Can I do EMDR if I am Pregnant?

With care, yes!

I  have done a lot of EMDR processing with women who are pregnant.  Some moms worry about how trauma processing will effect their baby’s feelings in utero, but I have found there are ways to work with this worry, and that the benefits of the treatment for mother and baby in the long run, make it worth doing.

In one case, I suggested the client speak to her doctor about the process, and the doctor said she felt it was safe for mother and baby.  In another case, the client chose to wait until the second trimester, when any worry of miscarriage had passed.  In still another case, I continued to process the expectant mother’s molest memories during her pregnancy, because we felt that such treatment was important for the infant’s felt-sense of wellbeing in the long term. I have processed many traumatic first birth experiences, as well as fears of doctors and medical procedures all during pregnancy–which have improved the mother’s physical and emotional health during the remaining months of pregnancy.

If you do have trauma work to do while you are pregnant, I invite you to connect with your baby at the beginning of each session, and to tell them, “This is about me, not about you, this is the healing I have to do to be a good mommy.” And/or, I invite you to surround your baby with light and love, both before and after the processing. This has helped many moms feel comfortable that they have taken care of their baby’s feelings, while getting the care they need.