Vaccinations in Pregnancy

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

Please read the following information in full.

Flu (also known as influenza)

The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn, before flu starts circulating. 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 the unborn baby which will continue for the first few months of their life. The vaccine does not effect a woman’s decision to breastfeed.

The vaccine is free to pregnant women and can be arranged by contacting your GP, speaking to your Midwife or dropping in at Antenatal Clinic at Doncaster or Bassetlaw.

Whooping Cough (also known as pertussis)

Whooping cough  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, 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.

The best time for pregnant women to be vaccinated against Whooping Cough is between 16 to 32 weeks of pregnancy. This maximises the chance that your baby will be protected from birth. After the vaccine your body will produce antibodies and this immunity is passed onto your baby through the placenta. This will protect your baby until they are old enough to be routinely vaccinated against whooping cough at two months old.

If you have missed your vaccination, you can still have it up until you go into labour and up to 8 weeks after you have had your baby. However, this is not ideal as baby is less likely to get protection from you.

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 Whooping Cough vaccine is free to pregnant women and can be arranged by contacting your GP, speaking to your Midwife, or dropping in to Doncaster or Bassetlaw Antenatal Clinics between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

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