PARENTS

Swine Flu And Pregnant Women - What Are We Supposed To Do Again?

21/07/2009 17:03 | Updated 22 May 2015

There has been so much conflicting, confusing advice about swine flu in the last few days - I really wish the "experts" would make their minds up.

The National Childbirth Trust even suggested women should consider delaying pregnancy until the flu has disappeared, apparently based on Government advice.

The Department of Health was suggesting that expectant mums should stay at home, and that parents of children under five should avoid crowds and unnecessary travel.

Then the department backtracked, saying people could consider avoiding some "very crowded" places to reduce risk, but should continue their daily routines.

There's even been talk about closing schools in September, which must have scared many parents more than swine flu itself.

Obviously, if you want to, you could lock yourself at home and not go out until the pandemic has subsided. But then you'd probably get rickets.

There's also conflicting advice on whether pregnant women should be vaccinated against the flu.

Public health minister Gillian Merron said pregnant women would be one of the "highest priority" groups for the vaccination.

But flu vaccinations are not usually recommended in pregnancy, according to the Royal College of Midwives.

The advice being given to pregnant women has been under the spotlight since a woman with swine flu died shortly after giving birth.

Ruptara Miah, 39, died in Whipps Cross Hospital, London, last Monday. Her baby is thought to be in intensive care.

As the mother of a young baby I'm quite confused about what I should be doing. I dithered about taking her swimming this week but decided that we should go.

The Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, has tried to reassure pregnant women this week.

He said most pregnant women who contracted swine flu would only suffer mild symptoms.

There were 55,000 new cases of swine flu last week and so far there have been just 26 deaths. It's important to keep things in perspective.

Are you pregnant, or the parent of a young child? Have you changed your routine to try and avoid catching it? Or are you carrying on as normal?

The latest advice from the Department of Health can be found by clicking here.

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