Posted by Ros Connors

Government drive to protect pregnant women

Pregnancy can be an exciting time for parents, yet often tinged with worries about keeping mother and baby safe and well throughout. Ensuring mothers are vaccinated against COVID-19 and flu this winter is key to this.

COVID-19 can be very dangerous in pregnancy for both mother and unborn baby and can lead to admission to intensive care and premature birth. Expectant mums who contract symptomatic COVID-19 infection are 2 to 3 times more likely to give birth to their baby prematurely. There is also evidence that the infection affects the placenta. Flu can also cause serious complications in pregnancy, including increasing the risk of baby being admitted to intensive care, born prematurely or can even lead to stillbirth.

Only around four in ten women get the flu vaccine during pregnancy and whilst coverage of COVID-19 vaccines has increased across all groups of women compared to last year, around three in ten women who gave birth in June 2022 were not fully vaccinated.

Ros spoke to Dr Helen Lawal.

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