Vaccinations in Pregnancy

We advise women to discuss the following recommended vaccinations with their GP.


It is recommended that all pregnant women have the flu vaccine whatever stage of pregnancy they are to protect both themselves and their baby. There is very good evidence that pregnant women who get flu are at greater risk of developing complications, particularly in the later stage of their pregnancy. This could lead to your baby being born prematurely, having a low birth weight or potentially could lead to stillbirth or death in the first few weeks of life.

Evidence shows that the flu vaccine is safe in pregnancy and that the vaccine passes on protection to an unborn baby which will continue for the first few months of their life. The vaccine also does not effect a woman’s decision to breastfeed.

The vaccine is free to pregnant women and can be arranged by contacting your GP.

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Whooping cough (medically known as pertussis) is a serious infection that causes long bouts of coughing and choking, making it hard to breathe. Whooping cough is highly infectious and is currently on the increase, and babies who are too young to start their vaccinations are at greatest risk of contracting the illness.

Young babies who contact whooping cough are usually very unwell and most will need admitting to hospital. When whooping cough is particularly severe, babies with this infection can die or suffer brain damage.

Pregnant women can safely help protect their babies by getting vaccinated between 28-32 weeks pregnant, although the vaccine may be given up to 38 weeks of pregnancy.  After the vaccine your body will produce antibodies and this immunity is passed onto your baby through the placenta. This wil protect your baby until they are old enough to be routinely vaccinated against whooping cough at two months old.

Evidence suggests that the whooping cough vaccine is completely safe for you and your baby in pregnancy. More information can be found on NHS Choices.

The vaccine is free to pregnant women and can be arranged by contacting your GP.

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