16 answers

Can I Give Blood While Breastfeeding?

My work is having a blood drive and I would like to donate. I am exclusively breastfeeding my 4 1/2 month old daughter and don't want to do anything to cause problems with that. I have not been able to find much information about it. Does anyone have any experience with this? Or know if it is recommended or not?

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I gave blood twice while breastfeeding and didn't have any problems. When I made my appoinment I asked and was told it wouldn't be a problem. I would just recommend eating a very good meal before and after - and make sure someone will be around after, since you aren't supposed to lift your baby for a few hours. Good luck!

As long as you did not have a C-section you can donate blood without any problems.

Congrats on your new baby! I also have a little girl, named Kayla, who was born in March (3/9). I haven't given blood for years because my last experience was a really bad one, but I recall hearing or reading that you shouldn't while nursing. I've thought about it lately but then remembered that and figured I won't be able to till I'm done nursing. HTH!

Just so you know, although it seems like you're donating a small amount, it can take 48 hours for your fluid levels to return to normal and up to 5 weeks for your body to replace all the red blood cells you've lost.

i also gave blood while breast feeding. Just make sure you have plenty of fluids before and try to have something to eat a little while before too. You can get more dehydrated and take longer to replace the blood because you are producing breast milf too. So just take some care and you should be fine. If you aren't sure ask first or call and ask you Dr.


My lactation consultant said it was okay to do while breastfeeding. I did give blood and everything was fine. Just make sure to stay hydrated and eat something right after.

Hello...I donate blood regularly and the Blood Center told me I couldn't donate at all while I was pregnant or nursing. After I was finished nursing it was fine and I've donated since then.

From Kellymom

There are conflicting opinions about donating blood while breastfeeding. The US Red Cross okays blood donation for nursing moms after 6 weeks postpartum. Donating blood causes a small loss of blood volume (and therefore a loss of fluid), so there is a theoretical possibility for a short-term temporary reduction in milk supply. Moms with vulnerable supplies may want to avoid donation. In general, women who are not pregnant, have good iron levels (that will be tested before donation), are not taking antibiotics, and are at least 100 pounds are good candidates for blood donation.



Call 1-800-448-3543, the American Red Cross Blood Donation number, to double check.

My doc told me not to give blood while breastfeeding my daughter. She never gave me a scientific or doc explanation as why I shouldn't she just said that it is not recommended. I had low iron during the pregnancy so maybe that is why she told me not to give blood.

After 4 1/2 months my daughter was on formula due to lactose allergy but when I went in to give blood when my daughter was 5 months the turned me away (I think my blood levels where not right, my body took forever to recover from the pregnancy). I did give blood this past spring with no problem, my daughter was 1 ½ y/o, so I don't know how it would have been while breastfeeding. Both breastfeeding and giving blood takes a lot out of you so maybe store up a few bottles for the baby so you don't have to breastfeed right after you give blood. That should give your body time to adjust back to normal.

I nursed my first son for a year and donated blood without a problem. I am currently nursing my second son (born in March also) and have already donated blood once. If you have donated before and haven't had trouble you should be fine. Just make sure that you eat enough healthy meals and drink plenty of fluids. Run it past your doctor for approval if you're still unsure. Good luck, it's a great thing to do!

Hi, J.!

Ironically, I donated blood when MY son was 4 1/2 months old and it was the first time I had donated since having him. (I also breast feed him.) I had never had issues with donating before, but I actually got VERY dizzy and it took quite a while and several cookies/cups of juice to get me steady. It didn't affect my supply and I would probably do it again, but I just wanted to warn you that it may take longer than usual to get your blood sugar back up and get you going again. I would definitely have taken someone with me to drive me if I had known it was going to affect me that way!

I was a plasma donor, however you can not donate plasma while nursing. I then went to donating blood and since I weaned my son I switched back. I never had any problems with it. I asked at the Red Cross prior to donating and they say it is fine. I never had a change in my milk supply. Just make sure you drink plenty and eat something before, adn take advantage of the snacks and fluid after. You will do fine!!

I'd say no, just to be on the safe side. It really takes alot from your body to give blood, and you need all you can get when it comes to feeding your baby. There are always opportunities to give blood, but keep yourself healthy first. Feeding your young should take priority in my opinion.

My blood center wouldn't let me donate while I was pregnant or nursing. It probably is along the same lines as why you usually don't get your period until you are done nursing so your body isn't depleted of iron. I would consult your doctor and ask your local blood center to be safe.

I use to work at the Red Cross doing the traveling bloodmobiles. Its been a few years (approx. 6-7) but I doubt the rules have changed. No donating while pregnant or nursing because you need your own blood to nourish your baby. If you are low the baby will be too. I know that no donation during pregnancy makes sense to most. But, during breastfeeding is definately a great question! If you are compromised (from donating) then your body will have a harder time producing the milk it needs for baby. Remember that a big majority of your blood content is water too. So thats probably the main reason they don't allow it!

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