Breastfeeding: New Anthropological Approaches unites sociocultural, biological, and archaeological anthropological scholarship to spark new conversations and research about breastfeeding. While breastfeeding has become the subject of intense debate in many settings, anthropological perspectives have played a limited role in these conversations. The present volume seeks to broaden discussions around breastfeeding by showcasing fresh insights gleaned from an array of theoretical and methodological approaches, which are grounded in the close study of people across the globe.
Drawing on case studies and analyses of key issues in the field, the book highlights the power of anthropological research to illuminate the evolutionary, historical, biological, and sociocultural context of the complex, lived experience of breastfeeding. By bringing together researchers across three anthropological subfields, the volume seeks to produce transformative knowledge about human lactation, breastfeeding, and human milk.
This book is a key resource for scholars of medical and biological anthropology, evolutionary biology, bioarchaeology, sociocultural anthropology, and human development. Lactation professionals and peer supporters, midwives, and others who support infant feeding will find the book an essential read.
Foreword Penny Van Esterik
1. Introduction: towards new anthropologies of breastfeeding Cecília Tomori, Aunchalee E. L. Palmquist and EA Quinn
2. Beyond passive immunity: breastfeeding, milk and collaborative mother-infant immune systems Elizabeth M. Miller
3. Consuming immunities: milk sharing and the social life of passive immunity Aunchalee E.L. Palmquist
4. Breastsleeping in four cultures: comparative analysis of a biocultural body technique Cecília Tomori
5. “Natural, like my hair”: conceptualizations of breastfeeding among African American women Sarah Sobonya
6. Breastfeeding and body size Nicola L. Hawley and Pavane Gorrepati
7. Mothers, milk, and morals: peer milk sharing as moral motherwork in Central Florida Beatriz M. Reyes-Foster and Shannon K. Carter
8. Milk, medium chain fatty acids and human evolution EA Quinn
9. Chestfeeding as gender fluid practice Michelle Walks
10. Mixed-feeding in humans: evolution and current implications Melanie Martin
11. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings: breastfeeding and weaning in the past Siân E. Halcrow, Charlotte L. King, Andrew R. Millard, Anne Marie E. Snoddy, Rachel M. Scott, Gail E. Elliott, Darren R. Gröcke, Hallie R. Buckley, Vivien G. Standen, and Bernardo T. Arriaza
12. Shifting weanling’s optimum: breastfeeding ecology and infant health in Yucatán Amanda Veile and Karen L. Kramer
13. New mothers’ breastfeeding expectations, challenges, and the return to employment Carrie Hough, Erica Prussing, and Kayleigh Applegate
14. Understanding and enabling breastfeeding in the context of maternal-infant needs Kristin P. Tully and Helen L. Ball
Afterword: Breastfeeding: in search of the right questions James J. McKenna