Electrolytes and proteins that maintain blood clotting, blood pressure, and cellular function are found in plasma, which makes up a fraction of the blood.

In the United States, approximately 6,500 units of plasma are required for transfusions each day.

It is a biological fluid in high demand. And giving plasma isn’t all that different from giving blood if you’ve done it before.

But is it possible to provide plasma when expecting?

The concerns with plasma donation during and after pregnancy are discussed here, along with various additional ways you can give to your community.



✅ While you cannot donate plasma while you are pregnant or right after, there are still other ways you can use the donation to benefit your community.

Once your blood is free of HLA antibodies, which typically occurs within a year of the delivery of your child, make sure you get the go-ahead to donate plasma.

The best place to find out about qualifying requirements is your neighborhood plasma donation center.

Contact your doctor if you have any additional concerns about the security of plasma donation.


Why are you unable to donate plasma while you are pregnant?

Plasma donations cannot be made by women who are pregnant.

First off, little research has been done on the potential effects of plasma donation on developing fetuses.

According to some sources, your chance of developing anemia may increase if you donate plasma or blood.

That’s never a good thing, but during pregnancy, this is extremely problematic. However, the major deterrent to plasma donation during pregnancy is the potential risk to the receiver.

Through the placenta, blood cells from the developing baby that have genetic makeup distinct from your own mix with your blood during pregnancy. Your body responds by releasing a protein known as human leukocyte antigens (HLA). These antigens aid in immune system suppression and let “foreign” substances exist in your body.

Transfusion-related acute lung injury, or TRALI, is a potentially fatal complication that can occur during a transfusion to another person. Rarely, even a modest amount of plasma can result in TRALI.

Because of this, a person cannot give plasma for the following reasons:

  • they had just given birth
  • They are expecting right now
  • They demonstrate HLA antibodies in their blood due to another factor

No of how long it has been since your last pregnancy, many donation centers will demand an HLA test if you have ever been pregnant.


Is HLA bad for me?

HLA antibodies are not dangerous to you, but they can be hazardous to transfusion recipients. HLA antibodies do not indicate illness in either you or your child. It does not imply that either you or your child will become ill. It’s just a natural reaction of the body to pregnancy.

In other words, you cannot be hurt by antibodies if your body is the one producing them.


Can a nursing mother donate plasma?

Each plasma donation facility is unique and may have various donation policies. Since you might not find this issue described on their website, make sure to check with the one closest to you if you have any doubts about eligibility. While you are still breastfeeding, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises against donating.

This is because breastfeeding may be impacted by plasma donation. It may have adverse effects like dehydration and a decrease in your body’s electrolyte balances. Your milk supply may be impacted by these problems.

Your doctor can advise you on whether to donate, how frequently you can do so without risking your health, and the best ways to hydrate and replenish your electrolytes after giving blood.

Inform the staff that you are nursing your infant and that you recently gave birth when you arrive for your donation session. In order to determine whether HLA antibodies are still present, you will probably need to provide a tiny sample of your blood for testing.


After being pregnant, is plasma donation still possible?

The World Health Organization suggests delaying blood or plasma donation for at least 9 months following childbirth. Again, every donation center is different, but in general, you must be in excellent health and fulfill other qualifying criteria, which could include:

  • being between the ages of 18 and 75
  • being heavier than 110 pounds.
  • do not have any piercings or tattoos during the previous six months

If you’ve miscarried or had your pregnancy terminated, you might still be able to donate after just six weeks (other donation centers have a 12-week cutoff). Additionally, some facilities might start accepting plasma donations following full-term deliveries.

In every situation, eligibility is based on the specific policies and regulations of the location you visit. You will be tested for HLA antibodies after giving birth, whether or not you are nursing, in order to guarantee that your plasma is suitable for use.


More ways to help

There are alternative ways you can support your community if giving plasma is not currently a possibility, such as by giving other biological resources.

Donation of cord blood

Your placenta and umbilical cord will often be examined by your doctor after birth before being discarded. The blood (cord blood) inside these fetuses can be drawn upon request and donated for use in treating more than 70 illnesses, including leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell disease.

Donating blood to public banks is free, in contrast to storage at family and private cord blood banks. Visit Be the Match for more details about cord blood donation.

Donation of breast milk

People who have extra breast milk may opt to donate it to donor banks. Baby hospital patients or needy outpatient families receive the milk. For instance, premature infants may only consume one ounce of milk at a time, but donor milk may lower the risk of conditions like necrotizing enterocolitis.

According to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, donor milk is gathered from approved donors, tested, pooled, and then pasteurized to make it safe for consumption. The costs of selecting donors and shipping milk are covered by milk banks.

For further information on donating your milk, get in touch with a milk bank close by.



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