Skip to content

Infant massage and shiatsu

supporting babies adapting to life on earth

Completion time

9 hours of course materials and about 6 hours of practice time = 15 hours
Usually completed in 9 hours of course materials and about 6 hours of practice time = 15 hours

Suzanne Yates teaching birth work with sacrum

Introduction to your tutor

Welcome to the course. I hope you enjoying learning with me, Suzanne Yates, founder of Wellmother and author of one of the supporting course books: “Pregnancy and Childbirth: a holistic approach to massage and bodywork”.

Don’t forget you can ask for clarification of anything or discuss with me and other students in the forum. This is accessed in each lesson by scrolling down to the end of the page. It is at the bottom of this page.  Try it now!

I developed this course with Anne Badger, one of my Wellmother teachers and we taught it together in Bristol for a number of years.  As well as the on line course we are working on an infant massage/shiatsu book. We are  looking forward to sharing the material I have been developing and teaching since 1990 both with parents and with health professionals.

I hope this course inspires you to start applying your skills to supporting parents and their babies.

The practical techniques are not that complicated: it is really more about understanding how to adapt our work to babies and what is appropriate for them.

First exercise:

What do you want to learn from this course?  I invite you to take 10 minutes and note down what you already know about working with parents and babies in the first year of their life and what you would like to learn by the end of this course.  Come back to this at the end of the course and compare!

How the course is structured:

The course is set up with 7 lessons. It is probably best to work through them in order from 1 to 7: but you can go back and forward between the topics. In each lesson there a mix of topics: videos, audios and text documents. At the end of each lesson is a quiz to check your learning and an assignment, which is either doing and recording some practical work, or a reflective piece. You can work through these lessons and the assignments at your own pace. Once you have completed all the topics and assignments you receive a certificate.

Each lesson gives an estimate of how long it will take. Most lessons are between one and three hours. Total time is about 18 hours.

Supporting Material for all Lessons (Bibliography and references)

Infant shiatsu
Baby shiatsu by Karin Kalbantner Wernicke, Singing Dragon
Touch for love by Ohashi, (out of print)

Infant Massage
Books by Peter Walker
Baby massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents Vimala McClure

Infant development

“What Babies and Children really need” ,“The well balanced child; movement and early learning”, “Reflexes, learning and behaviours”
Sally Goddard Blythe, Institute for neuro-Physiological Psychology, Hawthorne Press, Early Years.

Why Love Matters: How affection shapes a baby’s brain
by Sue Gerhardt  2014

Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen: Sensing, feeling and action (Contact Editions 2008)
Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen: Basic Neurocellular Patterns ( Burchfield Rose 2018)

“Developmental Anatomy and Physiology of Children” Chamley et al Elsevier (2005 or get more recent edition )


Articles by Sally Goddard Blythe:

Developmental Basis for Learning & Language Disorder (1990) INPP Monograph

The Foundation for Life and Living (1991) INPP Monograph

The Role of Reflexes in the Development of the Visual System (1995) Journal of Occupational Optometry

Dyslexia-Dyspraxia and Other Specific Learning Difficuclties (1995) Sally Goddard and Peter Blythe

The Role of the Cerebellum in Learning (1996) Paper presented at the 8th European Conference on Neuro-Developmental Delay in Children with Specific Learning Difficulties.

Screening for Neurological Dysfunction in the Specific Learning Difficulty Child. Sally Goddard Blythe and David Hyland. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1998 61 (10)

Early Learning in the Balance – Priming the First A.B.C. The British Journal of Learning Support, 15/4 November 2000, 152-158.

Other articles

Castellino, R Caesarean Section trauma, impact and treatment, Santa Barbara Ca (1105 N Ontrae, 93105), 1996

Chamberlain DB The Significance of Birth Memories Pre and Perinatal Psychology Journal 2  136 -154

Emerson W  The Physical and Psychological Impacts of Obstetrical Interventions Pataluma Emerson Training seminars 4940 Bodega Eve Petaluma Ca 94952 1996b

Janov A Imprints:the lifelong effects of the birth experience New York Coward-McCann 1983

Noble E Primal Connections:How our experiences from conception to birth influence our emotions, behaviour and health New York Simon Schuster 1993

Verny, Thomas R Obstetrical Procedures: A Critical Examination of their effect on pregnant women and their unborn and newborn children. Pre and perinatal Psychology Journal 7, Winter 1992 pp 101-112)


  1. suzanneyates on 04/05/2020 at 3:53 pm

    Good to see you here. I have just realised that the comments aren’t working for each lesson, as they should be! But great you have found this. Do ask me any questions as you go. Glad you enjoyed the shiatsu course. Hopefully the comments for each lesson should work soon!

  2. sarah1 on 04/05/2020 at 1:10 pm

    Hi Suzanne, I hope you are keeping well. I did the Shiatsu for midwives, doulas and birth birth workers (online course) last year and have been able to integrate some of it into my birth preparation workshops with couples. I have been interested in doing your Infant Massage and Shiatsu course for a while as I teach Baby Yoga. Now we are in lockdown I thought this would be a good time to do an online course. I did the IAIM training in 2007 so have some knowledge of infant massage. It is something I am thinking of teaching again so this will be a good refresher as well as adding the additional Shiatsu element to it.
    Sarah Bickley

Leave a Comment