Can breastfeeding moms donate blood?
When I was breastfeeding baby number four, I rolled up my sleeves and donated blood. Breastfeeding moms can donate blood without worry about their milk supply being affected. Before you roll up your sleeve to do your part, there are a few things to consider:
- You’re required to wait until at least 6 weeks postpartum to donate blood. It’s best to wait until 6 months postpartum to donate without fear of affecting milk supply. If you required a blood transfusion during delivery, you will not be able to donate for a full 12 months.
- Stay hydrated. Breastmilk is 87% water. Donating blood removes 16 ounces of blood from your body. You’ll need to take in fluids to replace that liquid loss and additional fluids to maintain your milk supply. Drink plenty of water.
- Eat a substantial meal before donating and after. Breastfeeding a baby uses an additional 500 calories a day. Donating blood requires your body to make more blood. Hard work – so treat yourself to a hearty meal with plenty of protein and iron-rich foods. Moms can often be anemic, be sure to take your vitamins and be healthy.
- Rest after donation. Skip the Mommy-and-Me stroller workout that day. Prop your feet up and take time to recover. Your body will be working to make more blood and keep producing milk. It’s a good day for a nap, or two.
It may seem like a hassle, but it’s important to donate blood if you’re a healthy adult. According to America’s Blood Centers 1 in 7 people admitted into a hospital will need blood transfusions. Blood is desperately needed to treat trauma victims, cancer patients, hemophiliacs, and surgery patients. O-negative blood, a type often called for in emergencies because it’s a type any patient can use, is always in the highest demand. It’s a rare blood type; only 7% of people are O-negative.
I’m just a standard A-positive kind of gal. But blood is needed, so I gave.
Blood is needed every two seconds. It can’t be manufactured or harvested. It takes donors like me – and you. When you give blood, you’re saving lives. You’re giving someone a chance to spend more time with their loved ones and family. A mom, a dad, a brother, a sister, a child. It could be someone just like you.
Wouldn’t you want that second chance?
Visit any of these sites to find ways to give blood and save someone’s life.