Can you donate blood while breastfeeding?
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If you want to donate blood as a nursing mother, you should know that the regulations are different in different corners of the world. You also have to consider the risks that come along with donating blood as well. The way you gave birth is also an essential factor when deciding on this aspect.

Can you donate blood while Breastfeeding?

The general rule says that you can donate blood as a breastfeeding mother after a minimum of 6 weeks passed from delivery.

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Donating Blood

However, this depends on the regulations in your country. The American Red Cross organization will allow mothers to donate blood six weeks after delivery. In contrast, the Canadian Blood Service will only allow this practice 6 months after birth.

Furthermore, in Australia, you will have to wait up to 9 months before you can donate blood as a nursing mother. Once you got the time frame established according to the legislation in your country, you should look at other important aspects.

Can You Donate Blood While Breastfeeding? 1

Can You Donate Blood While Breastfeeding? 2

C-Section Delivery and Blood Donation

If you delivered your baby through a C-section, it is vital to recovering entirely before you consider donating blood.

  • Some C-sections are more complicated than others, and each woman’s body reacts differently to such surgery.
  • When it comes to vaginal delivery, the recovery happens faster and more comfortable, so you should be more ready to donate blood as soon as the 6 weeks pass, as long as the legislation allows you to do that.

Can You Donate Blood While Breastfeeding? 2

Anemic Mothers and Blood Donation

Anemic mothers shouldn’t donate blood when they are breastfeeding. This would affect your general health state by accentuating the anemia you already have.

  • If this is your case, you should talk to your doctor and treat the anemia first before considering donating blood.
  • Most medical centers will not allow you to donate blood if you are anemic either as such a condition affects the quality of your blood too.
  • They will ask you for a set of blood analysis or run a new set on you before accepting you as a donator.

Can You Donate Blood While Breastfeeding? 2

Blood Donation and Hydration Levels

Take into account that donating blood reduces your hydration levels. So, you will want to drink water the day before you donate blood as well as the day of your donation.

  • Your breastmilk is around 87% water, and if you get dehydrated, you might affect your milk supply too.
  • Make sure you have enough water in your system to battle the dehydration risk.
  • You should also get a snack worth up to 300 calories before you donate blood.
  • This will help you feel better and prevent weakness that sometimes comes along with this type of procedure.

Can You Donate Blood While Breastfeeding? 2

Can you donate blood plasma while nursing?

If you are considering to donate plasma, you have to know that the regulations are even more strict.

  • You will not be able to donate plasma while you are nursing your baby. You became eligible as a plasma donor 2 weeks after you stop nursing.
  • Plasma donation is not allowed for pregnant women either. If you are pregnant, you can donate plasma 6 months after giving birth (assuming that you are not breastfeeding).
  • Just like for donating blood, you will have to check the regulations in your region. However, significant states such as America, Australia, and the European countries warn about plasma donation as not being recommended or allowed for breastfeeding mothers.
  • The places that will allow you to donate plasma will apply the same rules as in the donation of blood. This means that you shouldn’t be anemic, and you shouldn’t be dehydrated.
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Can You Donate Blood While Breastfeeding? 2

To conclude, donating blood can be an option for a nursing mother as long as it is done under proper conditions.

You should always talk to your doctor before donating blood to see how and if this practice could impact your health and your breastfeeding schedule.

However, if everything is done correctly, you shouldn’t expose you or your baby to any significant risks by donating blood. If you notice severe side effects after donating, such as severe weakness, dizziness, or migraine, you might want to skip repeating the experience.

Can You Donate Blood While Breastfeeding? 2

Key References

  • “Blood Donor Eligibility Criteria | Red Cross Blood Services”. Accessed March 15, 2020. Link.
  • “Who can give blood – NHS Blood Donation”. Accessed March 15, 2020. Link.
  • “ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES – There are a number of medical conditions that may affect your plasma donation eligibility”. – Biotest Plasma Center. Accessed March 15, 2020. Link.


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