Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury DHB Medical Officer of Health says expectant mums are encouraged to get immunised during pregnancy, it's important to immunise baby on time and enrol early with a midwife and general practice team.
"Get immunised while pregnant. It's the best way to protect you and your baby from serious illnesses such as influenza and whooping cough (pertussis)," Ramon says.
Protection for your baby against vaccine preventable diseases starts with mum. The whooping cough vaccine is available between 32 and 38 weeks of pregnancy. It protects baby until they are fully vaccinated against whooping cough at 6 months of age. (Babies are vaccinated at 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months).
With the increasing cases of Whooping Cough within our community, it is really important to ensure baby is protected from birth.
Vaccinating for influenza (flu) is important to protect yourself. "Catching the flu during pregnancy can be serious for mothers. Pregnant women are five times more likely to be admitted to hospital when suffering from influenza-related complications than women who are not pregnant. Both these vaccines are free, recommended, and have a proven safety record. Talk to your midwife or general practice team," Ramon says.
As well as encouragement to immunise pregnant women and baby on time, Immuniusation Week also highlights the role of all health professionals working with new and expectant parents - midwives, practice nurses, general practices and hospital staff.
Frances Mansell, expectant mum to her first child, recently had her influenza vaccination onsite at her workplace and Whooping Cough vaccination at her general practice. Her partner has also been vaccinated for whooping cough (pertussis).
"Being pregnant I am at greater risk of getting influenza and suffering complications. For the sake of a slightly sore arm, why wouldn't you get your vaccination," she says.
For more information please contact Amy Milne, Media Liaison, Canterbury DHB,
firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 502 7523
For more information on Immunisation, go to: www.immune.org.nz, www.health.govt.nz/immunisation or phone 0800 IMMUNE
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