Frequent or constant exposure to loud noises during pregnancy can affect a baby in the womb. But there's no evidence to suggest that occasional loud noises, such as from firecrackers during Diwali, can be of any harm to your unborn baby though they might affect you. Your baby's hearing develops and matures by about five months. But the sounds he hears are distorted as they pass through your fat and muscle lining, the wall of your uterus, and the amniotic fluid. It is possible that all these layers protect your baby's hearing but more research is needed to understand exactly how this works.
With nothing to protect your ears during Diwali, you might suffer more from the noise levels than your baby in the womb.
The noise from firecrackers can give you tinnitus (ringing in the ears.) Tinnitus can last for 24 hours or be more permanent depending on the intensity of and closeness to the firecracker sound. It can be very disturbing so speak to your doctor if you suspect that you have it. The noises during Diwali and often the week leading up to it might also be a source of stress or tension for you and might prevent you from getting enough rest.
If you are bothered by the sounds of firecrackers and small explosions, you can:
- Keep your windows and doors shut to keep out a maximum amount of noise.
- Protect your ears with cotton balls. Though they might not help if you are very close to a firework explosion, they will muffle loud noises to some extent.
- Celebrate your Diwali with diyas, lanterns and electrical lights instead of fireworks. This will also help to limit your exposure to harmful pollutants.
- If you must use fireworks, choose those that do not emit loud noises such as hand-held sparklers, fountains (anaar) and spinning (chakra) fireworks.