I have been slacking from my blog the last few weeks due to some medical problems. When I was almost three months postpartum I decided to start exercising again and hit it too hard. After three weeks of working out and feeling great about myself I was walking one day and got a piercing pain in my pelvic area which stopped me in my tracks. Long story short (ish) I started having this pain off and on for the last few weeks and have gone to my OB, Primary care doctor, and the ER trying to get to the bottom of it. We are still figuring it out and I had to have an MRI with contrast which led me to question if this was safe while breastfeeding.
My first instinct was yes, anything is safe while breastfeeding because the truth is extremely minuscule amounts of any substance make it into breastmilk. But, as I looked at my instructions I noticed it said the breastfeeding mother may wish to pump and discard milk for 24 hours after the MRI. What?! I kind of freaked out when I saw those instructions. That’s ludicrous, no way I would discard that much milk or would happily go without nursing for so long. Then I kept reading and saw it said this was at the mother’s discretion and she could continue breastfeeding if desired. Now I was even more confused. Yes, I desired to continue breastfeeding, but I wouldn’t want to do anything to put my baby at jeopardy. So which is the truth?
The contrast used in my MRI is Gadopentetate. The technician assisting me gave me a copy of the paperwork from the manufacturer’s insert. It noted that only 0.01-0.04% of the dose received will make it into breastmilk. Of this small amount less than 1% of it will be absorbed by the baby. This is an extremely small amount and much less than the same paper work notes is safe to be given to babies between 8 days old – 2 years old.
After considering this information I felt extremely safe continuing to breastfeed and even fed my baby immediately after the procedure. I am not sure why anyone would continue to recommend pumping and dumping for 24 hours after the use of contrast during an MRI but there you have it.
I was happy to confirm my findings on other reputable breastfeeding resources:
If anyone ever tells you to pump and discard milk after an MRI with contrast please reconsider and let them know this is outdated information.