Q: Can I donate plasma while breastfeeding my 3 month old baby? I know that plasma donating
during pregnancy is a big "no." I had a friend who donated plasma right after having a baby (she wasn't
nursing, but the baby was formula fed.) She said she felt very sick to the point of throwing up after
donating, but I know every woman's body is different. But while breastfeeding my newborn, I keep thinking of how we need money for bottles, and formula, and breast pumps, everything. Can plasma donating affect my milk, or contaminate the milk with coagulant? Would donating dry my breast milk, or somehow harm my newborn son?
"Lactating and breastfeeding women are eligible to donate six months
after having a baby. You should wait 6 months after giving
birth to allow your body to heal. You can donate 6 months after giving
birth, because with good nutrition your plasma levels, hemoglobin, iron
and protein levels will return to normal."
Next, coagulant can't contaminate your breast milk, or make it harmful for the baby. Anti-coagulant (which keeps your blood from clotting while plasma donating) is a water-soluble solution. Breast milk is fat-soluble, meaning anti-coagulant won't enter the milk.
Nursing women need to take extra precautions before donating. Plasma makes up all liquids in the body - include byproducts of human lactation. When breastfeeding women are dehydrated before plasma donating, it can dry up her breast milk, especially with regular donation over long periods of time. Because nursing puts a large demand on body fluid levels, excess dehydration from plasma donating can also cause effects including nausea, vomiting, and even vein clotting. This could be the complication that made your friend feel sick (even if she wasn't nursing.)
Nursing women should drink an extra 16 oz-1 gallon water before going in to donate, especially in the 2 hours leading up to donation. This will help you avoid complications like tiredness, sweating, racing pulse, and nausea.
Also, avoid breastfeeding in the hours before blood plasma donation, to let your body fluid levels stay stable. You shouldn't breastfeed for 2 hours before donation, and at least 4 hours after. Be sure to change your feeding schedule, or switch to formula feeding for a few hours time.
Overall, every woman's body is different. Listen to your individual body's symptoms and signals, and if you start to have a bad reaction to donating, stop donating while breastfeeding.