Skip to content


Supporting the wisdom of parents and babies with shiatsu and massage


Wellmother was established by Suzanne Yates in Bristol 1990 to offer a holistic approach based on supportive touch, for women, babies and families preparing for pregnancy, birth and beyond. This approach is relevant for all clients at all stages of their life because the maternity period is the foundation of our life. Since 1990 Wellmother has expanded to cover support for all the different phases of our life.

Suzanne continues to work with clients in Bristol and France while developing the Wellmother approach world wide. She has a team of teachers who support her.

You can find practitioners who have studied the Wellmother approach and who can support you before, during and after your pregnancy by going to the Find a practitioner page.

If you are a health professional then you can find the relevant courses (mostly Shiatsu practitioners, Massage therapists and Midwives and Doulas ) on line and in person.

Suzanne has written three books, two aimed at health professionals and one for parents.

new born baby

The Wellmother approach

Relaxing and enjoyable touch such as massage or shiatsu is the basis of our approach. We find that it enables women, and their partners, to listen to their bodies and babies, and discover their inner wisdom and strength. We want to see massage and shiatsu taking their place as a core part  of 21st century maternity care.

Why is touch so important?

Our first experience of life is through touch:  the first sense to develop in the womb from eight weeks old. Touch is a powerful tool to help us connect not just with our physical body, but our whole experience of life, our emotions and why we are here.

Shiatsu and massage offer a powerful combination of nurturing touch, breathing/visualisations, exercise and postural awareness. This nurturing touch can ease physical and emotional dis-ease and help us become more aware of our body, which is especially powerful for a pregnant woman and her baby. It also offers powerful tools for connecting a woman with her baby and her partner.

Breathing, visualisations and exercise support shiatsu and massage

Breathing and visualisations support the touch work and Hypno birthing testifies to their efficacy during pregnancy and birth. We use powerful breathing techniques based on Eastern traditions with many visualisations based in nature (see our Blogs for more information) to help the mother be more relaxed and connected with herself, as well as her baby and partner.

Exercise and postural awareness help support the mother’s body in the changes she is experiencing and prepare her body for birth and the postnatal period.