The Royal College of Midwives is urging more pregnant women across Shetland to get their flu vaccine to help protect themselves and their babies this winter.
The call comes after statistics highlighted that under half (47 per cent) of mums-to-be didn’t receive their vaccine last winter and that nationally flu was the cause of death among one in 11 women who died during, or shortly after, pregnancy.
Pregnant women who contract flu are also five times more likely to have a stillborn baby, or for the baby to die in the first week following birth.
Director of the Royal College of Midwives Scotland, Mary Ross-Davie said: “Flu is a really serious illness – it is not just a bad cold. It can have a serious impact on those expecting a baby, which is why we’re encouraging expectant mothers to get the vaccine.
“If you’ve been pregnant before, remember that a healthy and flu-free pregnancy last time is no guarantee that you won’t catch flu this time.
“The flu vaccine is free, it’s safe to have at any time during pregnancy, and it only takes a few minutes. To ensure you’re protected this winter, I’d encourage you to make booking your GP vaccination appointment a priority.”