This statement sets out the position of The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) and Society of Radiographers (SoR) on patients who are breastfeeding who require a CT or MRI with contrast.
A recent article published in the Irish Medical Journal highlights a lack of awareness among radiologists and imaging teams on the most up to date evidence and guidance for patients who require a CT or MRI with contrast and are currently breastfeeding.
The current RCR guidance published in 2019 relating to MR states:
While no special precaution or cessation of breastfeeding is required the continuation or cessation of breastfeeding for 24 hours should be at the discretion of the lactating mother in consultation with the clinician.
There is also additional guidance from the MHRA.
The RCR and SoR refer to the guidance published by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) regarding CT contrast which states:
Cessation of breast feeding or expression and discarding of breast milk after iodinated contrast media administration are not required.
The Breastfeeding Network (BfN) has summarised the advice of a number of expert organisations across the globe which is available on their website .
The very small potential risk associated with absorption of contrast medium is considered insufficient to warrant suspending breastfeeding for any period following iodinated contrast agent administration.
It is the view of the RCR and SoR that patients who wish to continue breast feeding after being administered with contrast agent should be able to do so as there is no evidence of risk to the baby/child.
Position statement – for patients
The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) and the Society of Radiographers (SoR) are aware of conflicting opinions about whether patients who are administered with contrast agents – usually as part of a CT or MRI scan– can breast feed as part of their normal routine.
It is the view of both the RCR and the SoR that patients who wish to continue breast feeding after being administered with contrast agent – usually given in advance of a CT or MRI scan – should be able to do so as there is no evidence of risk to the baby/child. If you have any concerns please, speak with your radiographer or radiologist.