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Why study pregnancy massage and why choose a Wellmother maternity massage (pregnancy, birth or postnatal) training?

What is unique about a Wellmother maternity massage (pregnancy, birth and postnatal)  course?

We believe our programme is one of the most in depth in the world.

What we feel is unique about our courses is the emphasis on tailoring treatments to the needs of each client and our unique blend of including some shiatsu based techniques within the massage. As each client and each therapist is unique, we tend to discourage more routine based treatments. Our courses are about enabling you to develop your own style and to feel comfortable working with a range of clients, ranging from those who are enjoying their pregnancies and feel connected to their bodies and their growing baby, to those who are experiencing more difficult issues such as extended nausea and vomiting, pre-eclampsia and placental issues. We find the integration of a more traditional approach to the body, based largely on eastern perspectives, enhances your understanding of how to work with clients.

Why do I want to study pregnancy massage?

Some therapists think that working with a  pregnant client is simply about adapting techniques. To an extent this is true. However, the body changes hugely in pregnancy and it is important to understand the changes to know how best to massage the client. A key change with a pregnant client is the relative softness of the tissue and the increased blood volume.  Many techniques can be used with only slight modifications especially for the legs and arms. However, if the client has oedema or varicose veins, both of which are fairly common in pregnancy then modifications will need to be made.

Many therapists are often wary of massaging a pregnant abdomen, but in fact most women love it and it can be beneficial. It is important therefore to know how to work safely and effectively with a pregnant abdomen. Benefits of abdominal massage include: supporting the mother, and her partner, to bond with their baby and improving abdominal tone and awareness. It may also help with odema and circulation, constipation and skin issues.

Most pregnant women are essentially healthy but a very small percentage develop life threatening conditions and it is important to be aware and alert to early signs and concerns and to work alongside the primary care provider who is often the midwife.  Often massage can still be beneficial once the emergency phase is over.

Pregnant woman feel more secure in the knowledge that their therapist understands the changes both emotional and physical which they are going through.

Varied content of Wellmother maternity massage courses

We bring together the most relevant massage techniques and work with a range of different  pregnancy and birth positioning options including floor, table, chair and ball.  We include skills and principles drawn from Chinese/Japanese medicine and shiatsu/acupressure which are suitable for massage therapists.  A key feature is that we include techniques which include working with the baby and how to work the abdomen.

Excellent support resources during your maternity studies

We not only offer excellent study resources but we offer pre course support to prepare you to get the most out of the courses which are fairly intensive, but very stimulating.  During the course there is plenty of hands on experience including a clinic session with pregnant women (or postnatal or babies depending on the course).  When you have finished the training we support you while you consolidate your work with case studies. We feel this is important to gain experience of working with a range of women. We support you with Skype tutorials during the case study part of the course.


Sally Lake

The advanced pregnancy massage course that I undertook transformed my treatments beyond recognition. Through common sense, years of experience and an excellent knowledge of ‘all things pregnant’, our tutor, Suzanne Yates,  instantly dispelled any insecurities the class had. The theory was thorough and the practical work was constructive.

Sally Lake

As an experienced practitioner, I still consider the Well Mother Pregnancy Massage course to be money very well spent. Over the years I have confidently treated many pregnant women and they have recommended me to their pregnant friends, yoga groups, etc. This course definitely allowed me to expand my practise and I really enjoy being able to help pregnant women who have struggled to find other practitioners who will massage them, especially in the first trimester. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this course and Suzanne’s commitment to empower practitioners and pregnant women – she is truly inspiring!

Support to build and maintain your maternity massage practice

Once you have completed the course, we continue to support you with the Wellmother community, including Facebook groups, newsletters, CPD events and tutorials. You can always discuss issues related to clients with us, through direct email or Skype contact with Suzanne Yates or other Wellmother teachers. Some teachers may be able to facilitate one to one supervision sessions and study  groups in your local area.

Wellmother Maternity Expertise: pioneering maternity massage and shiatsu since 1990

We have been building our expertise since 1990, at a time when most therapists were scared of touching a pregnant woman and there were no pregnancy massage courses anywhere in the world!  That fear still remains for many and there are still many myths and misconceptions about working in pregnancy.

Suzanne Yates, founder of Wellmother,  is considered a pioneer in the maternity bodywork field

Suzanne Yates is considered a pioneer in the maternity bodywork field and the majority of courses are taught by her or include some input from her. She is supported by a team of teachers who are also passionate about maternity work and support the Wellmother ethos. Our work is valued internationally and we work alongside midwives and other health professionals so that we can constantly enrich and develop our work. Even if you decide not to specialise in maternity work, we believe understanding the effects of pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period on the mother, baby and family can enrich your work with all your clients at all stages of their life.

How to decide which is the best pregnancy massage course for you

What content to look for

  • Pregnancy anatomy and physiology: how much depth is this covered in. What support and resources are  offered to support you in your learning process.
  • Relevant coverage of eastern maternity theory if doing a course which integrates some work with maternity acupressure points
  • Overview of medical antenatal and maternity care offered in your country and any issues arising from that: how to make links with midwifery and obstetric care: primary care giver awareness of issues
  • Pre and post course reading and research: how much expected?
  • Maternity case study work required?
  • Supervised practice working with pregnancy women: what opportunities?
  • Opportunities for self reflection: how do you integrate the new skills into your practice?
  • Support for setting up maternity practice: what support are you given after the course to help you build your practice?

Course reputation

  • Is recognised by any relevant accrediting organisation
  • Is it recognised in the community
  • Feedback from other participants
  • How many participants working in maternity field
  • What opportunities are there for consolidating your knowledge once you have done the course?

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