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Oxytocin Blocker

For when you really don't want to bond with someone.
  [vote for,

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.

Vernon, Jul 11 2016



       " I think we know enough "
normzone, Jul 11 2016

       // 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.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 11 2016

       // 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.
8th of 7, Jul 11 2016

       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.
ytk, Jul 11 2016

       // a duration of 188,000// That would be 515 years and some change.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 11 2016

       Merely showing the proud mother the Chestburster Scene from Alien ought to seal the deal.
whatrock, Jul 11 2016

       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 bonding yet.   

       So, what if the blocker was used for most of the pregnancy, but not the last week or two?
Vernon, Jul 11 2016

       Hmmm. Yes, that should be 18,800 days.
8th of 7, Jul 11 2016

       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 time, she experienced a tremendously upsetting feeling that she wasn't “bonding” with the baby, especially while breastfeeding. By coincidence, I read last night that nifedipine happens to be an antioxytocic drug, and it suddenly made sense.   

       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 medical reasons) and thus didn't have to take the nifedipine.
ytk, Jul 11 2016

       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.
nineteenthly, Jul 12 2016


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