NHS advice to protect unborn babies this winter

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NHS England is advising pregnant women across West Yorkshire to protect themselves and their unborn child against flu with a free vaccination.

Medical chiefs say that getting vaccinated against flu is the best way to protect mums and their baby from the virus.

Dr Yasmin Khan, Deputy Medical Director, (West Yorkshire), for NHS England, said: “If you’re pregnant, you should have the flu jab, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you’ve reached. Pregnant women are more prone to complications from flu that can cause serious illness for both mother and baby. Having the vaccination reduces the chances of getting flu which in turn means the risk of these complications is much reduced.

“Once vaccinated, your baby will also benefit directly because the vaccine you have been given will also protect them in the first few weeks of life after birth when they are too young to have a vaccination themselves.

“If you are pregnant and catch flu, talk to your GP urgently as you may need treatment with antiviral medicine.

She also said the vaccine also poses no risk to women who are breastfeeding, or to their babies.

For a flu vaccine contact your midwife, pharmacist or GP. To find out more on flu vaccinations during pregnancy visit: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/flu-jab-vaccine-pregnant.aspx