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Support pregnant women and their babies in their life changing journey: an exciting time to use shiatsu and the Extraordinary Vessels

In 2025, instead of a course in Bristol, there is an immersion residential course in Glastonbury - please see the page

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 life changing time. You may even be unsure of how to work with certain aspects of pregnancy. This course will give you the confidence to integrate the powerful Extraordinary Vessels, fundamental in pregnancy, into your work.

You will :

Gain a solid foundation with which to support women and their families during this special time with specialised shiatsu skills, along with positioning, postural exercises, breathing, visualisations and self care

Understand the body in a way which will 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 be having more challenging experiences of pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia

Learn more about your own connection to pregnancy and your time in the womb, whether or not you have been pregnant.

As this course is residential, and you get access to the Online Pregnancy Massage and Shiatsu course, you don't need to have studied with Suzanne before.

What you will learn

  • 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
  • Relevant Anatomy and Physiology of pregnancy in an engaging and practical way
  • How to work at all stages of pregnancy with specific conditions from lower risk (such as pelvic girdle instability) through to higher risk (such as pre-eclampsia)
  • How to work with the pregnant abdomen safely and creatively
  • How to work with the 3 burners (chou) and the lymphatic system
  • Relevant issues regarding positioning of the pregnant client
  • How to include key postural exercises to reduce common complaints of pregnancy, which may also benefit you
  • How to support the pregnant woman’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
  • Breathing and visualisations which will support your clients but also be useful for you and help you understand your relationship to pregnancy more deeply, whether or not you have had children.
  • What is your role as a maternity therapist and your relationship with midwives and obstetricians
  • How to create a relevant pregnancy consultation form

This course and the Diploma

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

This module is self contained, but you can choose to attend also the Birth November 2021 and Postnatal November 2022 modules.

Running since 1999, 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 course runs from 9.30 to 5.30 Thursday to Saturday and till 5 on the Sunday. We have a clinic on the last day. An accommodation list is available on demand (or download link)

I am grateful as a Shiatsu Practitioner as my studies with her completely changed the quality and depth of my treatments, not only with pregnant women but every client.

Szilvia Feher

Shiatsu Practitioner

My aim was to develop my knowledge of the ‘energetics’ of pregnancy and to develop my Shiatsu skills to support any pregnant clients. The course subsequently delivered all of this and much more. What I didn’t expect was the profound impact that the course would have on me personally and in terms of my professional practice.To any male Shiatsu practitioners who plan to work with pregnant clients this course is a MUST

Dave Hopwood

Shiatsu Practitioner

Dates and location

  • EarthSpirit centre nr Glastonbury, TA11 6PE : 4 days residential
    01/05/2025 - 05/05/2025
  • ESI, Vienna: 4 days: with Johanna Garnitschig
    24/10/2024 - 27/10/2024


Suzanne Yates

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

Entrance Requirements

  • Shiatsu practitioners or students in their third year.

Supporting material

Pregnancy and childbirth

Suzanne Yates

Buy the book

More information


In 2025, instead of a course in Bristol, there is an immersion residential course in Glastonbury - please see the page
You could also attend this course taught in English with German translation in Vienna (2024), Berlin (2024). Please see German pages for booking and dates. You can use Google translate to help you!

Book your place on the EarthSpirit, nr Glastonbury course May 2025 Book your place on Vienna course October 2024