Riley’s mum begs “please, if you are an antenatal health care provider, inform your patients about the importance of maternal immunisation.”

Catherine Hughes son Riley passed away March 2015 from whooping cough at just 32 days old. She is still begging the health care providers to inform their patients about the importance of maternal immunisation.

Catherine has shared her frustration at the health care providers who fail to mention vaccinations that should be offered during pregnancy. She posted the below on the Light for Riley Facebook page.

“Today I am 28 weeks pregnant – the perfect time to have the whooping cough vaccination that I have so passionately advocated for. The vaccination that, had I been offered it in my last pregnancy, means my child probably would have survived.

Today I am 28 weeks pregnant – and still waiting for my antenatal health care providers to mention vaccination. To tell me I should have an influenza vaccine, to decrease the risk of severe pregnancy complications, stillbirth and premature birth. To mention the importance of getting vaccinated against whooping cough, because it can kill newborn babies as it did my last. There has been not one word, and not one brochure. Just like last time.

Today I am 28 weeks pregnant – and will be volunteering in Sydney at the Pregnancy, Babies & Children’s expo, with a team of fantastic experts, educating parents about the importance of immunisation. But is it the parents who need educating… or the healthcare providers?

Today, I am 28 weeks pregnant and hormonal and clearly needed to vent. But please, if you are an antenatal health care provider, inform your patients about the importance of maternal immunisation. It’s a method of prevention that can and does save lives. It shouldn’t be left to grieving families to stand up and be strong and raise awareness. It all starts with you. (And THANK YOU to the huge number who do the right thing! We need more of you!).

x Riley’s Mum”

Her post has received over 2.7K reactions and over 330 shares.

Why do we have to fight so hard for something so important?

Share your comments below.

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  • Wow what a powerful article


  • She is right. They do not care, we are just a number.


  • She is so right. But many healthcare providers don’t care about their patients – just the pay check.


  • Good work! There really is a lack of information out there. I just had my second child after having my first a couple of years ago and in both cases I was not informed about maternal immunisation. Instead I was lucky I had done some research of my own but others would not be the same as me and would likely miss out if they are not informed by their health care providers.


  • Keep it going I say. Way too many anti vaxxers out there now, we need to educated them and get them back on the bandwagon. My son and daughter had vaccines before the birth of their son. I think it was just for whooping cough tho, not the flu one :/


  • It’s fantastic what she is doing. I hope a lot of pregnant women will follow her advice.


  • Good on her for fighting for this.
    Our daughter is 3. I was never told about the whooping cough vaccines until I was leaving hospital to bring her home


  • I hope the right people hear this message and we can prevent even more deaths


  • It is so heartbreaking to hear about Riley. I hope Catherine’s message is heard so that other mother’s do not have to go through such a loss.


  • Good on her for raising so much more awareness. People just need to do the right thing so cases like don’t keep occurring.


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