Mammogram While Breastfeeding: What You Need To Know

women breast feeding her baby

If you want to get a mammogram and are breastfeeding, you may want to learn a few things before making your final decision. Although breast cancers in breastfeeding mothers are extremely rare, they do occur. 

That’s why we recommend investigating changes in your breasts with the same level of concern, regardless of whether you’re breastfeeding. Your doctor can use MagView’s tracking and monitoring system to monitor your breast health and provide further guidelines to keep your breasts healthy.

It’s also safe to say that mammograms are safe for lactating mothers and will not affect the quality or volume of a mother’s milk. That means you can get your mammogram and breastfeed your baby immediately afterward.

Can you get a mammogram or ultrasound while breastfeeding?

Yes. If you need a mammogram or ultrasound while breastfeeding, it can be performed on your lactating breasts. Due to milk production, the breast tissues tend to be denser than in non-lactating women. This could make it harder to read results. 

To reduce the amount of milk in your breast during a mammogram, you can bring your baby to breastfeed immediately before the procedure. X-rays don’t affect breast milk. That means you can safely nurse the baby after the mammogram.

How long before mammograms should I stop breastfeeding?

As we’ve already mentioned, mammograms don’t harm breast milk. Therefore, you can proceed to breastfeed your child immediately after the procedure.

Will a mammogram harm my breasts?

Mammograms are entirely safe for your breast and your baby. The procedure does not pose a risk to you or your infant. However, the sonographer may require you to empty the breast as much as possible before the mammogram.

Can I delay mammograms until I’m no longer breastfeeding?

If the mammogram is a diagnostic due to a lump or some other profound change, don’t wait to get checked by your doctor, as mammograms are relatively safe for breastfeeding mothers. The changes in your breast tissues do not limit breast ultrasounds. If it’s your regular annual mammogram, it’s best to wait until you’re done breastfeeding. 

Make sure to discuss this with your healthcare provider to ensure the mammograms are not urgent. Experts recommend waiting at least six months for the lactating tissues to revert to a normal appearance. That’s why you should talk to your doctor before postponing your procedure.

Who interprets my breast images

Once you’ve decided to take the mammogram, your facility should have a skilled mammography breast sonogram to perform the imaging. The breast center should also utilize some high-quality systems and radiologists with experience in breast imaging. 

An expert will have an easy time interpreting and reviewing the images. A good facility must also have reliable tracking and reporting software to help follow up on your breast health progress. 

For high-quality images, lactating women are required to empty their breasts. You can pump milk or bring your child to the appointment. It’s also important to discuss with your doctor if you can have tomosynthesis (3D mammography).

Mammograms help save lives by detecting breast cancer early. Don’t wait until the last minute to book one. If you haven’t evaluated common breast cancer risk factors or need to learn more about mammograms, explore our resource section. You can also contact us anytime with questions about our services and products.

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