MUMS-TO-BE in Bassetlaw are being urged to protect themselves and their babies this winter by getting the flu jab.
Those who are pregnant, no matter what stage they are at, should get the flu jab from their local GP to protect themselves and their baby.
This year, all pregnant women in Bassetlaw will be offered the flu jab at their 12 week and/or 18 – 20 week scan, if they attend Bassetlaw Hospital.
Consultant in public health for Bassetlaw Penny Spring said women at any stage of pregnancy are at greater risk of developing complications from seasonal flu.
“Flu can be very serious for pregnant women. It has the ability to knock you off your feet for weeks and can put both mum and baby at serious risk,” she said.
“During pregnancy, a woman’s natural immunity to infection is reduced, therefore they are more likely to get seriously ill if they get flu. The flu jab is safe for pregnant women and their unborn baby at every stage of pregnancy and it will help to protect their baby from flu in the first few months of life.”
She added: “Flu is far more serious than a cold. Symptoms can hit you suddenly and severely and usually include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles. And you can often get a cough and sore throat at the same time.”
Local mum-to-be Charlotte Evans, urged other women to have their flu jab this winter - for their sake as well as their baby’s.
“I want to do everything I can for my unborn baby, including protecting us both from the dangers of flu,” she said.
“Getting the flu jab is very quick and perfectly safe and a little scratch on my arm is well worth it to protect the health of my baby.”
And if you’ve had the jab before or it isn’t your first child, it is still important to make sure you are immunized this winter.
A PCT spokesman said: “It’s important that you are vaccinated each year to ensure you are fully protected against this year’s flu. Last year’s vaccine won’t necessarily protect you from this year’s viruses.”
She added: “If this isn’t your first baby, it’s still important to protect yourself again. You might have had a healthy pregnancy last time round, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch flu this time.”
Other than pregnant women, those who are most at risk are people aged 65 and over and people who have long-term health issues, including diabetes, heart chest problems, kidney or liver problems and Parkinson’s Disease.
If you are in one of these vulnerable groups and haven’t received a letter offering the flu jab, you should contact your GP.