Vaccinations in pregnancy

There are two vaccinations that we strongly urge you to have during pregnancy, to protect your baby as well as yourself. It's important that you read this information so that you can make a fully informed decision about having the vaccines.

Flu (influenza)

Flu is a serious illness. It is not the same as a cold or other viral infections, and can lead to complications for mothers and babies. Flu is more dangerous when you are pregnant, as your immune system is weaker, and there can also be risks to your baby. The flu vaccine is the most effective way of protecting your baby and yourself.

It is important to read the information around the flu vaccine before the midwife talks with you about your decision. You can read more on the NHS website and on Healthier Together.

Whooping cough (pertussis)

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a serious respiratory illness that can affect people of all ages but is worse for newborn babies. In 2010 it was noticed that there had been an increase in the number of affected newborn babies, and deaths caused by whooping cough had risen. The whooping cough vaccine was introduced for pregnant women in 2012, as babies cannot receive their first whooping cough vaccines until around 8 weeks of age. Having the vaccine while you are pregnant will protect your baby until they can have their own vaccines.

It is important to read the information around the whooping cough vaccine before the midwife talks with you about your decision. Read more on the NHS website and on Healthier Together.

The vaccination service at the Princess Anne Hospital

If you choose to have your antenatal care in Southampton (including New Forest), you will be offered these vaccinations at the Princess Anne Hospital alongside your pregnancy scans.

Flu vaccines are offered from September until the end of March and depending on when you become pregnant, are usually given alongside your dating scan (when you are around 12 week pregnant). We will offer the vaccine again at your 20 week scan if you weren't eligible at your 12 week scan. The flu vaccine is safe to have at any point in your pregnancy, and is recommended to have as soon as possible within the flu season window.

Whooping cough vaccines can be given safely from 16 weeks pregnant and ideally before 32 weeks. We will offer you a vaccination appointment alongside your anomaly scan at around 20 weeks for whooping cough.

If you opt to have the vaccinations after talking about them with your midwife, you will automatically receive an appointment by text within a few days of your scan. If you have any questions or want to book an appointment, please call 023 8120 4594.