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Oxytocin is a natural chemical that promotes emotional bonding,
such as between a mother and her child. It is produced by the
placenta during pregnancy, and circulates with the blood through
the brain. It is known to cause a problem when a pregnant woman
initially decides she wants to adopt-out
her future newborn --but
changes her mind at birth, thereby causing great disappointment
to the would-be adopters.
I think we know enough about the structure of oxytocin that we
could design a drug to bind to oxytocin in such a way that that
natural compound would be unable to bind to its normal brain-
receptors (thereby leading to emotional bonding). If this blocker
could be taken in pill form, a small regular dose during pregnancy
would enter the bloodstream and counteract/disable the oxytocin
produced by the placenta. Possibly all that is needed is for the
combined molecule (oxytocin plus blocker) be too big to pass
through the blood-brain barrier.
And after the birth, the woman would very likely still be willing to
adopt-out her newborn.
||" I think we know enough "
||// a small regular dose during pregnancy would enter
the bloodstream and counteract/disable the oxytocin
produced by the placenta.//
||It would probably also prevent successful delivery.
Oxytocin is a key part of the signalling system that is
necessary for the process of birth. You really
wouldn't want to administer it until after delivery.
||// the woman would very likely still be willing to adopt-out her newborn. //
||Not just newborns. Anecdotal evidence leads to the conclusion that many mothers are willing to relinquish their children for adoption for some days after their birth; in one case, a duration of 188,000 was specifically mentioned.
||Such drugs exist. Oxytocin is the primary hormone that
triggers labor, and there is an entire class of drugs (called
tocolytics) that are used to counteract the effects of
oxytocin and thus inhibit preterm labor. Specifically,
atosiban is an oxytocin receptor antagonist and works pretty
much exactly like you're suggesting in this idea.
||// a duration of 188,000// That would be 515 years
and some change.
||Merely showing the proud mother the Chestburster Scene
from Alien ought to seal the deal.
||Baked but not WKTE? Well, it is my understanding that
the emotional bonding process happens slowly. The
woman has oxytocin in her system for months before
birth. Think about the fact that she is usually pregnant
for a month or so before discovering she is pregnant --
and at that time she might declare willingness to adopt.
The oxytocin already in her system hasn't caused
||So, what if the blocker was used for most of the
pregnancy, but not the last week or two?
||Hmmm. Yes, that should be 18,800 days.
||Oddly enough, I was thinking about this very thing last
night. My wife took
nifedipine while nursing our kids, in order to prevent
serious pain resulting
from a vascular problem called Reynaud's syndrome. At the
experienced a tremendously upsetting feeling that she
with the baby, especially while breastfeeding. By
coincidence, I read last
night that nifedipine happens to be an antioxytocic drug,
and it suddenly
||Interestingly, the bonding issue only happened with our two
oldest. That could be because with
our third child she didn't breastfeed at all (for unrelated
and thus didn't have to take the nifedipine.
||I think you might be underestimating the social conditioning side of
this phenomenon. Also, "oxys"+"tokos" - these are going to be C
sections if it works.