Mums-to-be are being urged to help protect their unborn children by having flu and whooping cough vaccinations.
Midwives at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Mexborough’s Montagu Hospital, are asking pregnant women to come forward to ensure any risk to their child is kept to a minimum.
They can be vaccinated for the flu at any stage during pregnancy, while the vaccination against whooping cough is being made available to pregnant women between 28-32 weeks and in some cases, 38 weeks.
Vaccination against both conditions ensures that mums-to-be are protected, as well as their child when it is born, due to the passing of antibodies to the baby via the placenta.
Midwife Kaye Bulliman said: “Catching the flu during pregnancy can lead to mums picking up complications as serious as pneumonia, so it should be high on parents’ ‘to-do’ lists.
“We also want to raise awareness amongst pregnant women of the importance of being vaccinated against whooping cough so that their baby is protected against the condition when it is born.”
Hayley Jennings, aged 25, of Armthorpe, is 32 weeks pregnant with her second child and was recently vaccinated.
She said: “ I would encourage other mums-to-be to also be vaccinated at their GP practice for the peace of mind it affords.”
In 2012, the UK reported the largest increase in cases of whooping cough for over 20 years. The greatest numbers of cases was in teenagers and young adults but 14 children also died.