MYHEALTH I Do Everything I Can to Protect My Unborn Child; Winter Flu Kills around 4,000 People in the UK Each Year. Health Reporter HELEN RAE Speaks to One Mum-to-Be Who Is Urging Pregnant Women to Get a Free Flu Jab

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PREGNANT women will do anything to protect their unborn child and first-time mum-to-be Kate McLoughlin is no different.

The policy and information officer at Newcastle City Council is expecting her son in December and has had no hesitation in getting the flu jab to ensure she is not struck down with the potentially-fatal illness.

But figures from last year have shown that pregnant women do not always take up the option to get their free vaccination, despite health professionals urging them to do so for the safety of the woman's health and that of her unborn child.

Kate, 34, of Gosforth, Newcastle, said: "I need to do everything I can to protect myself and the unborn child.

"I know that getting flu during pregnancy can lead to serious health problems such as pneumonia.

"I work in an open-plan office and at this time of year there are a lot of bugs and colds going round.

"With my immune system weaker during pregnancy, it is sensible to have the jab to prevent any problems."

Other serious complications include bronchitis. By not having the vaccine, mothers could put the baby at risk of being premature or stillborn.

Kate added: "I have read a lot about the vaccine as there is a lot of information available.

"There are plenty of leaflets to pick up at your local GP practice, pharmacist or health centre and plenty of advice to hand.

"I have friends who have also had the jab when they were pregnant, and I know it is absolutely safe and easy.

"I have never felt under any pressure to go out and get the jab, but I know it is the sensible thing to do. I would strongly advise other pregnant women to go out and have the vaccine as soon as possible". …


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