Research based benefits of breastfeeding and co-sleeping

James McKenna, PhD, shares advice on what the research based benefits of breastfeeding and co-sleeping are for babies and mothers
Benefits of Breastfeeding and Co-Sleeping
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Research based benefits of breastfeeding and co-sleeping

Especially for breastfeeding mothers, co-sleeping next to your baby is incomparable. Aside from the fact that studies that show that both babies and mothers get more sleep. Insofar as breastfeeding, it doubles the amount of breastfeeding that the baby would otherwise experience. We were able to show in the sleep laboratory that the mom and baby pair, sleeping together in successive nights, very tremendously affects the amount of breastfeeding the baby would get. It really surprised us. It was almost like two different families that were being measured. The closer the baby to the mother, the greater the numbers of breastfeeds and that increases the mother's milk supply and her ability to manage the baby and her sleep in a much more comfortable and/or efficient way.

James McKenna, PhD, shares advice on what the research based benefits of breastfeeding and co-sleeping are for babies and mothers


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James McKenna, PhD

Anthropologist & Author

Professor James J. McKenna is recognized as the world’s leading authority on mother-infant co-sleeping, in relationship to breastfeeding and SIDS. In recognition of his work in 2009 he was admitted as a Fellow into the select body of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's most prestigious scientific society. That same year and in recognition of his extensive work with television, radio, and print media he received from the American Anthropological Association the “2008 Anthropology In The Media Award” one of the top three awards presented to anthropologists by the association in recognition of his distinguished work in educating the public to the importance of anthropological concepts. He received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970, his Master's Degree from San Diego State University in 1972, and his PhD in biological anthropology from the University of Oregon, Eugene, in 1975. Professor McKenna has published over 139 refereed scientific articles in diverse medical and anthropological journals on co-sleeping, breastfeeding, evolutionary medicine and SIDS, and both here and abroad he gives over 20 lectures especially to pediatric groups and parents. Here in the United States he remains one of the primary spokesperson to the media on issues pertaining to sleeping arrangements, nighttime breast-feeding and SIDS prevention. He has also published two monographs on SIDS and infant sleep, and co-edited two books:  Evolutionary Medicine and Evolutionary Medicine And Health: New Perspectives. His first trade book for parents was published in 2008 entitled: Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parents Guide To Co-Sleeping, and was recently translated and available in Spanish and Dutch.

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