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Mad Men star and new mom January Jones swears she's got something a whole lot better than caffeine to get her through the exhausting work/baby juggle, but somehow we don't think Betty Draper would approve. The actress told People that she battles new mom exhaustion by eating her own placenta, in pill form.
"I have a great doula who makes sure I'm eating well, with vitamins and teas, and with placenta capsulation," says the mom of six-month-old Xander Dane. "It's something I was very hesitant about, but we're the only mammals who don't ingest our own placentas."
Jones says that her placenta was dehydrated and then separated into pill form. She says she's popped the supplement daily since Xander's birth and downs a few extra when she's feeling exhausted or overwhelmed. "It's not witch-crafty or anything! I suggest it to all moms!”
Jones is hardly alone in her love of organ-eating. Post-baby placenta consumption is on the rise among new moms who believe that it contains important nutrients and can helps with milk production, although there's no hard data to back up these claims.
Proponents point out, as Jones has, that we are perhaps the only species of mammals who don't consume our own placenta -- but maybe that's a good thing. Existing research about the benefits of eating the organ -- in pill, cooked or even smoothie form -- is "tenuous," according to an article last year in New York. In the piece, behavioral neuroscientist Mark Kristal from the University of Buffalo, an expert in placenta eating (yes, really), said its nutritional value when cooked is akin to "steer liver." He added that, "every ten or twenty years people say, 'We should do this because it's natural and animals do it.' But it's not based on science. It's a fad."
I'm due with my second child in June and the idea of eating my own placenta simply grosses me out. If January Jones wants to ingest something that spent nine months inside her body as an energy boost -- more power to her. I'm going to stick to caffeine.