Get the free flu vaccination if you're pregnant

If you’re pregnant, did you know you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine? It can help protect you and your baby, however fit and healthy you might feel.

A serious illness

Flu can be serious and is different to the common cold. You might have a high temperature, body aches and tiredness. Even if you feel fit and healthy, if you’re pregnant, the flu jab can protect you and your baby.

Pregnancy weakens the body’s immune system, and you might be less able to fight off infections, which means you’re more likely to get ill as a result of flu.

There is strong evidence that pregnant women have a higher risk of serious illness as a result of flu compared with other people.

The message from Public Health England is that if you’re pregnant, you should take advantage of the free flu jab.

Reduced risk with immunisation

Mums-to-be who have been vaccinated against flu are less likely to give birth prematurely, and less likely to have a baby with low birth weight. Antibodies will also be transferred through the placenta to the baby, giving them some protection against flu for a few months after they’re born.

You can get vaccinated at any stage during your pregnancy. And don’t worry about getting flu from the vaccination itself, as it is inactivated.

You can get your free vaccination from your GP or pharmacy, or you might be able to get it through your maternity service.

Find out more about flu and pregnancy, including the best ways to prevent and treat it.

Read our pregnancy tips for staying healthy in the colder months here.