Despite research showing multiple benefits of breastfeeding and numerous physician associations publishing statements in support of lactation, including ASA, awareness and education on this topic are lacking, according to Adamina G. Podraza, MD, FAAP, FASA, President of the Illinois Society of Anesthesiologists and a member of its Committee on Women in Anesthesiology.

“Our colleagues know there are health benefits to breastfeeding and even legal requirements supporting lactating individuals, but they may not understand the many obstacles that lactating anesthesiologists face,” said Dr. Podraza.

Shreya Aggarwal, MD, an anesthesiologist with Mobile Anesthesiologists in Chicago, agreed. “It's always challenging to schedule time in the OR to breastfeed. I pumped for both my sons, aged 2 and 4. My colleagues covered for me, but I always pressured myself not to take too long. This can complicate a pump break because you have to relax so your milk lets down, which can be difficult...

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