Why pregnant women should get the flu jab

Pregnant woman

Statistics show that, locally, there's been a low uptake of the flu vaccination among pregnant women this flu season. However, if you are pregnant, it's really important that you get your flu jab.

You can have the flu vaccination at any stage of your pregnancy. Having the vaccination when pregnant is beneficial and helps protect you and your baby from flu over the first few months of life.

As well as protecting your baby, you should have the jab because being pregnant means you are at increased risk of getting serious complications from flu, compared with other healthy adults.

When you are pregnant, your body naturally weakens your immune (defence) system to ensure that the pregnancy is successful. As a result, you are less able to fight off infections compared with when you are not pregnant.

So, if you get flu, you are more likely to be seriously ill with it.

The best way to avoid getting the flu is by having the vaccination. Speak to your GP or midwife or visit the pregnancy and flu pages on the NHS Choices website.

For more information, you can read the NHS booklet 'Flu, your pregnancy and you' here.

For mums with young children, you can find details of the safe and effective nasal spray vaccination here.

Published on 10th December 2014