Dr. James J. McKenna directed the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame for 22 years. He received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, his Master's Degree from San Diego State University, and in 1975 earned his Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of Oregon, Eugene.
He pioneered the world’s first studies of the physiology and behavior of cosleeping mothers and infants, and has published over 140 scientific articles in medical and anthropological journals on the topics of cosleeping, breastfeeding, evolutionary medicine, and SIDS. He has also authored several books, including Ancestral Landscapes in Human Evolution, Evolutionary Medicine, Sleeping With Your Baby, and Researching the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: The Role of Ideology in Biomedical Science. A leading authority on breastfeeding in relationship to SIDS and bedsharing safety, Dr. McKenna is a sought-after speaker at medical, parenting, and policy conferences around the world.
His forthcoming book Safe Infant Sleep: Expert Answers to Your Cosleeping Questionswill share his most recent research on the topic, counter common misconceptions with hard science, and help parents identify and avoid the hazards of any sleeping arrangement. Find it online and on shelves in January 2020.
He lives with his wife in San Francisco and, though retired, continues to fight for infant care practices that are natural, safe, and enjoyable for all families.
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