Staying healthy during your pregnancy
Looking after your health while you are pregnant is really important for you and your baby. Pregnancy is a great time to kick unhealthy habits and do what you can to stay healthy. Your community midwife can help you with support and advice to look after your health.
Your community midwife can help support you with these choices.
It is also very important that you get vaccinated against infections that you can catch during pregnancy. The most important of these are:
Flu vaccination (seasonal)
Pregnant women have a higher chance of complications if they come down with influenza, and it can cause your baby to be born prematurely or have a low birth weight, and in some cases may even lead to stillbirth.
It is safe for you to have the flu vaccine any time during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding. For more information, click here.
If you are pregnant and think you may have flu please contact your GP as soon as possible.
Whooping cough (Pertussis)
Whooping cough is particularly dangerous for newborn babies before they have their first course of infant vaccinations. It is highly infectious and can be caught from siblings and other children easily.
However, if you have a vaccination during pregnancy you can protect your baby during their first weeks of life because the immunity you receive from the vaccination passes through the placenta. Ideally you should have the vaccination between 16 and 32 weeks of pregnancy for it to be most effective, but it is safe at any time. Even after you have given birth having the vaccination may protect you from whooping cough and hence prevent you from passing it on to your baby. For more information, click here.
Ask your GP to book you in to have these either separately or together (to save you time!) if possible.
Vaccines can help protect both you and your baby from vaccine-preventable diseases. During pregnancy, vaccinated mothers pass on infection-fighting proteins called antibodies to their babies. Antibodies provide some immunity (protection) against certain diseases during their first few months of life, when your baby is still too young to get vaccinated. It also helps provide important protection for you throughout your pregnancy.