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Contrast Media and Breast Feeding

If determined by the ordering doctor, contrast media (dye) is required to help visualize any anatomy during the imaging procedure. The contrast may be administered through a vein and or taken orally.  This will depend on the body part to be imaged. 

It is very important that the patient discuss with her Physician any preparations needed prior to the diagnostic procedure. We recommend that speaking with a Lactation Consultant and/or the child's Pediatrician if there are any questions, so that an informed decision may be made as to whether there is any need to interrupt breastfeeding, even if only temporarily.

It is very rare that women need to stop breastfeeding; even briefly, due to contrast they receive during diagnostic procedures such as Intravenous Pyelograms (IVP) in x-ray, CT and MRI Scans.

According to the American College of Radiology, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology a very small percentage of intravenous contrast medium is excreted in the breast milk. 

Depending on the contrast media used, it may or may not be absorbed by the child's stomach. The available data suggest that it is safe to continue breast-feeding after receiving the contrast media.

If the patient remains concerned about any potential side effects to a child or if it is recommended that she briefly stop breastfeeding, information on how to pump and store breast milk prior to the test is available from a Pediatrician or Lactation Consultant. This will allow the baby to continue to receive breast milk after the procedure until such time as the contrast is voided from blood stream. It is very important to continue expressing milk (pump and dump) during that time so that to maintain milk supply.

Please feel free to contact the Wentworth Douglass Hospital Lactation Consultants at 740-2233 or the Imaging Services Nursing staff at 740-2676.


Administration of Contrast Media to Breastfeeding Mothers. American College of Radiology Committee on Drugs and Contrast Media, October 2001. Volume 57, Issue 10. 

Ask Lenore.Info - Administration of Contrast Media to Breastfeeding Mothers

Medication and Mother's Milk 2006. Hale, Thomas W. Eleventh Edition.

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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100