Ann Diamond Weinstein’s work with women and families spans three decades. The origins of her current work as a Preconception, Prenatal and Early Parenting Specialist began with her work as a Certified Childbirth Educator for 13 years, and later a Birth Doula. During this time she provided education and support to women and their families through their experiences of pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period. As an educator and coach Dr. Weinstein focuses on stress management and issues relating to preconception, pregnancy, birth, and early parenting experiences.
While Dr. Weinstein has a doctorate in clinical psychology and has received training in prenatal and perinatal psychology, and energy psychology, she is not licensed in the State of New York as a psychologist or as any other licensed health care provider and does not provide psychotherapy services. Dr. Weinstein uses several innovative energy methods based on the newly emerging field of energy psychology, but only as self-help tools and for educational and coaching purposes.
Doctorate and Research
Dr. Weinstein was inspired to complete a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Specialty Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology by her interest in understanding how our life experiences impact our transition to parenthood.
Dr. Weinstein’s knowledge, research and experience have provided her with a profound understanding of the importance of the preconception and prenatal environment—both inside and outside of women’s wombs—and the way it shapes children’s development and health in the prenatal period and over their life span. Her doctoral dissertation, The Experiences of Women Who Received Reproductive Endocrinology Treatment for Infertility, explores the multidimensional impacts of infertility treatment on the lives of women with and without traumatic stress and/or dissociative symptoms. Dr. Weinstein presented her research at the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health’s XIV International Congress (2009) and the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement’s conference, Mothering and Reproduction (2012).
She is deeply grateful to the women who shared their experiences with her. This sharing deepened her compassion for all who face the challenges of the preconception through early parenting period and inspired her to seek out additional training to support her work with women, families and professionals.
Dr. Weinstein received specific training in Strategies to Assist Pregnant Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse in Preparing for Birth, which emphasized the unique needs of women who’ve had these experiences and the kinds of support and environment that can be most helpful during birth and the early postnatal period.
She is also trained in several energy methods based on the newly emerging field of energy psychology. Dr. Weinstein provides self-help tools to assist women, their partners, and the practitioners who care for them in cultivating nurturing environments that best support children’s healthy development before and after birth. Dr. Weinstein has received Comprehensive Energy Health Practitioner training with the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, and Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT) training from TATLife. She also received training in Healing Prenatal and Perinatal Stress Patterns Utilizing Energy Psychology Tools.
In addition, Dr. Weinstein received training in breath practices to support stress reduction in Breath-Body-Mind seminars with Richard Brown, M.D. and Patricia Gerbarg M.D.. She has also trained in mindfulness practices specifically designed for women during the preconception, pregnancy and early parenting period through the Mindful Motherhood Course for Professionals.
Dr. Weinstein also participated in a year-long weekly workshop reviewing and analyzing films of mother-infant interactions with clinical psychologist and researcher Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D.
Work with Professionals
Dr. Weinstein also offers educational seminars to professionals. She consults with medical practitioners on the hidden impacts of physical and interpersonal interactions in treatment settings, particularly on patients and providers who have experienced trauma. She offers seminars for medical providers that are designed to bring awareness to these hidden impacts and educate them in aspects of sensitive practice that make it possible to enhance the quality of care and treatment outcomes experienced by trauma survivors.
She also consults with therapists on the impacts and implications of preconception, prenatal and early postnatal experiences in individuals’ lives. She created an online seminar for therapists entitled, The Impact of Prenatal and Early Postnatal Experiences Over the Lifespan, sponsored by and archived on the www.PsyBc.com website. This seminar is specifically designed to introduce therapists to the importance of our prenatal and early postnatal experiences and how they may surface in therapeutic interactions.
Dr. Weinstein’s presentation for Zero To Three New York (2014), entitled The Impact of Past Trauma on Women’s Experiences of Conception, Pregnancy and Early Parenting: Potential Consequences For Their Developing Babies, explored how past trauma and traumatic stress symptoms impact women’s reproductive experiences, the prenatal internal environment in which their babies grow, and potentially, their babies’ development before and after birth.
Dr. Weinstein’s new book, Prenatal Development and Parents’ Lived Experiences: How Early Events Shape Our Psychophysiology and Relationships, (2016) offers recent knowledge, research and theory about the earliest developmental period―from conception to birth. It provides an in depth exploration of eleven current themes related to prenatal development. The book illuminates how experiences during the preconception, prenatal and early postnatal period impact an individual physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally and form enduring response patterns that shape their development, behavior and health over their life span.
Dr. Weinstein’s publications include an article entitled, The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Pregnancy, Labor and Birth, co-authored by Thomas R. Verny, M.D., D. Psych., which appeared in the Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (2004).
She also contributed a chapter, Pam’s Themes, a narrative of the infertility treatment experiences of one participant in her research study, to Michael Shea’s book, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy: Volume Three (2010).
Dr. Weinstein contributed six chapters which explore the impact of prenatal and early postnatal experiences over the life span to Michael Shea’s book, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy: Volume Five (2013). These chapters synthesize recent research and knowledge from several fields including: psychology, medicine, psychophysiology and behavioral perinatology. They also explore the implications of this knowledge for practitioners. Read more detail about this significant body of work on my publications page.
Dr. Weinstein’s report, Why It’s Important for Women to Learn and Use Stress Reduction Skills Before and During Pregnancy (2013) discusses the impact of stress on women in the preconception and prenatal period. She explores recent research and knowledge that raise concerns about how prenatal maternal stress may impact the development, health and behavior of women’s babies during pregnancy and after birth.
Dr. Weinstein’s report also refers to research that demonstrates the positive health impacts of simple stress reduction skills that may benefit women, and in turn, their developing babies.
Download my essential report and read more about my publications here.
Additional Education and Certifications
Dr. Weinstein holds a M.S. in Special Education, Specialty Learning Disabilities and a B.A. in Elementary Education. Her experience as a special education teacher with learning disabled children and as a preschool teacher sparked her curiosity about how children’s earliest experiences, before and after birth, shape their development, behavior and relationships.
Dr. Weinstein is permanently certified by the New York State Education Department to teach Health Education, Special Education, and Nursery, Kindergarten and Grades 1-6.
Prior to her pursuit of her doctoral degree, she was the Development Director of The Parent-Child Home Program, Inc., a national early childhood parenting and literacy program based in Garden City, NY, that provides home visits to families across the country. Earlier, she was the Director of the School Based Health Program at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, that provides on-site medical and mental health services to children in New York City Public schools.