Pregnany woman are being reminded to get a flu jab, after figures showed 36 expectant mums have died from flu over a three-year period.
The research, which covered the whole of England, revealed flu was the cause of death in 1 in 11 women who died during, or shortly after, their pregnancy between 2009 and 2012
NHS England in Lancashire is urging all expectant mums to put a free flu jab at the top of their Christmas list as they are at increased risk of serious complications and death from flu compared with other healthy adults.
The flu can also affect the unborn baby during pregnancy leading to stillbirth, prematurity and low birth weight.
Shelagh Garnett, Public Health Consultant (Lancashire) at NHS England, said: “Pregnant women are at increased risk of serious illness if they catch flu, so it is concerning that only 41% of pregnant women have taken up the offer of flu vaccination since the 2014 flu season began.
“Research shows that the jab is safe for mother and baby and can be given at any stage of pregnancy. The earlier you have the vaccine the better as it means you will be protected for the whole winter.
“Flu is more than having a bunged up nose and feeling under the weather. It’s an illness that can take you out of action for weeks, which is the last thing that anyone needs in the run up to Christmas.”
Contact your GP to book a jab.