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Would you like to deepen your touch based skills as well as breathing, visualisations and exercise so you can better support women and their partners during all three trimesters of pregnancy and in preparing for birth and motherhood?

This course:

  • is relevant for any therapist who works with massage, shiatsu or other bodywork skills who wants to deepen their work with pregnant women. You may already be working with pregnant clients or you may be new to the field.
  • will enable you to feel more confident working with both low risk and higher risk clients and during all three trimesters. Even if you don't work directly with clients during this period, understanding more about our time in the womb will help you with your work with all clients. Indeed some of the new techniques are relevant for all clients.
  • includes both massage and shiatsu based techniques for supporting women. I present them in a way that you can choose which approach works best with your skill set. However I find that both shiatsu and massage therapists benefit from learning a little more about the other approach.
  • covers western theories of pregnancy as well as some eastern theory. It is presented in such a way that it is relevant to everyone, but with a separate section for those who are already working with Chinese medicine in some form.

If you are less familiar with the eastern approach and want to learn more, then you might also want to do the online shiatsu foundation skills for midwives and bodyworkers.

If you are a shiatsu practitioner and know less about the Extraordinary Vessels, you might want to consider doing the Transforming your work with the Extraordinary Vessels course.

This supporting pregnancy course can also be a good way to prepare or to review material from any of the in person pregnancy courses. If you have attended a postnatal in person course with Suzanne then you can apply for a 50% discount on the course. Email her


What is in this supporting pregnancy online course?

12 hours of course materials including 7 hours of videos. Certificate of completion is for 17 hours (which allows for 5 hours of additional practice and reflection)

Overview of course

"Supporting pregnancy with massage, shiatsu and more"  course materials include 7 hours of videos of Suzanne Yates teaching pregnancy exercises, practical shiatsu and massage. It also includes western and eastern theory and nearly an hour of audios of meditations and visualisations.

Then there is the time you want to take to practice the exercises and techniques. I would allow at least 5 hours. Your certificate of completion is for 17 hours.

The supporting pregnancy with massage, shiatsu and more course is set up with 8 lessons. In in each lesson, there is a mix of videos, audios and text documents. At the end of each lesson is either a quiz to check your learning or an assignment, which is either some practical work, or reflective piece. You can work through these topics and the assignments at your own pace and review any material as often as you want.

Life time access for the course and a certificate of completion which you can use for your CPD. This is for 17 hours.

Suzanne supports you during this course and you get feedback on your assignments from her. You can ask her questions at any time. There are also occasional live sessions with Suzanne.

Course content - 8 lessons

1 Main changes in pregnancy - Western view

You will learn about what is happening for the mother and the baby during the three trimesters of pregnancy. We will discuss the trimesters and their nature and the physical and emotional changes of both mother and baby.

2 Main changes in pregnancy- Eastern view

You will learn how the ancient Chinese viewed these changes. This is helpful to know, whether or not you work with a more eastern based modality such as shiatsu or acupuncture. Even if all you take from this lesson is another view of pregnancy it will enhance your work. However you may also understand more about why certain points and connections are helpful and why certain points are not as “contraindicated” as often suggested. It also includes more detailed changes for those who are already working with Chinese medicine.

3: Practical shiatsu basics for massage therapists

This is a lesson geared up to those of you who do not work with shiatsu. You will learn how some basic concepts are extremely useful to include in your sessions with pregnant clients.

4: Positioning and approaches to work all areas of the body

You learn the basics of working with a pregnant mother. This includes the equipment you need, how to position her in supine, side and all fours positions and how to work on the table, floor or using a ball. You will learn which positions are more suitable for clients with pelvic instability issues.

We also learn some initial approaches for working with different areas of the body which include the use of stretches and mobilisations and consider how the approach changes during the different trimesters of pregnancy.

5: Practical techniques - more detailed approaches

Here you learn more detailed ideas of how to approach the abdomen/baby, the back and support the lymphatic system. These are the areas which change most in pregnancy. Working with the lymph is a good way to practice how to modify work with the arms and legs.

I also include how to work some of the most relevant acupuncture points.

You will also learn how some of these approaches can also be relevant during birth and into the postnatal period.

6: Working with more complex situations and knowing your red flags

You learn how to modify the approach for some of the more common higher risk clients. You will also learn the situations when you should not work. You learn about how to support pregnancy loss, both early and late, as well as issues relating to fertility and conception

7: Client self care - exercises and visualisations

You learn how to support your clients with breathing, visualisations and exercises. There will be some indication of which are helpful to continue, and when, in the postnatal period.

Self-care is always important for every client, but is particularly important during pregnancy. There is so much physical and emotional change that it is helpful for the client to have tools to process this. Self-care is also a way in which we can encourage the mother to connect with her baby, through breath and through touch. It is also a way to involve the partner.

8: Integrating your knowledge into your practice

This lesson is about drawing everything together in working with clients.

I consider how to create an appropriate maternity health history form, the nature of your relationship with the primary care provider, networking, how you might structure your sessions, including online sessions and how to approach working with case studies.

More detail on the supporting pregnancy course

Suzanne has been working with pregnant clients and teaching pregnancy exercise and birth preparation classes since 1990 when she set up Wellmother in Bristol. She has been teaching this pregnancy course for professionals in person since 1999. She has also written several books on pregnancy and birth, the most relevant for this course is "Pregnancy and Childbirth: an holistic approach to massage and bodywork". This pregnancy online course covers the highlights of the in person courses for both massage and shiatsu practitioners. It gives you key skills to be able to safely and effectively work with women during all stages of pregnancy and an introduction to preparing for birth. You will reflect on how you want to work during this time and create materials to support you to do this.

Videos, audios, forums, documents, quizzes, reflective assignments: on line is a wonderful way, in some ways better than in person, to learn why and in what situations you can use your practical skills. You can work through the theory at your own pace and explore exercises and meditations to prepare you for hands on work. You can discuss with Suzanne and other students on the course forum. For hands on skills and techniques, on line videos and support give you useful tools to start integrating new work into your practice and get feedback about relevant issues. However, do remember, to fine tune your skills the best way is to have some face to face supervision to gain specific feedback of how YOU are connecting and using your body. If you like the practical work presented in the on line courses, I strongly recommend that you attend an in person course or arrange a personal supervision with me or a Wellmother teacher to take your work to the next level!

I completed my shiatsu training a couple of months before my girlfriend became pregnant. I had some basic required knowledge of the use (and things not to do) of shiatsu during pregnancies but I wanted to further my knowledge to truly be able to support my girlfriend and baby during the process. I stumbled upon Suzanne's book and then registered for two online courses. It would take me pages to truly tell everything her knowledge has brought us, but let's just say I was able to help with much of my girlfriend's pregnancy discomforts through bodywork. Moreover, I was able to accompany her and our baby during all of her labor in a way that would have been unthinkable otherwise. This is a great gift from Suzanne and I can swear from my experience that it could change in a profound way the experience of many men and women who go through the quite unique experience of a child coming to birth. I truly am grateful.

Marc Ouimet

Shiatsu Practitioner

Suzanne has an incredible wealth of knowledge on the perinatal period, using both eastern and western approaches and presenting a balanced view.  Considering the needs of a pregnant client was one of my main inspirations to go on and train as a midwife. I've now been a registered midwife for four years, and use massage techniques on women in labour on almost every shift I work on my busy labour ward, as well as working as a specialist pregnancy massage therapist privately. I am incredibly grateful I took the step to do Suzanne's course.

Joanna Penaranda

Massage therapist and midwife

Entrance Requirements

  • You are a shiatsu practitioner, massage therapist or bodyworker who would like to learn more about working with pregnant women. You may be new to the field or already have some knowledge and would like to deepen your skills.

  • Depending on your profession and your employment status, you need appropriate insurance if you want to put the skills into practice. Wellmother can support you in supplying relevant certificates of attendance and course syllabus.

Supporting material

Pregnancy and childbirth

Suzanne Yates

Order book


£165 - lifetime access. 12 hours of course materials ( 7 hours of videos) with certificate issued for 17 hours study to include 5 hours of practice.

If you have attended a pregnancy in person course (either shiatsu or massage) with Suzanne then you can apply for a 50% discount on the course. If you attend a Pregnancy Massage or Shiatsu course after signing up for the online course you can apply for a discount of 50% of what you paid for the online course.

Apply for course

Support women and their partners during all three trimesters of pregnancy and preparing for birth and motherhood

Includes 7 hours of videos of Suzanne teaching.  There are also 5 hours of audios, text and quizzes. Certificate issued for 17 hours (to take into account your own study/practice)

Apply for course