I have been donating whole blood since college and platelets for about 4 years. It has become a passion of mine and try to do one or the other as often as I can. I’m actually donating platelets as I type this.
The machine pulls your out your blood as is then separates it using anticoagulant and then the machine pushes your red blood cells back into your body (with a little anticoagulant which actually makes you frigid – hence the blanket)
When I got pregnant I had to put this on hold and post baby there was a chance I couldn’t donate again. First, there was the concern that my iron had to build back up after I lost a lot of blood during my csection. Then, there’s an antibody that some women have post delivery that can hurt someone if they receive your blood. I had to take an HLA blood test and thankfully it was negative.
Fun Fact: I donated blood a week before I knew I was pregnant 😳 and My son actually has a future blood donor onesie from the blood bank.
Can you donate blood while breastfeeding? Yes! You need to make sure you stay hydrated and might see a slight decrease in supply but that should come back up within a few hours.