Seasonal vaccinations

Should you have the flu jab?

fluDid you know, all mums-to-be are encouraged to have the flu jab? Flu is a highly infectious illness and spreads quickly through small droplets coughed or sneezed through the air by an infected person.

Some people are at a greater risk of developing serious complications of flu including mums-to-be. So as the season of coughs and colds is upon us, all are encouraged to have the flu jab.

The flu jab is safe at any stage of pregnancy. The vaccine is "inactive" meaning you and your unborn baby do not get the flu. Mums-to-be will be protected from catching flu and developing more serious health complications affecting their pregnancy such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Newborn babies are also protected for the first few months of their lives.

If you liked more information about flu and the flu jab, go to the NHS Choices website or speak to your midwife and GP.

Advice for mums-to-be about the whooping cough jab

The UK is experiencing high levels of whooping cough infection. Babies who are too young to start their immunisation are at risk of serious illness. In response the Department of Health is encouraging all pregnant women to have the Pertussis or whooping cough jab in pregnancy.

In contrast to the flu jab (also recommended in pregnancy) which aims to protect mums-to-be from flu and potential complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, the whooping cough vaccine aims to boost mums immunity and pass it on to their unborn baby. Given between 28-38 weeks the vaccine maximises the protection passed between mum and baby.

Protection from whooping cough in a newborn is relatively short term and it's important that new mums get their infants started on their immunisation schedule to receive long lasting health benefits.

There is no evidence of risk to either mum or her unborn baby and vaccinations for flu should not be delayed to coincide with the 28-38week whooping cough "window".

If you liked more information about the whooping cough vaccine, go to the NHS Choices website or speak to your midwife and GP.

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