Flu is much worse than a bad cold. It’s a virus that can cause chills, fever, muscle aches and a sore throat. The virus can also cause headaches, coughing, sneezing, extreme tiredness and at worst pneumonia, which can result in death. If you are pregnant, flu may hit you harder and it is important that you consider getting immunised. Whilst pregnant you are also at greater risk of complications from flu. The risks, such as miscarriage and premature labour, are highest during the later stages of pregnancy. Having the flu vaccine could help you avoid catching flu and help protect your baby. It’s common and safe, as well as being beneficial to you and your unborn child.
Flu viruses continually change, so people need to be immunised each year. Flu season starts at the beginning of October and runs until around the end of March. The earlier in the season that you are immunised the more you will benefit, so no matter what stage of pregnancy you are at speak to your midwife about the arrangements to make an appointment.
For further information about the flu immunisation programme or any other immunisation programme, contact your doctor or midwife or visit the Immunisation Scotland website.
There is a lot of whooping cough around at the moment and babies who are too young to start their routine immunisations are at greater risk.
You can help protect your unborn baby from getting whooping cough in his or her first weeks of life by having the whooping cough vaccine while you are pregnant – even if you’ve been immunised before or have had whooping cough yourself.
Immunisation is recommended as soon as possible from week 16 of your pregnancy. The ideal time is between weeks 16 and 32 but the sooner you get the vaccine the better. If you are 16 weeks pregnant or more, talk to your midwife, practice nurse or GP and make an appointment to get immunised as soon as possible.
For more information on the Whooping Cough vaccine visit immunisation scotland
Updated 10 April 2016