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Newborn and Infant Care

Blood donation & breast feeding

06/25/1998

Question:

Is it okay to donate blood while breast feeding? I'm still nursing my six month old daughter about four times a day but would like to give blood at our next community blood drive if it will not deter my milk supply.

Answer:

The year following childbirth is very demanding on your body. Following the birth of your daughter your body quickly needed to adjust to a non-pregnant state, and begin changing to a state of lactation. During this time many adaptations were made. Many of the current researchers feel that recovering from birth takes close to a year. For this reason you might want to consider delaying giving blood at this drive, and perhaps working on getting others that you know to donate. If you should choose to give blood, you may find a brief decrease in your milk supply along with fatigue. Generally the milk supply and fatigue will be self-limiting with extra fluids, rest and additional nursing time. If you should want to give blood it would also be a good idea to talk this over with your health care provider who is aware of you exact health status.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati