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Would you like to know how to give effective care to women in the early postnatal period and how to adapt your care during the continuing changes of the first year? Would you like ideas of how to work with the baby present, and even be able to teach the mother how to give shiatsu for her baby?

We will explore the importance of the early postnatal period, what is happening for the mother and how we should approach our treatment, along with some ideas of how to approach scars, and simple breathing and  movement, as well as how we might include the baby and support feeding.

Practical work includes:

Our approach to scar tissue (C section and pelvic floor)

Supporting posture, especially issues arising from feeding and holding a newborn

Supporting bonding and emotional well being

Considering potential long term issues

We will also learn about the development of the meridians/channels including the Qiao and Wei (Heel and Linking: the outer group of Extraordinary Vessels) through understanding the development of the baby in the first year. This will add to your work with all clients and increase your understanding of your own energies.

There is an on line version of the infant massage/shiatsu part of the course open to anyone. I am still working on the Postnatal mother online course. Note for shiatsu practitioners that you must have completed a foundation course with Suzanne in Bristol or London or elsewhere or with Nicola near London to enroll onto this course. Massage therapists can attend if they have attended the Wellmother  Pregnancy Massage Diploma.  Please contact us for more information.

mum baby massage

You will learn 


  • Detailed Eastern theory of the postnatal period of changes for the mother which will help you deepen your understanding of the Extraordinary Vessels integrating work with the Wei and the Qiao
  • relevant Anatomy and Physiology of postnatal changes for mother for the first year in an engaging and practical way
  • How to work with the mother in the early and later postnatal period from immediately after birth to the first year, including knowing when to refer. This will include supporting breastfeeding, and early abdominal work which includes knowing how to work after a caesarean section, with scar tissue as well as deeper abdominal work in the later period and pelvic floor rehabilitation
  • A range of different postnatal exercises for the different postnatal stages, both with and without baby, including awareness of how to modify depending on the birth experience
  • Creating a relevant postnatal form



  • Mother and baby exercises and exercises with partner which build on the pregnancy and birth exercises we already learnt
  • Detailed eastern theory of changes for the baby during the first year: this will help you understand the development of all Eight Extraordinary Vessels as well as the 12 meridians. This will help you understand all these energies more clearly for all clients as well as yourself
  • Relevant Anatomy and Physiology of changes for baby: in an engaging and practical way
  • Exploring experientially infant movement patterns which will help you understand your own journey during the first year, adapting to life on earth and and how this period impacts on us all, as well as enhancing your understanding of the development of all energies/channels.
  • Learning how to teach baby shiatsu sessions: the emphasis is primarily on supporting the mother/baby bond but there may be times when we would need to do some direct work with the baby
  • Learning how to work with common childhood conditions such as feeding issues, emotional adaptation, bonding, breathing and supporting development:
  • Creating a relevant infant shiatsu form


More detail on course

Running since 1999, this course covers all you need to know to be able to safely and effectively work with women and babies in the first year after birth.

During the course you will work with a postnatal woman and teach a baby shiatsu session to the mother and her partner (if possible). After the course you have an opportunity if you wish to work with supervised case studies. This will enable you to integrate the new techniques with your current way of working. When you have completed case studies and a project for all modules, you will receive the Wellmother Diploma and be confident that you can offer holistic maternity care. You can go on the Wellmother register.

If you are a massage therapist and have done the pregnancy diploma the postnatal care will add to your skills.

The full maternity course for Shiatsu practitioners consists of a foundation module or day, followed by 3 modules, Pregnancy, Birth and Postnatal. You can choose to attend the individual modules in any order and each is a self-contained course. You can choose to complete case studies for each module and have a certificate for that module or, if you complete case studies for all three modules and a reflective piece, then you will receive the Maternity Diploma. This means you can go on the Wellmother register and be part of our global network.

The  other maternity modules are: Pregnancy February 2025 and Birth November 2025 all in Bristol at the Centre for Whole Health.

- A little while after completing my Pregnancy Massage course with Wellmother I continued my training with Suzanne’s Postnatal Massage training. Again I found the course very thorough and fascinating especially the shiatsu energy work, it's so useful to be able to use some energy work to address certain pregnancy and postnatal issues combined with my oil based massage. We also learned much about the physiology of birth and postnatal recovery which has been invaluable in my work as a massage practitioner and as a doula.

Sue Boughton

Massage therapist and doula

I knew I lacked confidence in working with pregnant women and wanted to change that. I finally took the step to do all of Suzanne's modules on maternity care, labour and postnatal. What I learned was much more than I expected. Not just the techniques for supporting women, their partners and babies,  but also how using the extraordinary vessels can have amazing benefits for everyone else I treat with shiatsu, including myself.  Suzanne has an incomparable depth of knowledge and a teaching style that makes you feel able to learn and apply those skills confidently. I look forward to doing her courses online to help consolidate what I learned in her classes. Working with pregnant women is now such a special honour I really enjoy doing. Thanks Suzanne.

Vennetta Royal

Shiatsu Practitioner

There is an  on line version of the infant massage/shiatsu part of the course and soon I hope to put up a postnatal mother course.

Meanwhile you might like to read about postnatal work with the mother in my book Pregnancy and childbirth

If you are a massage therapist you might want to read the review Choosing a postnatal massage course

Dates and location

  • Centre for Whole Health, Bristol BS3 3BP, 4 days
    07/11/2024 - 10/11/2024
  • ESI, Vienna, 4 days
    22/10/2026 - 25/10/2026


Suzanne Yates

Suzanne is the founder and principal teacher at Wellmother, established 1990

Entrance Requirements

  • A shiatsu practitioner who has already attended a course with Suzanne or another Wellmother teacher for the 4 day Bristol or Vienna course

  • A pregnancy massage therapist who has attended the Wellmother Pregnancy Massage course for the 4 day Bristol course November 2024

Supporting material

Pregnancy and Childbirth: a holistic approach to massage and bodywork

Suzanne Yates

order the book


Bristol 4 day course : £335 (early booking 8 weeks before) or £365
Vienna Course: € 480,- / € 440,-
You could also attend this course taught in English with German translation in Vienna, Berlin or Zurich: please see German pages for booking and dates. You can use Google translate to help you!

Apply for 4 day Bristol course shiatsu and massage Apply for Vienna course

The postnatal period is the most neglected area of support: and fundamental for the future health of both mother and baby. Learn how to give effective support

Apply for 4 day Bristol course shiatsu and massage Apply for Vienna course