Donating Blood


The American Red Cross accepts nursing mothers, they say ” Persons who are pregnant are not eligible to donate. Wait 6 weeks after giving birth.”

Dr. Jack Newman is a physician specializing in breastfeeding support and advocacy. He says any otherwise eligible mother who is not anemic can donate blood.

The Canadian Blood Service does not allow breastfeeding mothers to donate blood in the first six months postpartum.

In the UK you may donate whilst breastfeeding providing your baby is at least six months old.

In Australia, you need to wait at least nine months and until your baby is significantly weaned (that is, getting most of his/her nutrition from solids) before you donate blood.

Whether to donate blood is a personal decision. La Leche League recommends that you consult your health care professional and/ or the blood donor programme in your country and make an informed choice.

If a breastfeeding mother chooses to donate blood, she needs to be very careful to stay hydrated. Human milk is 87% water, and a blood donation takes 16 ounces of blood from the body. This is a lot of liquid to replace. All blood donors are cautioned to eat a substantial meal before donating blood and drink large quantities of water afterward. After a donation, donors are advised to avoid heavy lifting with the arm used to donate (to prevent excessive bruising). This may be a consideration for mothers who may not be able to avoid lifting and carrying their babies or older children.

LLL France have this resource on the subject: