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Breastfeeding after a CT scan

CT or CAT scan stands for computerised axial tomography scan. A CT scan uses x-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of the body. They are used to diagnose and monitor conditions.

You may need to get one if you have:

  • damage to bones or internal organs
  • problems with blood flow
  • cancer

You will be exposed to radiation during a CT scan. The amount of radiation used is very small and is not enough to cause any harm.

Breastfeeding after a CT scan

It is safe to continue to breastfeed after a CT scan. Your doctor or radiologist may use a contrast material to make the results of the CT scan clearer.  The contrast material is a special dye that may be taken as a drink or injected into a blood vessel.

Contrast dyes are usually made of iodine. If the contrast material makes its way into your milk, the amount will be very small. For this reason, experts agree that it's safe to continue to breastfeed.

There is no need to remove any of your breast milk with a pump after a CT scan.

More information

Read an article on breastfeeding and radiologic procedures from the US National Library of Medicine. This is written by Dr Jack Newman, a breastfeeding specialist in Canada.

Page last reviewed: 20 August 2022
Next review due: 20 August 2025