Can You Donate Plasma While Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding mothers are mostly advised not to donate plasma for at least 6 months after giving birth. This time period is to allow your body to heal and restore hemoglobin, iron, plasma and protein levels to normal again. Some countries, such as the Australian Red Cross Blood Service advise that mothers should wait nine months or until their babies are weaned before donating blood.  

Some mothers worry that the anticoagulant (which prevents clotting while donating blood) will contaminate their breast milk, but anticoagulant molecules cannot enter the breast milk. 

Things to Consider

  • A mother should not donate blood if she is dehydrated. Nursing demands larger than normal fluid levels, and plasma donation can increase dehydration levels. Blood donation takes about 500ml (16 ounces) of blood from the body. Increased dehydration could cause vein clotting, vomiting, and severe headaches. How much water should you drink while breastfeeding? Drinking extra water a few hours before and after donating will also help to prevent weakness, headaches, and nausea. 
  • If you have had any adverse reactions after donating, stop donating. 
  • Mothers who are anemic should not donate blood. 
  • Mothers are advised to avoid lifting their baby or carry their baby with the arm that was used to donate blood. Any heavy lifting could cause excessive bruising. 

Talk to your doctor about the safest option for you and your baby.

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