Sporting her usual bubbly demeanor, the midwife strolled into the kitchen and announced she had a special gift for the new mom. She held out a clear bag filled with hundreds of capsules. The emotion on my daughter-in-law’s face fell somewhere on the scale between utter disgust and sheer astonishment.

“It’s your placenta!” she explained.

“I dried and capsulated it. It works wonders for post partum depression. Take two everyday as a precaution, or just when you feel the need.”

As repulsive as it sounds, rumors of the benefits of eating one’s own placenta have floated around the natural mothering crowd since the days when we still called them hippies. Believe it or not, today many of these trends are making a comeback.

January Jones, who plays Betty on Mad Men, doesn’t have a problem eating her afterbirth, or apparently discussing it in public.

She told People.com:

Your placenta gets dehydrated and made into vitamins. It’s something I was very hesitant about, but we’re the only mammals who don’t ingest our own placentas.

Old hippies have spawned a new hybrid generation of parents that’s three parts high-tech and one part organic. The new “Crunchy” or “Natural Mamas” have inherited some ideals once considered “out there” for we Boomers, like nursing and laboring in water.

The next four extreme trends could become the new norm.

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