A reader asks the question ...

We’re all for encouraging Young Guns to take up shooting safely and responsibly. But how young is too young to get involved in shooting? Does shooting clays or game shooting harm an unborn baby? Or is it a good opportunity to get some exercise in the fresh air?

Is it ok to shoot during pregnancy?

Reader Jodie Brown wrote to Shooting Times to ask advice.

“I am 21 weeks pregnant and nobody seems to know if it is ok to shoot while pregnant? I shoot a lot of clays and everyone I’ve spoken to doesn’t have a clue whether it’s been medically tested. Doctors don’t really know either.”

The view of the country’s top experts on shooting in pregnancy

We went to the top for this one and asked the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for their opinion. Here’s what Dr Patrick O’Brien, spokesman of the Royal College said.

“Babies start to hear at around 15 weeks of pregnancy, so by this point they would likely be aware of loud gunshots. As babies are protected from noise to some extent in their mother’s uterus, the sound of gunshots are unlikely to be harmful. However the noise wouldn’t be very comfortable. If women participate in shooting activities while pregnant, they need to ensure that the recoil from their gun doesn’t impact their stomach. If women experience any unusual symptoms while shooting, they should contact a healthcare professional immediately.”

So there you have it, the opinion of those in the know.