Neurofeedback and Pregnancy: A Recipe for Calm


Learning that you are pregnant can be a time of great joy and excitement, and also a time of worrying and stress.  Neurofeedback is a safe and non-invasive way to de-stress during pregnancy. How Neurofeedback Works >

By Heather Coleman, LCSW, Psychotherapist and Certified NeurOptimal® Trainer (And expecting mom!)


Neurofeedback Is Safe When Pregnant  


There are endless reasons to feel worried or protective of your unborn child.  You don’t need to worry about the safety of NeurOptimal®. The neurofeedback training we use at our office. It is 100% safe and non-invasive. Learn more here.

Much of this is a biological worry response kicking into gear to be alert to danger and ready to protect.  However, most of the time, we are perceiving otherwise neutral and benign information about our pregnancy as being threatening and unsafe.  What if my test results come back and there is something wrong?  What if she isn't kicking enough? What if i don't know the first thing about raising a child or changing a diaper?  What if the nursery isn't fully ready by the time they arrive?   Things can and do go wrong during pregnancy, that is the reality of any pregnancy and birth; however, the amount of energy worrying about what could go wrong doesn't allow us to respond and make decisions when we actually need to (i.e. I really do need to go to the ER because there is a concern) or to be able to relax and be present with the wonder of carrying a child!

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Neurofeedback helps us shift into the present.
It's helpful preparation for being a parent and meeting the needs of your child.  By training the nervous system to be in a more relaxed and present state, we are increasing our attunement with our baby and will make better decisions. If more energy is freed up to be available to your child, rather than anxious about what you may or may not be doing correctly, there may be more of an ability to see clearly what is needed in that moment and respond accordingly. 

Does NeuroOptimal Affect the Baby If Brain Training While Pregnant?
Calm you; calm baby.
Your nervous system is a "tuning fork" for your baby's nervous system.  When you have a parent-child relationship, there are two nervous systems interacting with one another: the Alpha's (mom) and the Beta's (child).  "Betas" look to "Alphas" for guidance about how they should respond to their environment and potential threats.  If an Alpha's nervous system is activated and nervous, the baby's nervous system learns to resonate on that frequency as well, sending sensory signals that the environment is threatening or unsafe when it usually is not.  If mom's nervous system is regulated, this is sending signals to the baby's that all is well and safe in the environment.  

Decrease Stress
At your first OB appointments, your doctor may educate you about the foods that you can and cannot eat during pregnancy.  One of the biggest words of advice doctors have is that stress and stress hormones aren't good for growing fetuses.  When you’re calm you are not in a stress response and you’re not pumping out those stress hormones that rev us up. Some studies are beginning to show that high stress hormones passed through the placenta can impact the developing fetus in more ways than one; making them more susceptible to low birth weight, preterm birth, as well as affecting neurobiological development and temperament (to read more about this, visit the article from WebMD- "Fetus to Mom: You're Stressing Me Out!")

Practice Self-Care.
It's a good practice to start now while entering pregnancy and child-rearing.  For all that attention, energy and care that will be going to this child a healthy mom is essential.  This isn’t always easy to do and maintain, but neurofeedback training helps by getting us in the habit of de-stressing.  And when we are re-charged, we will be able to extend ourselves again, refresh and renewed.

Another great self-care practice is mindfulness meditation. Check out the body scan meditations on sites like: or the App Calm.

Heather is certified as a NeurOptimal® neurofeedback trainer and is a licensed clinical social worker.  


Not in NYC? Consider renting a home system. Same training as in-office visits only more cost-effective choice. Learn more >