There are women who ask us questions regarding pregnancy and bone marrow/stem cell donation so we decided to have a Q & A session with Dr Yvonne Loh to answer those questions.
Q: Can I register as a bone marrow donor if I am pregnant?
A: Yes, you can still register as a donor. However, you will not be allowed to donate during your pregnancy.
Q: What are the pregnancy-related risks?
A: You will not be allowed to donate stem cells while you are pregnant as the procedure may entail you undergoing general anaesthesia (for bone marrow donation) or receiving medications to increase your white blood cells (for stem cell donation) that have not been tested on pregnant women, and hence not proven safe for the foetus.
Q: Will a donation affect future pregnancies?
A: No, definitely not. The body will replenish the stem cells or bone marrow within a few weeks and there are no long-term side effects.
Q: How long do I need to wait after a pregnancy before I can donate my stem cells?
A: You should wait until shortly after delivery or after you have stopped breastfeeding.
Q: After delivery, should I consider donating my baby’s cord blood?
A: For any new parents, we do recommend they consider donating their baby’s umbilical cord blood as another way that they can help in the fight to save lives through stem cell transplantation. Similar to bone marrow, cord blood is rich in blood-forming cells that can be used to treat patients suffering from the various blood diseases such as leukaemia. More details are available at the Singapore Cord Blood Bank website.