Believe it or not, flu season has rolled around again.
And, in case you were in any doubt as to how serious the infection can get – we thought we’d share this story of a mum in Australia (not to scare you, we promise) to make you aware of just how important it is to get a flu jab if you’re pregnant during the winter months.
Sarah Hawthorn, aged 33, contracted influenza A in the later stages of pregnancy. As a result, her little boy arrived earlier than planned, and after his birth she was in, and remains in, an induced coma.
The NHS makes it very clear that there is good evidence a pregnant woman contracting flu is more likely to have complications – particularly if they get it in the later stages of pregnancy.
What are the risks of getting flu when you’re pregnant?
Bronchitis and pneumonia are the biggest risks, but getting flu could also pose a risk that your baby will be born prematurely, or even stillborn.
Even more reason to get the jab this year, is that the NHS has predicted 2017 to be the worse flu season ever in the UK.
Australia has already reported 98,000 cases this year – more than double the amount in 2016.
Where and how do I get the flu jab?
The good news is if you’re pregnant the flu jab is free on the NHS. It’s available from September to January or February (depending on where you live) and is safe to have if you’re breastfeeding.
Just contact your GP saying you want the vaccine and they’ll tell you what to do next.