Is a Mammogram Safe During Breastfeeding?

Mammograms save lives by detecting breast cancer early enough to treat, and for most women, it’s important to have a mammogram every year beginning at age 40. For women who have a family history of breast cancer, annual mammogram screenings may start much earlier. One of the common questions we get from new moms is whether it’s safe to have a mammogram when breastfeeding.

Does Breast Tissue Change During Breastfeeding?

When you are breastfeeding, the tissue in your breast will become denser. This can make it more difficult to read the mammogram, so it’s important to make sure your doctor knows you are breastfeeding and that the radiologist reading the mammogram scans is experienced in reading results from breastfeeding patients.

Will a Mammogram Harm My Breasts or My Baby?

Mammograms do not harm breastmilk; therefore, the procedure does not pose a risk to you or your infant. It is recommended, however, that your breast is as empty as possible before the procedure, so you should plan to bring your child to the appointment so that they can nurse right before the mammogram or pump just before.

What If I Need a Biopsy?

A breast biopsy is something your doctor may recommend if they find a lump. It requires inserting a thin needle into the lump to extract a sample to send to the lab. The procedure is very safe and will not harm your milk or your ability to breastfeed, though you may experience some soreness afterward. Other follow-up procedures, such as ultrasounds and MRI (even with contrast) are also safe for breastfeeding moms).

Mammograms are the single best tool to find breast cancer at its earliest stages — long before you or your doctor can feel a lump, even if you are breastfeeding. Having regular 3D mammograms performed by an experienced board-certified breast imaging specialist is the best way to detect abnormalities early. Visit PURE Mammography in the Smith Haven Mall today, no appointment necessary. You can also call 631-652-3424 or fill out the form on this page to pre-schedule an appointment or to learn more about PURE.

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