Can Pregnant Women Donate Blood – How Safe Is It?
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Blood donation can save someone’s life and is no doubt a simple ‘good deed’ that any healthy person can or should perform, but despite your generous and giving nature, you should not donate blood when pregnant. Your baby and you need all the blood you’ve got when pregnant, and while you might be a regular blood donor, but now that you’re pregnant, you need to take a break and save this good deed for later.
Why Can’t You Donate Blood During Pregnancy?
A woman’s body produces at least 50% more blood during pregnancy than it does normally. Despite the fact, a woman should not donate blood while pregnant. When pregnant you need to ensure that your baby grows healthily inside your womb and if you donate blood in pregnancy, you jeopardize your wellbeing as well as your baby’s wellbeing. Anaemia is a common problem during pregnancy, and if you donate blood, the chances of anaemia increase by manifold. Anaemia can further trigger off significant issues like premature delivery, the low birth weight, etc. Hence donating blood is best avoided during pregnancy. In fact, you should avoid donating blood till the time you are breastfeeding your child.
Generally, new mothers should wait for at least nine months after delivery to donate blood, but if you plan to continue breastfeeding after this period, you need to wait until the time you wean your baby off breast milk. As your little one will be dependent upon the nutrients and vitamins present in the breast milk, if you donate blood during this time, your baby might miss out on these vital nutrients. Once your body replenishes the iron content in your blood, and you have stopped breastfeeding, you can go ahead and donate blood after checking with a doctor.
What Can Happen If You Donate Blood Before You Know You Are Pregnant?
If you are a regular donor, it might happen that you may have donated blood when you are totally unaware about your pregnancy. This may happen only during the initial phase of your pregnancy, and it will not raise any issues if you donate blood at this stage. Also, before donating the blood, a quick test is done to ensure that your blood pressure, haemoglobin levels, pulse and temperature are normal. Hence, donating blood at this stage when your health condition is normal will not be a problem. In the case of anxiety, it is better to consult your doctor.
What Should You Do If You Happened to Donate Blood Before a Confirmed Pregnancy?
If you happened to donate blood before your pregnancy was confirmed, you must let your doctor know about the donation right away. Remember you can donate blood only when your health condition is normal, you shouldn’t worry much. Certain changes in the diet, such as increasing the consumption of green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits, along with some medical attention, can help you deal with it. Having said that, since your body will be going through a major transformation, you must keep track of all the health issues you notice and consult your doctor whenever needed.
Donating blood and saving someone’s life is definitely a good deed, but you shouldn’t donate blood while pregnant and risk your and your unborn baby’s life. If you are a regular blood donor, you can continue donating blood after pregnancy or once you have stopped breastfeeding your baby. For now, you should slow down and take good care of yourself. After all, it’s your time to be pampered and taken care of!
Also Read: Cord Blood Banking