UK HealthCare

Behind the Blue: Heart surgeon Tessa London-Bounds discusses study on access, equity for breastfeeding surgeons

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2024) — Tessa London-Bounds, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at UK HealthCare’s Gill Heart & Vascular Institute, had two vastly different breastfeeding experiences as a resident and later as an attending surgeon. Variations in workplace support, along with access to technology and facilities made finding a balance between caring for patients and providing for her own children difficult.

After speaking with co-workers about her experiences, she was inspired to team together with fellow surgeons to create an online survey, which asked nearly 900 surgeons to share their opinions on the challenges of access and equity in the workplace for breastfeeding surgeons.

On this episode of Behind the Blue, London-Bounds discusses how her own personal experiences helped inspire the creation of the survey, the stigma and difficulties pregnant and breastfeeding surgeons perceive in the workplace, and the positive impact she can already see from the information and understanding the researchers have acquired.

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Transcripts for this or other episodes of Behind the Blue can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

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UK HealthCare is the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky. But it is so much more. It is more than 10,000 dedicated health care professionals committed to providing advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients from the Commonwealth and beyond. It also is the home of the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for the tiniest and sickest newborns, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and Kentucky’s top hospital ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

As an academic research institution, we are continuously pursuing the next generation of cures, treatments, protocols and policies. Our discoveries have the potential to change what’s medically possible within our lifetimes. Our educators and thought leaders are transforming the health care landscape as our six health professions colleges teach the next generation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals, spreading the highest standards of care. UK HealthCare is the power of advanced medicine committed to creating a healthier Kentucky, now and for generations to come.