Is it true that pregnant women can't give blood?

Is it true that pregnant women can't give blood?

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It's true. In theory, giving blood while pregnant could cause anemia by depleting your iron. And because donating blood hasn't been proven safe for pregnant women, the American Red Cross and other blood collection organizations in the United States err on the side of caution by not allowing moms-to-be to give blood.

Don't donate blood as a brand-new mom either. The Red Cross recommends waiting six weeks after the baby arrives. Then you can give blood regularly, even if you’re breastfeeding.

Most women who have had children can donate red blood cells, but for some, pregnancy may have affected your ability to donate platelets. Some women carry antibodies after pregnancy that can cause complications for patients receiving platelets in a transfusion. The donor center may test your blood for these antibodies before allowing you to donate platelets.

Another option is to donate umbilical cord blood after your baby is born. If you don't plan to store your cord blood at a private bank, you can donate it to a public cord blood bank where it may help others. Blood left in the umbilical cord and placenta after delivery contains stem cells, and these are sometimes used to treat people with life-threatening diseases, including leukemia, sickle cell disease, and immune system disorders.

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