Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy is an independently produced hour-long radio documentary.  It features the voices of fourteen women who have breastfed their children between one and four years.  Half of the women reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and half in New York City.  Some of the major topics covered include:  dealing with judgment and criticism, public nursing, benefits and challenges, changes in perception, weaning, nursing while working, and support. Also featured is commentary from Dr. Nigel Rollins, of the World Health Organization, Dr. Jay Gordon, a Fellow of the American Association of Pediatrics, and Dr. Katherine Dettwyler, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Delaware.


Extended breastfeeding (breastfeeding past one year) is arguably among the most heated and controversial child rearing choices, occupying an emotionally fraught landscape along with co-sleeping, sleep training and discipline.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months, and then for at least a year, or as long as is mutually desirable.  The World Health Organization recommends that a mother breastfeed her child for at least two years.  The recommendations are based on countless studies showing significant health benefits of breastfeeding for babies and children, as well as for mothers.  However, science and societal views don’t always align.

Because of the potential for judgment about the basic merits of their parenting, many mothers keep quiet about the joys, frustrations, challenges, and struggles of nursing their kids past babyhood.  This can lead to mothers feeling isolated and unsupported.  It is this lack of support, in addition to the fear of public criticism that leads many mothers to wean before they and their children are ready. 

The goal of this radio documentary is to stimulate dialogue about breastfeeding past one year in the United States.  In addition, it aims to educate mothers, family members, and health care practitioners about the benefits and challenges of breastfeeding past infancy.

“Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy” was produced by Vanessa Lowe.
Kent Sparling, a Bay Area composer, sound designer and re-recording mixer associated with George Lucas' Skywalker Sound, completed the final editing and mixing of “Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy”.

A Broadcast quality version of Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy can be found on Public Radio Exchange, HERE.

TRT: 55:00

Recorded, Edited, Written and Produced by Vanessa Lowe

Edited and Mixed by Kent Sparling at Cave Maps, Berkeley, CA 

Original Music by Jeffrey Foster and Kent SparlingPublished by the Jicama Salad Co. (BMI)

©2010 Knitwise MediaAll Rights Reserved

Mothering Magazine Interview with Lowe about "Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy"» READ ARTICLE

Public radio stations that played "Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy:

KWMR Point Reyes Station, California Monday, December 6, 2010 at 1pm

KPFA Berkeley, California Sunday, March 13th and 20th, 2011 at 6:30pm

KVMR Nevada City, California Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 12pm

WSLR Sarasota, Florida Thursday, August 4th, 2011 at 6pm

KGLP Gallup, New Mexico Friday, August 5th, 2011 at 2pm

KLCC Eugene, Oregon Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 6:30pm

KUGS Bellingham, Washington May 12, 2012 at 6:00am

KZYX Philo, California May 29th, 2012 at 9am