PREGNANT women across the north of the county are being urged to protect themselves and their unborn child by having the flu vaccination.

The free vaccination is available from GPs, maternity service providers or pharmacies and health professionals say it is important that mums-to-be to get protected as soon as possible.

Flu can make healthy people feel unwell for up to two weeks. There is also strong evidence that pregnant women have an increased risk of developing conditions if they get flu, which can be potentially harmful to the mother and unborn child.

Denise Lightfoot, consultant midwife at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “All pregnant women should make every effort to have the flu vaccination during their pregnancy. It’s important to recognise that significant risks exist to both mother-to-be and unborn child if the virus is contracted during pregnancy. Complications are reduced by having a simple vaccination.”

The vaccination is not harmful - studies show that the vaccine is safe during any stage of pregnancy.