Patients are educated regarding the safety of breastfeeding specific to the procedure they are undergoing
- The vast majority of diagnostic imaging procedures (including X-ray, CT, MRI) have no significant effect on breast milk, and pose no known risk to the breastfeeding infant1,2.
- Some nuclear medicine procedures do require a modification to breastfeeding (also see “Breastfeeding in nuclear medicine” guideline for more information).
- Current research indicates that it is safe to breastfeed following radiation therapy, if the mother is still capable of lactation3,4.
- Breastfeeding is contraindicated, however, during concurrent chemotherapy5
- Current research also indicates it is safe to breastfeed after receiving a contrast agent6.
- Only a miniscule amount of contrast agent is passed from mother to baby through breast milk
- Some mothers may have concern about the effects of diagnostic imaging or radiation therapy on breastfeeding.
- MRTs ensure that patients have been provided with information and explanations to make fully informed decisions about breastfeeding and the possible need for pumping breast milk or using formula2
- Patients can be provided with or directed to educational resources regarding the safety of breastfeeding following diagnostic imaging or radiation therapy
Aurora Healthcare. For Your Well Being. Radiology Tests: Advice for the Breastfeeding Mother. Available from: https://ahc.aurorahealthcare.org/fywb/x30884.pdf. [Accessed 12 Dec 2018]
American Association of Family Physicians. Breastfeeding, Family Physicians Supporting (Position Paper). Available from: https://www.aafp.org/about/policies/all/breastfeeding-support.html. [Accessed 13 Dec 2018]
Oncolink. Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Breast feeding during radiation therapy. Available from: http://www.oncolink.org/experts/article.cfm?id=2596. [Accessed 21 Mar 2013]
Helewa M, Vesque PL, Provencher D, et al. Breast cancer, pregnancy and breastfeeding. J Obstet Gynaecol Can 2002;24(2):164-180.
Canadian Pediatric Society. The Baby-Friendly Initiative: Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding (Position Statement). Available from: https://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/baby-friendly-initiative-breastfeeding. [Accessed 29 Nov 2018]
American College of Radiology. Manual on Contrast Media, v10-3. Available from: https://www.acr.org/Clinical-Resources/Contrast-Manual. [Accessed 12 Dec 2018]