Breastfeeding shouldn’t stop you from doing a lot of things. But there are a few things that will have to wait until you have officially weaned your child. Is donating plasma while breastfeeding okay? Keep reading to find out.
Many people donate plasma as a way to help others and make a little extra money. When you are breastfeeding, it’s always important to be cautious about anything that might take away fluids and nutrients from your own body.
In the past, we have shared that donating plasma is not recommended, however, as I’ve done more research, I can’t say that 100% certainty.
And here’s why:
Donating plasma while breastfeeding doesn’t have a lot of information or guidance out there. As I’ve come back to update this article, I had trouble finding any cut and dry recommendations, beyond a few articles that didn’t actually cite any sources – as well as some Reddit threads. Honestly, through extensive searching, I can’t find any recommendations from professional organizations or plasma donation centers anymore. Bonfils used to say you shouldn’t donate until you’ve weaned, but that page no longer seems to be active.
I did reach out to Vitalant (previously Bonfils), and this is what they told me:
“What we strongly suggest, is that mothers who are still nursing, should wait to donate until after they are no longer nursing their baby. The nutrients that nursing mothers are taking in, provides what is needed for themselves and their baby, but not necessarily enough for them to be able to donate.
We appreciate these mothers wanting to give to others, but they are already taking care of a very important person.”
You should contact the place you are donating at to see what their specific recommendations are.
According to DonatingPlasma.org, donor eligibility is up to the discretion of the plasma collection facility.
It also states these general guidelines:
- Plasma donors should be at least 18 years old
- Plasma donors should weigh at least 110 pounds or 50 kilograms
- Must pass a medical examination
- Complete an extensive medical history screening
- Test non-reactive for transmissible viruses including hepatitis and HIV
- Follow a recommended diet including 50 to 80 grams of daily protein
Breastfeeding and pregnancy are not mentioned. However, I would probably agree with what Vitalant recommends.
The articles I’ve read have said that the NHS doesn’t recommend donating plasma until you are two weeks past weaning. Another said the Australian Red Cross doesn’t recommend you donate plasma until at least six months, or when breast milk is no longer your baby’s main source of nutrition.
However, lots of BabyCenter and Reddit threads are filled with moms saying they donated plasma all the time.
In general, it seems that the consensus is to wait until you are at least six months postpartum, regardless of if you are breastfeeding or not. That should give you ample time to allow your body to heal and restore hemoglobin, iron, plasma and protein levels.
So, is it safe to donate plasma while breastfeeding? While it seems there used to be recommendations in place, I can’t seem to find those. So you should contact your doctor and your local donation facility. I think I would recommend waiting until your baby is weaned.
I do think it’s wise to wait until you feel recovered from pregnancy, don’t have any underlying health conditions, and feel well overall. As someone who has passed out from donating plasma, you definitely want to make sure you are in tip-top shape!
And if you do end up deciding to donate plasma – make sure you are well-hydrated! And if you are wondering about donating blood while breastfeeding, make sure you check out this post – Can You Donate Blood While You Are Breastfeeding?
If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to your primary care provider.
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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