The immune system is naturally lower during pregnancy, so if you were to catch the flu it could become serious very quickly. Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging all pregnant women to get the free flu vaccination this winter.
Flu can cause many complications during pregnancy, particularly in the later stages and in some cases it can lead to still birth or death in the first week of life.
Dr Lindsay Kinlin, GP at the Avenue Surgery in Warminster said, “Flu can make otherwise healthy people feel very poorly and I would urge any lady who is pregnant to get the flu vaccination as soon as possible. During pregnancy a women’s immune system is naturally lower to ensure that the pregnancy is successful. As a result, pregnant women are less able to fight off infections and therefore more likely to be seriously ill if they contract the flu virus.”
The flu vaccination is the best protection against flu. It is recommended during any stage in pregnancy, from the first few weeks through to the due date. Keeping fit and healthy in pregnancy is important for your baby’s growth and development.
Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.
Dr Kinlin, added, “Even if you have had the flu vaccination in previous years it is important to get it again because the type of virus in circulation changes every year, so the vaccine changes too.”
If you are pregnant, you are eligible for the flu vaccination free of charge. It’s free because you need it.
Ask your midwife or GP about the flu vaccination now. You can book an appointment at your GP practice or visit your local pharmacy.