Can You donate Plasma While Breastfeeding?

Can you donate plasma while breastfeeding!

Donating your plasma is a personal decision and a fulfilling community service. You could also get paid to donate plasma. Your donation helps people in need of plasma transfusion to live healthier lives.
Plasma donation is becoming famous these days, however, not everyone is eligible to donate plasma due to certain conditions.
Can a breastfeeding mother donate plasma? It is important to know who can and who cannot donate plasma. Here is what you should know about plasma donation and those eligible to donate their plasma.

WHAT IS PLASMA DONATION?

Can you donate plasma while breastfeeding
Can you donate plasma while breastfeeding

Plasma is a straw-coloured liquid that carries red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It makes up 55% of blood and it is the reason why blood is liquid. Plasma donation, also known as apheresis, involves drawing blood from a donor, extracting the plasma, and returning what is left of the blood back to the donor through a single needle that remains in the arm of the donor throughout the process.
Plasma is in high demand, as it contains proteins and antibodies that are essential for clotting and immunity and can be used to treat cancer and other health issues. Breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to take lactation supplements to boost the production of milk for their new born babies.

WHY DONATE PLASMA?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2020, asked that people who had recovered from COVID-19 should donate their plasma because medical experts believed that their plasma may contain antibodies for SARS-COV-2, the virus causing the disease and that receiving plasma with these antibodies could help a person fight off the infection. Donating plasma is of great benefit to patients because plasma could be used to: 

(1) Generate vaccines

(2) Replace missing or deficient protein in patients.

(3) In the case of haemophilia, to speed up blood clotting

(4) In the case of liver disease or children and adults with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a condition in which the body uses up all of its natural clotting factors, transfusion of fresh frozen plasma may be essential. When you donate plasma, you provide a valuable gift to people who need plasma therapies to stay alive and healthy.

ELIGIBILITY OF PLASMA DONORS

Anyone can donate plasma, so long as you meet up to the following criteria:
(1) Must be 18 years or above.

(2) Weighs at least 110 lbs.

(3 )Pass a primary health screen, blood test, and viral tests such as HIV and hepatitis tests.

(4) Must be free from any illness.

(5)Must have not had any tattoos or piercings within the past 4 months.
These are the basic criteria, other criteria depend on the plasma collection site.

CAN YOU DONATE PLASMA WHILE BREASTFEEDING? 

Not every person is encouraged to donate plasma. People like pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are not encouraged to donate their plasma, however, it does not mean you cannot donate plasma as a breastfeeding mother. You can donate plasma as a breastfeeding mother if:
(1) You are healthy and free from any disease or illness.
(2) You do not have trouble producing milk.
Breastfeeding mothers who want to donate their plasma are advised to visit their doctors first, so they can know their medical condition before they can go ahead to donate.

SIDE EFFECTS OF DONATING PLASMA

There are side effects such as dizziness that come with donating plasma, if your medical condition as a breastfeeding mother is not fitting or you do not produce enough breast milk, it is advised that you do not donate your plasma.
Plasma donation can cause a decrease in the production of breast milk, now when you already have problems producing enough breast milk and this happens, it leaves you with little or no milk to use in nursing your baby.

However, the NHS, amongst others, does not permit breastfeeding mothers to donate their plasma until at least 2 weeks after they have completed breastfeeding their babies.
This is because 10-20 percent of women who have been pregnant have been shown to have Human Leukocyte Antibodies (HLA)  in their bodies. These antibodies can be harmful to recipients, so it is safer to wait at least 2 weeks after you have completely weaned your baby before you can donate your plasma.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR PLASMA DONATION

Breastfeeding mothers who insist on donating their plasma can do some things to make the procedure go smoothly, so long as they are in good health.
Here are a few things you can do as a breastfeeding mother who wishes to be a plasma donor:
(1) Drink plenty of water 48 hours before donating, as plasma donation can cause dehydration, and breastfeeding mothers need to stay hydrated to avoid any negative side effects and also keep breast milk supply from decreasing.
(2) Eat food rich in iron. Donating plasma can cause a decrease in your body’s iron level, and since you are breastfeeding, you don’t want your baby to lack any nutrients or minerals after the procedure.
(3)Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine. Not only can the presence of these things in your system make you feel weak after the procedure, generally, they are harmful to both you and your baby.
(4)Finally, endure getting good rest.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BLOOD AND PLASMA DONATION

On researching on the topic ” Can you donate plasma while breastfeeding?”, It is good to understand that plasma is a blood component and there are a few differences between normal blood donation and plasma donation.

During blood donation, the blood collected from a donor is sent to the laboratory where it is then segmented into its primary part; red blood cells, platelets, and plasma, for different transfusions.
Meanwhile, during plasma donation, blood collected from a donor’s arm is run through an automated process that separates the plasma portion of the blood. What’s left of the blood; red blood cells and platelets, are then returned to the donor’s arm with a small amount of saline to maintain the overall volume.

SUMMARY

In summary , we have look at the article ” Can you donate plasma while breastfeeding”. It is worth mentioning that plasma donation is an act of goodwill as the plasma you donate can help save lives. Anyone can donate plasma, so long as they are up to 18, weighs about 110 lbs, and are free from any illness. 
Breastfeeding mothers are however advised not to donate their plasma until at least 2 weeks after they have weaned their babies. This is to ensure their safety and that of their babies. This post ” Can you donate plasma while breastfeeding” is therefore recommended for all because of the vital information in its content.

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