to shoot them repeatedly and by repeatedly, I mean continuously for 8 hours every day which isn’t likely. So I’m sure you’re fine – shotgun, handgun, paintball gun – because even though it’s a loud noise, you’d have to subject your baby to it repeatedly to do damage. Just don’t get shot.

As for concert going, it doesn’t sound like you can do much damage to your child’s hearing unless you’re standing in front of a giant speaker deafening yourself. I said, IT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE YOU’LL DO MUCH DAMAGE UNLESS YOU STAND IN FRONT OF THE SPEAKER!! Oh, nevermind ; )

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  • I am a member of a female shooting club. Our coach pointed out that many women have gone shooting for hundreds of years pregnant but that the modern woman should consider the lead in the ammunition more than the noise factor. This can be solved by wearing a pair of quality shooting gloves and not making it a prolonged activity. Problem solved!

  • This has concerned me as I have a pregnancy app on my phone and it says at 17 weeks (which I am) the baby can be startled by loud noises. I work in a tire plant and sometimes there’s a hole in the ply and the tire kinda explodes which startles half the plant, let alone an unborn baby. I do wear earplugs but I wonder if that helps?

  • I am a rock concert photographer 😀 Poor baby. I do like a gig or 2 in a week, and usually small concerts in bars, so it's not so loud. At least, I hope s/he'll like rock as much as I do, when s/he grows up.

  • The only thing I'm concerned about is excess pot smoking! I can see this not being so great for 3 hours and it is usually at most concerts!!! what do people think (its a Metallica concert this weekend that im not sure I am going to go to yet fyi)

  • I doubt that an hour at the shooting range would be that bad for baby's ears, since regular earplugs are all I wear there and I hear the stupid test-the-grownups'-hearing-high-pitched-sound-apps in my classroom (hand me the cell phone, please; you can have it back after class) — but my gunloving dad and husband insist that the lead exposure from all the gunpowder is not ok. It's true that when we're done at the range, washing my hands allows me to see black streaming off my hands. What do you think? Are they right? I'm a better shot than they are even after a year of no practice ;), so I'm just asking out of curiosity.
    Many thanks!

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