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Can You Donate Plasma Or Blood While Pregnant?

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No, women cannot donate blood or plasma while they’re pregnant. In fact, there are guidelines that must be followed in order to donate blood or plasma.

You cannot donate while you are pregnant, and have to wait a specified time after giving birth before you can donate. 

What’s The Difference Between Donating Plasma And Donating Blood?

In order to donate plasma, a person goes through a similar process to what they do to donate blood. In this situation, the blood is often returned to the donor. When blood is donated, the needle is usually smaller.

There’s no special machine used to circulate the blood back to you after the plasma is removed. Although the process is different, the recommendations for both remain the same. 

Why Can’t You Donate Blood Or Plasma While You’re Pregnant?

It is recommended that expecting mothers do not donate either for a couple of different reasons. Donating takes vital nutrients out of the body that both the baby and mother need.

For example, expecting mothers are already at an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia, and donating blood further increases that risk.

Plasma does not have a lot of iron in it, but it does have other vital vitamins that both mother and baby will need to have a healthy pregnancy. 

In addition to this, the entire process can be stressful for the body. Women that are expecting should not undergo anything that they know will be stressful, including donating blood or plasma while pregnant. 

The side effects of donating are another thing to keep in mind. When people donate plasma or blood, they may feel lightheaded or even faint.

Even if it were otherwise safe to donate, these side effects alone will be dangerous for a pregnant woman. A fall could result in a miscarriage or severe harm to the fetus.

woman donating blood in hospital, closeup view

When Can I Donate Blood Or Plasma Again?

You are not supposed to donate blood or plasma until you are at least six weeks postpartum. This means that you have to wait until six weeks after you have given birth to donate blood or plasma.

This is because your body needs those same vitamins and nutrients to help itself heal. In addition to that, you can lose a lot of blood when pregnant. If you already do not have enough blood in your body, it can be dangerous to donate blood. 

It’s important to note that this is according to the Red Cross. Other blood and/or plasma donation centers may require that you wait longer than six weeks after giving birth. It’s important to call and ask if you are going somewhere other than the Red Cross. 

Can I Donate Blood Or Plasma While Breastfeeding?

It is not recommended that you donate blood or plasma while you are breastfeeding. Instead, your little one should be completely weaned from breastfeeding before you schedule an appointment to donate.

This also applies to when you are pumping breast milk. Both you and your baby need the vitamins and nutrients that you have to be healthy during this time. Your baby is relying on these nutrients to grow and develop at a healthy rate. 

Do They Do A Pregnancy Test When Donating Blood?

This actually seems like a pretty efficient way to get a free pregnancy test, but, unfortunately, they do not test your blood or urine to determine whether you are pregnant.

However, they do ask you if you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding. They also may ask how many times you have previously been pregnant. 

This does make it easy for you to donate if you are not showing, but it’s not a wise idea to do this. Remember, it can be dangerous for both you and your baby. 

If you love to help people, and science, you still can! After your little one is born, you’ll have the option of donating blood from the umbilical cord and placenta.

There are stem cells in this that can help with a variety of medical conditions. For example, donating cord blood can help: 

  • People with lymphoma
  • In treating leukemia
  • Immune disorders

Those stem cells are also frequently used in labs for research purposes. They are always testing things out to see what else stem cells can do!

Pregnant woman using laptop

Other Ways To Earn Extra Income While You’re Pregnant

There are two main reasons why people donate plasma. The first is to help people. In this case, the money is just a nice bonus. The other reason is that you need extra cash.

Donating plasma can help you score between $300-500 extra dollars a month if you’re consistent with your donation efforts. That can buy a lot of baby things!

If you were planning to donate to help offset the high cost of the baby growing in your belly, don’t worry. There are quite a few other side hustles that can help you earn a few dollars. 

Doordash And Uber Eats

Both of these are pretty convenient. You do not have to have anyone in your car. The flexible work schedule lets you work whenever you would like to.

After you sign up, you’ll get a starter package in the mail, and you sign up via the app. When you’re ready to work, simply log into the app. You pick up food, deliver it, and make a few bucks. As a bonus, you can take your kids with you!

Sell Your Old Stuff

Selling your old stuff is always a great way to make some extra money. People are always on the lookout for a great deal! For clothes, shoes, makeup, beauty, and household items check out Poshmark.

You’ll usually make more money there than you will be using sites like Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. 

Take Online Surveys

Survey sites like Swagbucks pay you for taking online surveys. You can earn money in the form of gift cards, or via cash in your PayPal account.

The payout limit can be as little as five dollars. Inbox Dollars is another popular survey site that you should check out if you’re interested in this. 

In Conclusion

You cannot donate blood or plasma while you are pregnant. This is unsafe for both you and your unborn child.

If you want to help people, consider donating cord blood once your little one is born. If you need the extra cash, check out your side hustle options to hold you over until you’re able to donate again.

Medical Disclaimer. All content and media on the MomInformed Website is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.

My name is Amber Dixon. I am a mother to three wonderful children, and recently welcomed a beautiful grandson into the world as well as into my home. I've learned a great deal about raising children through my own experiences as a mother, but also from several other places. While working at a daycare full time, I learned about childhood development, teaching children, and more. Through earning degrees in Social Work, I was educated about human development, including a great deal about children and childhood development. My education and experience combined have taught me a lot about children of every stage and age, and I hope that I can help you on your journey to becoming the best parent that you can be!