Associate’s Corner: Cecilia Tomori

associatescorner_ceciliatomoriCecilia Tomori, PhD, is a Hungarian American anthropologist with postdoctoral training in public health, who is a Research Associate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Cecilia has carried out long-term ethnographic as well as qualitative and mixed methods research on a wide range of topics. She is interested in using multi-disciplinary perspectives to learn how to better support all families who wish to breastfeed or provide human milk for their children.

Cecilia’s first book, Nighttime Breastfeeding: An American Cultural Dilemma (Berghahn Books, 2014; paperback 2016) investigated why breastfeeding and infant sleep are so often stressful and controversial among American parents.The book examines the experiences of middle class families in the Midwest gathered during two-years of ethnographic research through the lenses of cross-cultural, evolutionary, historical and feminist perspectives. Through this work Cecilia documents a changing cultural landscape wherein after decades when infant feeding with artificial breastmilk substitutes was the norm, many new parents now intend to breastfeed. As these parents find themselves accidentally falling asleep with their babies in their beds to facilitate breastfeeding, however, their practices collide with cultural norms and medical recommendations about solitary infant sleep. Cecilia’s second book project with Drs. Aunchalee Palmquist (Elon University) and Elizabeth Quinn (Washington University in St. Louis) (forthcoming from Routledge) will bring together scholars from sociocultural, biological, and bioarcheological anthropology to create new interdisciplinary dialogue and collaborations focusing on breastfeeding.

You can read more about Cecilia’s work at her website, and a recent interview with her on Born to Be Breastfed. For questions and collaborations, you can contact Cecilia at

About Katherine Lewandowski

Maternal & Child Health - Ops
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