Thoughts on Breastfeeding
by Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D.
* Dr. Dettwyler's CV * Speaking Topics and Fees *
* Books * Commentaries * Links * Recommended books *
For the 2007-2008 academic year, Dr. Dettwyler is teaching anthropology at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE. She continues her affiliation with Texas A&M University, where she taught from 1987 to 2000. She is the author of Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa, and the co-editor of Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives, which includes her own two chapters "Beauty and the Breast: The Cultural Context of Breastfeeding in the United States," and "A Time to Wean: The Hominid Blueprint for a Natural Age of Weaning in Modern Human Populations." In 2003 she co-edited an anthropology reader with Vaughn Bryant, titled Reflections on Anthropology: A Four-Field Reader. Initial results of her research on extended breastfeeding in the United States were published in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 47, Number 3, pp. 712-723 ("When to Wean: Biological Versus Cultural Perspectives"). She is currently writing an introductory cultural anthropology textbook, to be published by Waveland Press later this year (2009). The working title is "A Fraction of the Feast: Culture and Human Experience" -- but that may change. She is the author of many other scholarly articles. She is a frequent speaker at universities, La Leche League conferences, and lactation consultant conferences. She lives in Delaware with her husband Steven, her sons Peter (23) and Alexander (17), Truman and Ulysses, both apricot standard poodles, and four cats. Her daughter Miranda (who was breastfed until she was 4 years of age) completed her Master's degree in gravitational physics at the University of Texas at Brownsville in 2004. Miranda and Mark Douglas Hannam, Ph.D., of New Zealand, were married on June 11, 2005 in Newark, DE. They spent 2.5 years in in Jena, Germany, during which time Miranda became fluent in German and became a mommy to Henry Graham Hannam, born July 3, 2006. In March of 2008, the moved to Cork, Ireland. At almost 3 years of age, Henry is a healthy and happy breastfed kid.
Books * Commentary * Links
Kathy Dettwyler's CV, Speaking Topics and Fees
Kathy Dettwyler's Curriculum Vita
Speaker Topics and Fees
Books * Commentary * Links * Bookstore
Books by Kathy Dettwyler
Dr. Dettwyler's first book, Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa (Waveland Press) , won the prestigious 1995 Margaret Mead Award, given jointly by the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology. The purpose of the award is to honor books/authors that make anthropology accessible to the public, and with an emphasis on applied anthropology (using anthropological knowledge and perspectives to solve real world problems, in this case child malnutrition in Africa). For a more detailed description of the book, click here.
Kathy's second book was co-edited with Patricia Stuart-Macadam, and is entitled Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives If you are looking for references in support of extended breastfeeding, you will find them in this book! For more information on this book, click here.
Kathy's third book is Reflections on Anthropology: A Four-Field Reader (McGraw-Hill, 2003). It is a collection of readings in anthropology for use as a supplement to a main textbook in introductory anthropology courses.
She also wrote the foreword to another book, published in 1999, Breastfeeding: A Mother's Gift, by Pamela K. Wiggins, IBCLC.
* Books * Commentary * Links *
Read what Kathy Dettwyler has had to say about various breastfeeding and parenting topics since 1995!
NEWEST COMMENTARIES2012 Letter for Court Cases
2004 Extended Breastfeeding-Survey Results
2004 How long should I nurse my baby?
2004 "Christian" parenting curricula
Bonding in Non-Humans
Breastfeeding and Cancer
Breastfeeding and Fertility
Breastfeeding in Traditional Societies
The Cultural Context of Breastfeeding
Frequency of Nursing in Other Species
Is It "Normal" to Suck Your Thumb?
The Issue of Informed Consent
Letter to the editor of USA Today about an anti-breastfeeding book.
LLL Leaders are People, Too
A Natural Age of Weaning
Nursing Other People's Babies
Sleeping through the Night
Traditional Child-Rearing Practices: A Bibliography of Cross-Cultural Breastfeeding References
What Constitutes Exclusive Breastfeeding?
WHO Breastfeeding Definitions
Why Nurse Toddlers?
Supporting References for the above.
To send feedback on any of this material to the author, email Dr. Dettwyler (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Books * Commentary * Links
Here are some links to places who link to this site, useful breastfeeding Web sites, books Dr. Dettwyler likes, or other Web sites that she enjoys.
Freedom from Hunger: Part of Kathy Dettwyler's work in Mali, described in Dancing Skeletons, was done in conjunction with Freedom from Hunger, a private, non-governmental organization based in California, whose "Credit with Education" program has been very successful in helping rural women all over the world through small loans and education. Visit their web page to find out more! ILCA, the International Lactation Consultant Association--Kathy has spoken at their conferences La Leche League International: get breastfeeding help here--you can even ask an accredited LLL Leader for help. LACTNET, an email list for those engaged in lactation support. This is not a list for getting breastfeeding help, but rather a support list for those who give such help. LACTNEWS On Line, brought to you by Austin's Barbara Wilson-Clay ParentsPlace: Lots of resources for parents, and chat rooms. The Texas Department of Public Health's Breastfeeding Web Site Unitarian Universalist Association
Books * Commentary * Links
Last updated September 3, 2012Kathy Dettwyler (please direct info on broken links to Kathy, as well as feedback). Contents copyright ©1995-2012 Sue Ann Kendall and Kathy Dettwyler. The contents of these pages may be printed out for personal use. Further distribution is prohibited. The dancing skeleton image, copyright Phyllis Hughes, is used with permission.