The NHS is still here to support pregnant women
The NHS in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are urging pregnant women to continue using health services to protect themselves and their unborn baby.
One of the best things a pregnant woman can do is to have the flu vaccination.
Having the flu jab at any stage of pregnancy protects women and also gives newborn babies vital protection in the first few months of their lives.
Hampshire GP Dr Nicola Decker said: “I encourage all pregnant women to get their flu vaccine.
“During pregnancy a woman’s immune system is naturally weakened as it works hard to protect both mum and baby.
“Getting flu during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, having a baby born too soon or born with a low birth weight.
“By having your free flu vaccination, either during an appointment with your midwife or at your GP practice reduces this risk.
“It also provides protection for your baby once they are born. It’s safe to have at any stage in your pregnancy and we would encourage you to take up the offer.”
Watch a video of Isle of Wight midwife Hannah Smith explain the benefits of having the flu jab.
As well as getting the flu jab, women are being reminded to attend their routine maternity appointments, which might be conducted a little differently due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Jo Mountfield, a Hampshire consultant obstetrician, said: “There’s no evidence that pregnant women are more likely to contract coronavirus than other people and for many woman, especially if they are fit and well with no underlying risk factors they are unlikely to be seriously unwell.
“That said, we understand this may be a concerning time and you will have many questions about how coronavirus could affect you, your baby and your pregnancy care.
“It’s important to know you’ll still have regular appointments and scans while you’re pregnant. But there may be some changes to how the service works, taking into account the extra precautions we have in hospitals to keep everyone safe.
“Keep talking with your midwife about your concerns, as you normally would, and follow the national guidance around washing your hands, wear face coverings and maintaining social distance.
“Please also take up the offer of a flu vaccination. This is safe for you and your baby and can reduce the chances of you contracting flu which can potentially be more serious in pregnancy for you both.”
To find out more about pregnancy and flu visit NHS.uk.