You may have seen commercials on television or heard an ad on the radio encouraging you to donate plasma. The ads are usually aimed at young, healthy men and women, but they don’t mention donating while pregnant.
Plasma is a component of blood that contains proteins that help with clotting and fighting infection. But can you donate if you’re pregnant? The answer is yes, with a couple of stipulations.
First, you will have to wait for at least six weeks after your delivery to give plasma because there is a concern that manipulating your body so soon after childbirth may affect your body’s hormones. Also, just like any blood donation, your plasma loses its effectiveness in about two months.
Although the FDA does not expressly prohibit pregnant women from donating, organizations such as the Red Cross recommend that pregnant women do not donate to avoid complications and infections.
Plasma centers do screen all blood and plasma products to help ensure the safety of patients; however, they do not require any medical screening or testing before donation. Before you consider becoming a plasma donor or donating blood products while pregnant, talk with your doctor first.
Donating Plasma During Pregnancy
Due to the limited research in this area, it is appropriate to discuss your decision with your obstetrician and a plasma center representative before donation. All blood and plasma donations should be deferred during pregnancy, especially if you are experiencing morning sickness or severe symptoms.
Plasma donation by pregnant women is generally considered safe, and there are no harmful effects to a healthy pregnancy. However, since plasma donation is a medical procedure and there is always the possibility of complications, it is always recommended that women do not donate during pregnancy.
What Would Happen If You Donate Plasma While Pregnant?
The dangers associated with donating plasma while pregnant are still not fully understood. However, there is a risk that the needle used to draw blood from your arm during the donation process could puncture the placenta, leading to infection or miscarriage. In addition, there is a slight chance that you could contract infectious diseases such as HIV or hepatitis through the transmission of blood-borne pathogens.
There are also arguments against donating plasma by pregnant women. According to these arguments, the removal of large volumes of blood could mean a significant drop in blood pressure (hypotension), risk of dehydration, or anemia; all of them might have adverse effects on the baby’s health and development.
For these reasons, if you are pregnant and considering donating plasma, it is always best to discuss the risks with your doctor first.
Is Donating Plasma Safe For Baby?
Pregnancy is a time of increased nutritional needs. The amount of blood in your body increases to support your baby’s growth. This increases demands on all the nutrients and minerals your body uses to make blood.
Plasma is the liquid that carries red and white blood cells, platelets, and antibodies through your system. It’s a crucial part of your blood composition. When you donate plasma, you’re giving up some of this essential liquid—and donating it can reduce your iron levels.
A lack of iron can lead to anemia. This has been linked to premature labor, low birth weight, and even infant death. While plasma donation probably won’t lead to anemia in healthy adults, pregnant women are at greater risk.
Why Should You Not Donate Plasma While Pregnant?
Donating plasma during pregnancy can be harmful to you and your baby. The process of donating plasma may cause your blood pressure to drop, resulting in lightheadedness and dizziness. This can also lead to a loss of consciousness, which in turn can cause you to fall and injure yourself or your baby.
Moreover, plasma donation can lead to a fluid imbalance in your body that could affect the development of your baby’s lungs. This can be especially dangerous if you are still in the early stages of pregnancy when organs develop rapidly.
In addition, donating plasma during pregnancy can weaken your immune system. This means you may be more susceptible to illness, infection, or disease.
Finally, donating plasma while pregnant may deprive your body of nutrients that it needs for the development of your baby. These include iron, protein, and vitamins A, B6, and B12.
Risks Of Donating Plasma While Pregnant
During pregnancy, the body produces more of certain proteins to support the baby. If a woman has a chronic illness, such as hepatitis or HIV, these proteins can help fight off the virus. Therefore, donating plasma while pregnant may not help fight off an infection by removing the antibodies that are being produced to fight it.
Pregnant women should not donate plasma because they are at an increased risk of complications from an infection. Donating plasma while pregnant can increase your risk of contracting infections like hepatitis and HIV. It also increases your chances of developing gestational diabetes. Many people don’t know that there are risks involved with donating plasma while pregnant because donation centers do not widely publicize it.
When Can You Resume Donating Plasma?
Pregnant women typically are not eligible to donate plasma, a liquid component in blood that transports proteins and other substances. Plasma donations are not recommended during pregnancy because the process of separating plasma from whole blood can cause certain complications—like a decrease in hemoglobin levels—that can impact fetal health.
Plasma donation centers will allow you to resume donating after your life returns to normal following pregnancy. This usually means six to eight weeks after delivery if you had a vaginal birth or eight to 12 weeks after delivery if you had a cesarean section. In general, there is no harm in waiting until after your postpartum appointment—usually four or six weeks after delivery—to begin donating plasma again.
Donating plasma is a gratifying way to give back to the community. It’s important to consider the risks involved in doing so while pregnant. Women who choose to donate plasma while pregnant should be aware that it may be putting their unborn baby at risk.
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