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Thread: MRI and BFing - please advise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Question MRI and BFing - please advise

    Hi mamas,

    I have an MRI scheduled for next week, which is upsetting enough (long story), but I've received conflicting messages about whether or not it is safe to BF after I receive the contrasting medication called gadolinium. The MRI tech says that I should not BF 24 hours after receiving the medication, but I've read online in a few places (which seem authoritative - but you know how online sources go) that it IS safe to BF after taking the medication. From what I understand, the conservative route would be to abstain from BFing for 24 hours, but it's probably safe. I'm struggling with this decision. I do NOT want to abstain from BFing for various reasons, particularly because I struggle with low supply. But obviously I want to do what's best and safest for my son (who is 10 months old). I've pasted the medication information below. Based on this information, what would you do? Thank you!!!

    From infantrisk.com:

    1) less than 1% of the administered maternal dose of contrast agent is excreted into breast milk; and
    2) less than 1% of the contrast medium in breast milk ingested by an infant is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
    Therefore, the expected dose of contrast medium absorbed by an infant from ingested breast milk is extremely low...The plasma half-life of intravenously administered iodinated contrast medium is approximately two hours, with nearly 100% of the agent cleared from the bloodstream within 24 hours. Because of its low lipid solubility, less than 1% of the administered maternal dose of iodinated contrast medium is excreted into the breast milk in the first 24 hours (1, 2). Because less than 1% of the contrast medium ingested by the infant is absorbed from its gastrointestinal tract (3), the expected dose absorbed by the infant from the breast milk is less than 0.01% of the intravascular dose given to the mother. This amount of contrast medium represents less than 1% of the recommended dose for an infant undergoing an imaging study, which is 2 mL/kg. The potential risks to the infant include direct toxicity and allergic sensitization or reaction, which are theoretical concerns but have not been reported...Because of the very small percentage of iodinated contrast medium that is excreted into the breast milk and absorbed by the infant's gut, we believe that the available data suggest that it is safe for the mother and infant to continue breast feeding after receiving such an agent.
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  2. #2
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    Default Re: MRI and BFing - please advise

    Oh, and I just read on Babycenter that gadolinium is "probably safe in usual doses"...
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: MRI and BFing - please advise

    If it was me, based on the info you provided I would go ahead and BF. I think sometimes they just want to cover their butts when they say stuff like that. Hopefully some other mamas who have had mris with nurslings can reply soon (I've had one but, pre-baby). Also I think there are mamas who have babies who have had mris, and in that case they are getting the contrasting agent directly, so something to think about.

    also i believe infant risk is a very reputable website

    eta: another source for you: http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/radioisotopes.html
    Christine
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
    Mami de mi preciosa Elenita
    http://forums.llli.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=32384&dateline=131170  7429 OakRoseCharms Free Shipping for LLLadies just pm me! My Blog

  4. #4
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    Default Re: MRI and BFing - please advise

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*oakdryad5 View Post
    If it was me, based on the info you provided I would go ahead and BF. I think sometimes they just want to cover their butts when they say stuff like that. Hopefully some other mamas who have had mris with nurslings can reply soon (I've had one but, pre-baby). Also I think there are mamas who have babies who have had mris, and in that case they are getting the contrasting agent directly, so something to think about.

    also i believe infant risk is a very reputable website

    eta: another source for you: http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/radioisotopes.html
    My last MRI my nursling was 2 months old and I continued to BF her without issues. Good luck mama
    I'm Colleen
    Mama to
    Silas born May 2009 ~ Nursed 18 mos, weaned during pregnancy, unweaned at 24 months, still nursing when he feels like it
    Lola born March 2011 ~ The Mary Lou Retton of toddler nursing
    Married to Brandon
    Using cloth on both bums

    We hibernate together



  5. #5
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    Default Re: MRI and BFing - please advise

    Thanks for replying, mamas. The the kellymom link was very useful...makes me feel better knowing the drug is rated L2.

    And I don't want to rant, but it's frustrating that medical professionals are telling women that it's unsafe to breastfeed when it's more subjective than that. It would be more prudent to just tell women what the facts are so that they can make their own informed decision, rather than just telling us that it's "unsafe to breastfeed," bottom line. How many overstressed moms would just accept that directive without question? The tech even advised me that I should just "go ahead and pump a little extra for that day, and then you can pump and dump during the time you can't breastfeed." Um, thanks for the lactation advice, Mrs. MRI Lady. Gr.
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: MRI and BFing - please advise

    I think they basically want to cover their tales and prevent lawsuits. It is very frustrating!
    Oh, by the way, if you need a sedative during the procedure, you will need to find out if you can nurse with it in your system also. Not sure if you will need one or not, but just another thought.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: MRI and BFing - please advise

    I think the reason they say to not BF is because there is that slight possibility that your baby could have an allergy to the contrast. Like a pp said, they are covering their butts. I am in med school (not to be a doctor) and we just had pour class on giving contrast. The nurse who teaches it said it should be discussed with the mother but the choice to BF is hers.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: MRI and BFing - please advise

    If you call infant risk, they can discuss your specific situation. They ask about your LO's age and weight, so they can tailor their advice. Of course, you still have to decide for yourself what you're comfortable with. But, they'll read through the info in their database, and explain it to you, so that you can make an informed decision.

  9. #9

    Default Re: MRI and BFing - please advise

    Did your MRI happen yet? It's really your choice, but if it were me I would be too concerned to risk Bfing against medical advice. It's such a brief period, do you have a pump? If so, just pump that day and dump the milk, and your production will be just fine!

    In the grand scheme, a day with out breast milk for your 10 month old (who has been getting and will be getting plenty of the good stuff) will not make a difference.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: MRI and BFing - please advise

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*attymom0604 View Post
    Did your MRI happen yet? It's really your choice, but if it were me I would be too concerned to risk Bfing against medical advice. It's such a brief period, do you have a pump? If so, just pump that day and dump the milk, and your production will be just fine!

    In the grand scheme, a day with out breast milk for your 10 month old (who has been getting and will be getting plenty of the good stuff) will not make a difference.
    I kind of disagree...she said she struggles with low supply, would her production really be ok?

    eta: i dont think the mri techs advice is the same as medical advice from a pediatrician for example. and i also dont think all pediatricians even give sound medical advice...i guess i'm saying i would not be too concerned to risk bfing since I don't think the medical advice she was given is sound based on all the other information available. so...we can agree to disagree
    Christine
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
    Mami de mi preciosa Elenita
    http://forums.llli.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=32384&dateline=131170  7429 OakRoseCharms Free Shipping for LLLadies just pm me! My Blog

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