Can Pregnant Women Donate Blood – How Safe Is It?


When you get pregnant, there are a lot of transitions which occur in your mind and body. You need to understand that now you have to be careful and take proper care of yourself and the new life developing inside you. Many of us are a regular blood donor; there is nothing greater happiness than donating blood and saving the lives of many needful people around. But once you are pregnant, you need to take a break and wait till the baby is born and you regain your health before donating the blood next time.

Why Can’t You Donate Blood During Pregnancy?

Although there is no proven reason why a pregnant woman cannot donate blood, it is advisable not to donate blood during pregnancy. Did you know that body produces at least 50% more blood during pregnancy as compared to the normal course of your life? In spite of this, you are not allowed to donate blood as you need all the blood to support your baby’s life inside your womb. If you donate blood during this phase, then you will be putting your own and your baby’s well being under risk. Another reason is there is a high chance of being anaemic during pregnancy if you donate blood. Anaemia can further trigger off significant issues like pre-mature delivery, low weight of the baby at birth, etc. The Red Cross strictly discourages women from giving blood while pregnant.

In fact, you are advised not to donate blood till the time you are breastfeeding your child. Generally, new mothers should wait for at least nine months post delivery to donate blood, but if you are continuing to breastfeed after this period, you need to wait until the time you cease breastfeeding. The infant is highly dependent upon the nutrients and vitamins in the breast milk, so 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 ceased breastfeeding, you can go ahead and donate blood.

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 you are in a normal health condition will not be a problem. In case of any anxiety, it is better to consult your doctor.


Why Some Pregnant Women Are Asked by Doctors to Give Blood?

The only reason why a pregnant woman is ever asked to donate blood is when the doctor feel that you might require blood transfusion at the time of your delivery. This generally happens when you are under a high-risk pregnancy. In certain cases, the mother develops severe anaemia, or there is a risk of excessive bleeding during the delivery. During complications, the doctor may receive blood from other sources but at the same time ask you to store some of your blood beforehand. So this blood donation is for your future self!

Donating blood and saving the needy is definitely a noble thought, but risking your own and your child’s life is never a wise option. Pregnancy is not a weakness preventing you from doing something good, but instead is a responsibility on you ensuring the life and safety of a new life, your child! So, its time to slow down and take care. After all, now it’s your time to get pampered and taken care of!