Having a mammogram is an important part of your health care, but many mothers wonder if it’s safe to have a mammogram while breastfeeding. The short answer is yes. Nursing mothers can have mammograms. Whether or not you are breastfeeding, any changes or abnormalities in your breast should be evaluated.
Although it is possible to have a mammogram while breastfeeding, milk can hide small structures in the breast. For this reason, breastfeeding mothers without breast symptoms are recommended to postpone their screening mammogram until approximately 3 months after breastfeeding has ended. This allows for a clearer and more accurate mammogram. However, if a lump or other symptom is discovered during breastfeeding, the mother should still present for imaging to have the area assessed by mammography and/or breast ultrasound.
Breast milk is unaffected by the mammogram, so new mothers can resume breastfeeding right after the exam is complete. Since there is no contamination of breast milk, a mammogram cannot harm your baby. To avoid any discomfort, we suggest that patients try to relieve their breasts of as much milk as possible before the actual examination.
It is important to note that another benefit of breastfeeding is a lower mortality rate for women who breastfeed their babies.
Without a doubt, if you feel a suspicious lump or swelling in your breast, it is necessary to consult your doctor and see if a mammogram is necessary. Nursing mothers are advised to consult radiologists who have performed and interpreted mammograms on nursing women. At Connecticut Breast Imaging, we have trained experts in this field and provide patients with the care and diagnostics needed for proper assessments.
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