Mayday Hospital and Croydon Primary Care Trust have contacted more than 200 new mums urging them to get vaccinated against rubella.

Letters have been sent urging around 270 women who gave birth between December 2003 and January 2006 but have not yet received an offer of the MMR vaccination to contact their GP. Rubella is usually a mild disease but can be serious for pregnant women as infection in the first three months of pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or cause serious problems with the development of the baby.

Since February 2006 the MMR vaccine has been offered to women who have just given birth and are not immune to rubella before they are discharged from Mayday Hospital.

Debby Gould, head of midwifery at Mayday Hospital explained: "The risk of any woman contracting rubella in pregnancy is very low but we take seriously our responsibility to set people's minds at rest, which is why we are asking these women to contact their GP."

A helpline has been set up to give confidential advice and reassurance to those who have been contacted by the London Road hospital or the Primary Care Trust.

For general information on rubella, vaccinations and pregnancy speak to your doctor or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or visit www.immunisation.nhs.

uk or alternatively www.mmr