A lot are asking if it is okay to donate while breastfeeding, and yes it is okay to donate BUT ONLY after 6 weeks postpartum according to American Red Cross or after 6 months postpartum according to Canadian Blood Services. Well, since these are 2 different suggestions, I’d rather go with the suggestion with longer period that is 6 months after giving birth.
According to La Leche League International, you need to consult first with your health care practitioner if you plan to donate blood while you are breastfeeding so that you can make an informed choice.
The reason why blood donation needs to be carefully evaluated for breastfeeding moms and more especially for pregnant women is that blood donation takes 16-20 ounces of blood from the body so this means that a lot of liquid is lost from a mother’s body. So if the mother is breastfeeding, hence she should stay more hydrated. I have been continually telling to stay hydrated by taking in more than 12 glasses of water and making soup dishes so imagine that you now need more than this in order to be hydrated if you donate blood.
Another requirement with blood donation is that you cannot lift anything heavy after the donation, which cannot be avoided if you are a Mom with a little one that needs to be carried most of the time especially for infants.
For more information about blood donation and breastfeeding, you can refer to the following links:
- Canadian Blood Services: https://blood.ca/en/blood/am-i-eligible/abcs-eligibility
- Livestrong: https://www.livestrong.com/article/496273-is-it-safe-to-donate-blood-while-breastfeeding/