Joseph Daniel Fiedler for NPR

Melissa Mathis holds a container of freeze-dried placenta capsules. Carrie Feibel/Houston Public Media hide caption

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A healthy baby still tops women's wishes for their future children, but intelligence and athletic skill are gaining importance. Claire Fraser/ImageZoo/Corbis hide caption

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A doctor uses a microscrope to view a human egg during in vitro fertilization (IVF), which is used to fertilize eggs that have been frozen. Mauro Fermariello/ScienceSource hide caption

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Bambi, Disney's 1942 animated feature about a fawn's life in the woods, has a heartbreaking scene many young viewers never forget: the death of Bambi's mother. Sarah Boxer wrote about the pervasive theme of dead mothers in animated films and children's stories for this month's issue of The Atlantic. Disney Junior/Disney Channel via Getty Images hide caption

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