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Pregnancy Massage and Shiatsu Course: 4 day diploma (accredited by BCMA for massage therapists)

Suzanne and Rosa are really excited to offer this course as a residential at EarthSpirit retreat centre in the countryside near Glastonbury. It will allow you to immerse yourself in learning pregnancy massage and shiatsu in a holistic way. You will have time not only to learn new massage and shiatsu skills, suitable for all trimesters of pregnancy, but also experience what happens in pregnancy for both mother and baby. We will spend time with visualisations, breath and movement practices and use the sacred land near Glastonbury Tor to connect with the nurturing and mothering qualities of the earth.

We hope you will appreciate being in the beautiful space of the EarthSpirit Centre. Enjoy lunch and down time in the gardens, with access to an indoor hot tub to unwind. Evening can be spent getting to know other people on the course or having time to rest. We are only 5 miles from Glastonbury town and its sacred site.  You can even bring your partner, and breastfeeding children.

We will also be offering optional extras, including a thirty minute morning yoga class and hopefully a sweat-lodge or fire themed around the womb space and the belly of the earth.

EarthSpirit garden

This is course is open both for those who would like to refresh and deepen what they have learnt as well as for those new to pregnancy massage and shiatsu including people who have done day trainings. Having longer together, especially evening and early morning sessions gives us time to explore themes more deeply, and have more time for sharing and exploring visualisations and exercises.

You may or may not be working with pregnant women, but you feel that you would like a deeper understanding of how to support women and their families during this exciting time. You may be unsure, or even slightly nervous, of how to work with certain aspects of pregnancy. This pregnancy massage and shiatsu course will give you the confidence to realise the potential of touch which is about so much more than simply addressing physical complaints. You will also learn skills for supporting clients to prepare for birth and learn about how to integrate the powerful Extraordinary Vessels of Chinese medicine, which regulate our brain/heart/womb connection, into your work.

If you are a massage therapist, this will cover the content, and more, of the current Pregnancy Massage Diploma course. If you are a shiatsu practitioner this is the content of the Pregnancy module. Working together with people from the other discipline will help enhance your skills.


Evening fire celebration at La Source retreat

You will:

  • Gain a solid foundation with which to support women and their families during this life changing time with specialised shiatsu and massage skills, along with positioning, postural exercises, breath and visualisations and self care.
  • Understand the body in a way which combines western with eastern approaches to enable you to offer holistic support not just for pregnant women and their families, but adding to your skill base for all clients.
  • Be able to work sensitively with women who may have had more challenging experiences such as miscarriage or issues conceiving or are experiencing higher risk pregnancies such as pre-eclampsia.
  • Learn more about your own connection to pregnancy, your time in the womb and birth, whether or not you have been pregnant.



Suzanne Yates using connecting techniques on pregnant woman on massage chair


Don't forget to look at the Frequently Asked Questions for more information at the end of this page.

Suzanne Yates massaging pregnant woman in side position on table

What you will learn

  • How to massage in the side, seated and all fours position on the table and floor and adapt to different clients' needs. Working on a futon on the floor can be a welcome addition to your work.
  • Anatomy and Physiology of pregnancy and birth in an engaging and practical way
  • Shiatsu/acupressure points and connections relevant for maternity
  • For shiatsu practitioners: Detailed Eastern theory of pregnancy which will help you deepen your understanding of the Extraordinary Vessels (especially Penetrating, Girdle, Conception and Governing) as well as how to integrate the 12 channels into your work with pregnant clients
  • How to work with some concepts from the eastern model of the body as a garden, which supports the pregnant woman on all levels
  • How to work during all trimesters of pregnancy and how this work can support birth and the postnatal period
  • How to support common complaints of pregnancy
  • New massage and shiatsu techniques for the back and spine
  • How to work with the pregnant abdomen safely and creatively
  • Massage and shiatsu techniques for preparing for birth and for use during birth
  • How to include key postural exercises to reduce common complaints of pregnancy
  • How to support the mother's connection with her baby and partner and be aware of the emotional changes as well as the physical, helping prepare her for birth and motherhood
  • How to tailor treatments to the individual needs of clients
  • To develop your own style, building on your current skills
  • How to work safely with higher risk clients
  • Breathing and visualisations
  • What is your role as a maternity therapist and your relationship with midwives and obstetricians
  • Creating a relevant pregnancy consultation form

A respected and rigorous pregnancy massage and shiatsu course

Running since 1999, this pregnancy massage and shiatsu course covers all you need to know to be able to work safely and effectively with pregnant women, low and higher risk, at all stages of pregnancy and preparing for birth.  During the course you will work with a pregnant woman.

For shiatsu therapists, you can do case studies as part of the "Wellmother" Maternity care diploma.

For massage therapists there is a 6 month period of consolidation through supervised case study and project work. The course is accredited by the BCMA and gives you a firm foundation for maternity work. This will enable you to integrate the new techniques with your current way of massaging, which may include reflexology, aromatherapy or Thai Massage. After receiving the Diploma you can feel confident that you have one of the most rigorous pregnancy massage course qualifications in the world.

You will be able to say that you specialise in working with pregnant women and go on the Wellmother register.


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Suzanne has been running these courses since 1999 and they were both the first UK pregnancy massage and shiatsu courses. Over this time Suzanne has continued to develop its content, writing her in-depth course text book, and now working with her daughter Rosa Lia. Over 4 days, you will learn how to work confidently with pregnant clients over all 3 trimesters, including higher risk. You then have 6 months to develop your knowledge through working with case studies if you are a massage therapist and want the pregnant massage diploma. If you are a shiatsu practitioner you can complete case studies as part of the Wellmother Diploma.

Your Venue - The EarthSpirit Centre, near Glastonbury

Just five miles from Glastonbury, on the edge of Compton Dundon village in Somerset, EarthSpirit lies within the 'temenos' (sacred enclosure) of Avalon.

The centre is situated in a beautiful landscape between two nature reserves; and just two minutes walk from St Andrew's church, which has within its cemetery a yew tree of 1,800 years old. The seventeenth century farm buildings have been restored and specially converted for use as a venue. They are set within seven acres of fields and gardens.

We will be in Little Earth, a beautiful space in the centre. You can stay in a room, or if you prefer, camp or bring your camping car.

EarthSpirit teaching space

A wonderful opportunity to do this long running course with both Suzanne Yates, shiatsu practitioner and her daughter, Rosa Lia, massage therapist. Most of the sessions will be run with shiatsu practitioners and massage therapists together, but there will be one or two session which will address the needs of each group separately. For example a session on more detailed TCM theory and changes in pregnancy for shiatsu practitioners and a session on specific massage strokes for massage therapists.


Suzanne Yates is such a wonderfully inspiring teacher. She teaches with such confidence and clearly loves the work she does, which shows by the way she manages to have a whole room hanging on her every word. It was by far the best training in this field I have done and has helped me in my work as a birth professional so much!

Beccy Hands



This was probably the best Google search I have ever made. The training has enabled me to run a busy and successful practice over the last 15 years in maternity therapies. Suzanne is a wonderful inspiration to me and her own work and her training of bodyworkers, has positively influenced so many lives on a global scale. She is a gift to womankind.

Catherine Tugnait

Massage therapist and NCT teacher

Frequently asked questions

Available languages

  • English

Dates and location

  • EarthSpirit Centre, nr Glastonbury, TA11 6PE, 4 days - residential
    01/05/2025 - 05/05/2025


Suzanne Yates

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

Rosa Lia

Rosa is a yoga teacher & massage therapist

Accrediting bodies

Entrance Requirements

  • Shiatsu practitioner OR Recognised qualification in Massage or Aromatherapy (which includes A&P Level 3) with (ideally) 100 hours post qualifying experience.
    If you do not have this number of clinic hours, contact us to discuss. We want to make sure you are confident with your current massage skills and ready to learn new ones.

  • Access to pregnant women for case studies if you want to complete the Diploma

  • Up to date insurance

Supporting material

Pregnancy and Childbirth: a holistic approach to massage and bodywork

Suzanne Yates

order the book


Teaching price:
Massage therapists, includes BCMA validation and course work: £565 early booking price (pay in full six weeks before course) Full price £595
Shiatsu practitioners, without BCMA validation for course work: £505 early booking price (pay in full six weeks before course) Full price £535
Prices include access to online course "Supporting Pregnancy with Massage and Shiatsu".
If you have already attended this course you pay £200 less. If this applies to you, please pay the deposit and then I will email you a code for £200 off the remaining balance.

Accommodation cost:
£220 full board for the course in a shared room. Single room supplements £64. Camping £168 with all meals. Full price list on receipt of booking course. Partners and babies welcome too.

Apply for EarthSpirit Course

working to support pregnant women is such a rewarding experience and draws on so many of your tools

Apply for EarthSpirit Course