The National Enquirer continues to report the goings-on of John Edwards' mistress Rielle Hunter and their two-year-old daughter, Frances Quinn.
In the latest update, we learn that Rielle Hunter recently attended a small party for toddlers in North Carolina where she "even jumped on a trampoline." The Enquirer notes:
"Rielle joked to one parent, 'I'm the woman everyone loves to hate!'
"To another, she admitted that she was still nursing Quinn, and she told a third, 'I've just moved to the area.'"
Some recent studies indicate that fewer than one in 10 mothers in the United States breastfeed their children past the age of 1.
That said, several major health organizations heartily endorse so-called "extended" nursing:
The American Academy of Pediatrics says, "Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life -- and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child." AAP goes on to say, "There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer." (AAP 2005)
The World Health Organization recommends "infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond."
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that "Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired." They also note that "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned." (AAFP 2001)