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Thread: mammograms and breastfeeding...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default mammograms and breastfeeding...

    I'm 46, breastfeeding my 2 month old, and am up for my yearly mammogram. Wouldn't the milk in the ducts come off as califications on the mammogram image, and give off a false positive result? What are the theories on mammograms while nursing? Put off till done? Only due if you have a problem (and how can you tell by self exam anyway with all that milk in your breast?)

    Thanks for any input!

    Lynn (South Texas)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: mammograms and breastfeeding...

    Hi gaillynn,
    Here's a link that may help.

    Can breastfeeding mothers get mammograms?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: mammograms and breastfeeding...

    I tried to have a baseline mammogram before my toddler had weaned, and the mammographer kicked me out of the room! She told me that the milk in my breasts would make the Xray cloudy and too hard to read. (She also told me that I was putting my health at risk by delaying this baseline mammogram, and that I should wean -- advice which was clearly ill-informed.) My doctor later apologized for ordering the mammogram in the first place, saying that she had forgotten I was still nursing.

    I have heard from others since then that a mammogram CAN be done safely on a lactating breast, and it CAN be read by a radiologist who has experience in reading mammograms of lactating breasts.

    The _Breastfeeding Answer Book_ says that if you are breastfeeding often with a sizable milk supply, your mammogram will be harder to read than if you are breastfeeding infrequently.

    I would talk with your doctor about these different factors, and together make a decision about whether proceeding with your annual mammogram is worth it at this point. Do keep doing your monthly breast self-exams -- I know everything feels different when you are lactating, and at 2 mos postpartum your breasts have barely settled into lactation. But over time you will find that you "know your way around" the breasts again. I found that while I was nursing, I handled my breasts so much that I was quite sensitive to any changes.


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