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Can You Donate Blood While You Are Breastfeeding?

Can you donate blood while breastfeeding? This is a question that many moms may be asking themselves. In this blog post we will go over all the information needed to help make your decision easier and determine what is best for you!

Can you donate blood while breastfeeding? Yes, it is possible. The American Red Cross has a list of guidelines for women who are considering donating blood while breastfeeding. These guidelines are meant to help you make the right decision for your family and ensure that both you and your baby get all the benefits of breast milk. We couldn’t find these listed on their website, but if you contact them, you should be able to get access to them.

The American Red Cross (according to the La Leche League) asks women to wait at least six weeks postpartum before donating blood. This is because at this point the body has made enough breast milk to feed a baby and donating blood could interfere with that.

There are other things women should keep in mind when donating blood while breastfeeding as well

  • Make sure you eat and drink before donating (the Red Cross recommends drinking 16 oz of water or juice)
  • After donating, eat a full meal and drink plenty of fluids
  • If donating blood for the first time after giving birth, it is recommended to wait one month before donating again.

Donating plasma while breastfeeding is another story. Make sure you are aware of the recommendations on that!

How can donating blood interfere with breastfeeding?

Another source to consider is the World Health Organization (WHO). They are more cautious when it comes to donating blood during breastfeeding. On their website it says:

“It is not advisable to donate blood while breast-feeding. Following childbirth, the deferral period is at least 9 months (as for pregnancy) and until 3 months after your baby is significantly weaned (i.e. getting most of his/her nutrition from solids or bottle feeding).”

Donating can interfere with breastfeeding and milk production, which is especially true for mothers who are exclusively breastfeeding (breastfeeding without the use of formula or pumped breastmilk).

If you know donating blood will affect your ability to produce enough milk for your baby while still providing them all the benefits of human milk, it is best to wait until you have weaned your baby from breastfeeding completely before donating blood.

Donating can interfere with the lactation process and cause a drop in breastmilk production or less than optimal amounts for the baby

No matter what you decide know that donating blood does not negatively affect your child’s health and can still provide them with the benefits of human milk even if you are donating while they are still breastfeeding regularly

New to breastfeeding? Need a refresher for a second baby? Make sure you signup for “The Complete Online Breastfeeding Class“. This on demand class is designed to help you meet your breastfeeding goals.

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