Intended for healthcare professionals


Government tries to end confusion over swine flu advice to pregnant women

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 22 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2984
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

    The government has issued new guidance to try to end the confusion over advice to pregnant women on how to avoid the A/H1N1 virus.

    The guidance comes after a weekend of conflicting messages from different sources, such as the Department of Health, the National Childbirth Trust, and medical royal colleges.

    The National Childbirth Trust issued advice suggesting that women should consider delaying conception. The trust said that the guidance was taken from the health department’s website.

    A joint statement from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives said that current advice was for pregnant women to avoid crowded places whenever possible in times of flu outbreaks.

    The health department subsequently posted a new document on its website reiterating previously issued advice but emphasised that it was no longer telling women to delay conception or to stay away from busy workplaces or transport.

    A statement from England’s chief medical officer, Liam Donaldson, said that the health department was not advising pregnant women to avoid going to work …

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