MRI while breastfeeding: is it possible?


In the life of a breastfeeding woman, there are situations when it is necessary to do MRI. Naturally, the nursing mother want to know whether it is possible to conduct such a survey during lactation without risk to the health of the baby? As MRI will affect lactation and milk composition? That there was no doubt about the security of your research, you should know how MRI works.

Magnetic resonance imaging is based on the use of electromagnetic waves in a constant magnetic field. This means that during the examination there are no harmful effects of x-rays. Method of diagnosis is harmless even for infants and allows you to visualize any area of the body. The feature of the vehicle design for the study allows to capture images in true three dimensions, which ensures high reliability of the results.

Why MRI breast-feeding mother?

When there is a need to do an MRI diagnosis while breastfeeding? There are situations when an accurate picture of the internal organs allows to evaluate the condition of the patient and adequate treatment of the disease. Possible tests are able to diagnose pathological processes and diseases:

  • disorders of the nervous system;
  • diseases of the pituitary gland;
  • diseases of the inner ear;
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • pathologic processes in the paranasal sinuses;
  • damaged tendon-ligamentous apparatus.
  • diseases of the eye;
  • degenerative changes of the musculoskeletal system;
  • pathology of the spine that occurs during pregnancy;
  • tumor;
  • breast cancer;
  • mastitis;
  • vascular pathology of the brain;
  • meningitis;
  • diseases of the genitourinary system;

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  • encephalitis;
  • cyst;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • brain aneurysm;
  • arthritis, arthrosis;
  • pathology of bone marrow.

Breast MRI is almost always carried out with contrast. This allows for precise differential diagnostics between benign and malignant tumors.

Before to pass examination, it is necessary to clarify the characteristics of the device. The higher the magnetic field strength at the device, the better the image quality. It is better to choose clinics that use high field machines with a strength of 1.5 Tesla.

What do the pediatricians?

Renowned canadian pediatrician Jack Newman, who wrote many works on breastfeeding, States that a nursing mother can do MRI even with contrast. There is no need to stop feeding because the half-life of the main substance of contrast (gadolinium) less than an hour. Over the next 6 hours the substance is excreted from the body. Besides the level of gadolinium in milk is very low. It is established that less than 0.5% of the substance excreted in the milk during the day after the survey.

Expert on compatibility of drugs with breastfeeding Thomas Hale argues that the contrast agent does not affect the status of children whose mothers had an MRI in the breast-feeding period. Therefore, despite the fact that manufacturers recommend to take a break from breastfeeding for a day, there’s no reason to worry about the condition of the child. So when you contrast dose of 0.2 mmol per kg, the child can get milk only 0,00008 mg / kg. It is a very small dosage to harm the baby.

When intravenous contrast, «Magnevist», the amount allocated in breast milk gadopentetate acid is about 0.04% of the administered dose. The experience of the obstetricians and physicians suggests that this amount of substance is not dangerous for the baby. Therefore, the examination can be performed without stopping the feeding. Other drugs used during the examination (OmniScan, Dotarem, Gadovist) also are benign and do not cause allergic reactions.

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When the examination is impossible?

Despite the fact that many doctors hold the view that it is possible to carry out magnetic resonance imaging breastfeeding mothers, there are contraindications for the procedure. Patients exclude MRI in the presence of implants of iron, Nickel, titanium, as the possible distortion of the magnetic field. Other absolute contraindications include:

  • the presence of electronic equipment (pacemaker);
  • the presence of an insulin pump;
  • allergic reaction to contrast medium;
  • renal failure (when the introduction of the contrast);
  • claustrophobic.

If the child is breastfeeding, the baby is prone to allergies, you have metal or electronic objects in the body be sure to inform the doctor.

Even if the experts say that it is possible to carry out an MRI during feeding, the woman should discuss with your doctor possible alternative methods. If there is a fear that the contrast will hurt the baby, you can pump milk to feed them after the test.