Mammograms Recommendations for Pregnant or Nursing Women
Should I get a screening mammogram when I’m pregnant?
Mammography during pregnancy is generally safe since the amount of radiation from a mammogram is minimal. However, we do not recommend getting a screening mammogram when you are pregnant. You should postpone your screening mammogram until after you deliver your baby.
What if I feel a lump in my breast while pregnant?
If you are pregnant and notice any problems with your breasts (such as a lump), we recommend you immediately notify your health care provider. Your health care provider may order a breast ultrasound. Occasionally, a mammogram is also necessary to check the area of concern in your breast. A mammogram would only be done if absolutely necessary, and can be safely performed during pregnancy, as your belly would be covered by a lead shield.
Can I get a mammogram while breastfeeding?
When you are breastfeeding, the milk collecting in your breast glands increases the density of your tissues, which can potentially make it harder to find abnormalities on your mammogram. We typically recommend you postpone screening and schedule your next screening mammogram three months after you finish breastfeeding. However, if you are at high risk for breast cancer, or have not had a screening mammography in several years and are above the age of 40, please discuss this with your health care provider because a screening mammogram may still be recommended.
If you are breastfeeding and notice a problem with your breast, such as a lump, we recommend you make an appointment to see your health care provider. They may schedule a diagnostic mammogram or ultrasound to evaluate the lump. These tests should not be delayed while breastfeeding if there is a concern about your breasts.
If you need a mammogram while you are breastfeeding, please pump or breastfeed your baby about 30 minutes before your exam.
Does the mammogram affect milk production?
No. The mammogram does not affect your milk in any way. It will not decrease your milk production, and it will be completely safe to breastfeed your baby immediately after you are done with your exam.