“Our Babies, Ourselves” Author Dr. Meredith Small

“Our Babies, Ourselves” Author Dr. Meredith Small

In this episode of “Yoga | Birth | Babies,” I speak with anthropologist, Dr. Meredith Small, about how our biology, culture and history influence how we parent our children.  In this fun, lively conversation, Meredith and I discus and compare different cultures and their approach to child raring.  Some of the way we care for our children come from the societal rules and cultural acceptance and others from the biology of our bodies and connection to our babies.

In this episode:

    • Meredith’s inspiration for “Our Babies, Ourselves.
    • The take away Meredith wanted to from writing this book
    • The take away she hoped readers would gain from “Our Babies, Ourselves.
    • Changes in the approach to the work since she originally published the book.
    • What is ethnopediatrics?
    • The importance of bonding between the baby and the mother figure.
    • Culture and personality and what that means in terms of parenting.
    • Parental goals and the different parental goals within different cultures.
    • “Western parenting” and how does it stand out from other parenting styles.
    • How the American culture views their babies differently than other cultures.
    • “Helicopter parents” versus child independence.
    • What sleep patterns and habits say about a culture and parenting /child relationship.
    • How crying differs from culture to culture.  Do western babies cry more?  Why?
    • Breastfeeding – how the concept of breastfeeding differs among different cultures, how long to breastfeed? social acceptance?  support and encouragement to breastfeed?

About Meredith:

Meredith F. Small is a writer, Professor Emerita at Cornell University , and Visiting Scholar in the Department of Anthropology at The University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Small received her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the University of California, Davis, and spent several years studying the behavior of macaque monkeys in captivity and in the wild.  Although trained as a primate behaviorist, Small is now most interested how the intersection of biology and culture influence human behavior.

Besides numerous publications in academic journals, Dr. Small is also a science journalist. Her work has appeared in Discover, Natural History, Scientific American, and New Scientist, among many other magazines and newspapers.  Small was also a regular commentator for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and for two years she wrote a weekly column, Human Nature, for LiveScience.com She is the author five books including What’s Love Got to Do With it? The Evolution of Human Mating, Our Babies, Ourselves; How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent, Kids, and The Culture of Our Discontent; Beyond the Medical Model of Mental Illness.

Dr. Small received the Anthropology in Media Award from the American Anthropological Association, and her work was chosen twice for The Best Science and Nature Writing volumes from Houghton-Mifflin. where she teaches Biological Anthropology. She is a Weiss Presidential Fellow for excellence in teaching at Cornell University has been also honored with the Russell Award for Teaching, an Outstanding Educator Award from the Merrill Presidential Scholar Program at Cornell, and the Anthropology in Media Award from the American Anthropological Association.

Read more onmeredithfsmall.com.

Connect with Meredith: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/anthropology/content/meredithf-small

“Yoga | Birth | Babies” is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters and vegetarians get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/YBB to support the show and see if you qualify.

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