No, you cannot donate blood if you are pregnant.
In 2015, a study showed that up to 52% of pregnant women worldwide have an iron deficiency. Anemia, or low iron, occurs when the body either does not make enough healthy red blood cells or they do not work efficiently, and this can prevent the body from having enough iron.
Combine this statistic with the importance of iron in the development of a fetus, a mother-to-be needs all her blood and iron to support her growing fetus.
Can you donate plasma or platelets while pregnant?
Like donating blood, your plasma or platelet donation will need to wait a minimum of 6 weeks after you give birth.
Once you are eligible to donate again, you’ll have to undergo Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) antibody testing to see if you carry this antibody before donating plasma or platelets. If your test comes back positive for these antibodies, you won’t be able to donate plasma or platelets. Don’t worry though, this antibody is not harmful to you. The HLA antibody could potentially lead to a transfusion-related lung injury in someone who is given your blood.
While you will no longer be able to donate plasma or platelets, you can still donate blood even with a positive HLA test.
When is it safe to donate blood again after pregnancy?
You will need to wait a minimum of 6 weeks after you give birth to donate blood again.
Do blood centers test for pregnancy?
Houchin Blood Bank does not test for pregnancy, and based on our knowledge most blood centers do not test for pregnancy before you donate.
Can you donate blood while breastfeeding?
Yes, you can donate blood at Houchin while you are breastfeeding. We do recommend that you drink additional water (16-25oz) before you donate blood, platelets, or plasma to be sure that you are well-hydrated for donation as well as hydrated for your next scheduled breastfeeding.
If I can’t donate, how can I help?
You can help us spread the word about the importance of donating blood via social media!
Visit any one of our linked profiles below to follow and share our content!
Where can I learn more about donating blood?
The best place to learn more about donating blood and if you can donate blood is our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
How do I schedule an appointment to donate blood?
Click here if you would like to schedule an appointment to donate blood, platelets, or plasma.
Walk-in appointments for donating blood are always welcome, though we recommend making an appointment for platelet and plasma donations.