Carmarthenshire mum-to-be supports the ‘Beat Flu’ campaign

A Carmarthenshire mum-to-be has been supporting the Beat Flu campaign by encouraging expectant mothers to protect themselves and their little ones from the seasonal virus.
Bancyfelin resident, Mrs Lisa Wilson, who is expecting her second baby, has been speaking of her reasons to take part in Hywel Dda University Health Board’s annual flu campaign.
Lisa, who is one of thousands of women across Wales to receive the vaccination this year, said: “I decided that I wanted to get the flu jab while I was pregnant with my first child because I wanted to protect my baby as well as myself. Now that I’m expecting again, I know how important it is to get it done.
"Catching flu can be serious because it can lead to complications in pregnant women and other at-risk groups, and like any mother, I’ll do anything I can do to stop it from spreading and harming my children.
"There are many myths around how safe the vaccine is, but there’s no evidence that it causes mothers or their babies any harm - I’ve certainly never experienced any bad side effects.
"I’d urge all mums-to-be in Wales to get their vaccine as soon as they can – it’s free, it only takes a few seconds and it gives you real peace of mind that your baby will be protected.”
To date over 700 of pregnant women in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire have been vaccinated against flu and health experts are urging those who have not yet received their vaccine to contact their midwife or GP to get protected.
Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda University Health Board, Teresa Owen said: “There is good evidence that pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get influenza (flu), particularly in the later stages of pregnancy.
“One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis, which can develop into pneumonia. Other less common complications can include things like meningitis and septic shock.
“Having the flu vaccination not only protects mum but the unborn baby too. If a pregnant woman contracts flu her baby could be born prematurely or have a low birth weight.
“Therefore it’s vital that women protect themselves and their unborn baby by getting their free vaccine.”
Studies have shown that the flu vaccine can be given safely during any stage of pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to your expected due date. The vaccine doesn’t carry risks for either the mother or the baby. Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.
The vaccine also poses no risk to women who are breastfeeding, or to their babies. The vaccine doesn’t contain any live viruses, so it can’t cause flu. Some people get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards, and you may feel a bit sore at the injection site.
If you are a mum-to-be, talk to your midwife or GP as soon as you can about your free flu vaccine.
Find out more by visiting www.beatflu.org or searching for Beat Flu on Twitter and Facebook.

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