CAT Scan/B'feading - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 04-25-2002, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I was wondering if anyone had a CAT Scan while breastfeeding. The imaging center has told me that because of the dye they will use, I will not be able to nurse my baby (she's 10 mths old) for 24 hours after the procedure. Has anyone heard of a breastfeeding friendly dye or any alternative? My babe has never had a bottle. She drinks water from a cup, but then likes to just spit it out. I don't want to torture her for a whole day, but am at the point where my own health needs to be a priority, too. Any suggestions/support would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 of 2 Old 05-03-2002, 07:10 PM
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Okay......your post caught my eye and I just had to respond cuz I think maybe you're getting some bad advice.

i work in radiology as a tech, and although I'm not licensed to do CT, I know what dyes they generally use....radiopaque agents that generally contain iodine, the same as we use for IVPs to image the kidneys.

I've never heard of that before- making a nursing mom stop for 24 hrs. I looked up radiopaque agents in the "Nursing Mother's Companion and it says ...."compounds that contain iodine, but vary in the amount of iodine that can pass into milk. Many have no free iodine and therefore post little risk to the breastfed infant. Others require that the mother stop nursing for several hrs. after use"

The iodine shows up on the scans because it is denser than body tissues- it is sort of a "highlighter" is NOT radioactive. the injections used in nuclear medicine scans are radioactive.

The ones with no free iodine are referred to as "non-ionic" and we give that to people at higher risk for allergic reaction to iodine....people allergic to shellfish, kids, etc. It works exactly the same as the ionic iodine. The only difference......THE COST!!! Non- ionic is about 3x the cost.

Sounds to me like whoever you spoke to is probably not educated about breastfeeding and medications- most medical personell are not. I bet if you request a non-ionic iodine (you may have to pay for it yourself if it's not medically indicated) you won't have to stop nursing. I know that there is a "master" directory of all the medications you can take and their effect on breastmilk. Maybe try calling a LLL leader, they usually have that book (I wish I could remember the name of it, darnit!)

The medical field is generally ignorant and paranoid of the effects that medications have on breastmilk. they'll tell you to stop nursing just to cover their butts, not realizing how difficult that is for you to do.

You can call the radiology department and ask them for the specific brand names of the iodine contrast that they use for CT's, and if you can request a non-ionic form. We use Conray (ionic), Isovue (non-ionic), .....shoot.....I can't remember the rest.!

Anyway.....with a little research, I'll bet you'll be able to nurse no problem. Cheers! Becky
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