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Supporting birth

Support women preparing for birth, and understand the implications of the birth experience

Usually completed in About 10 hours without your practice time

Introduction from your tutor

Welcome to the course. I hope you enjoying learning with me, Suzanne Yates, founder of Wellmother and author of your course book “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 lesson. Try it now! It is also at the bottom of this page.

Suzanne Yates teaching birth work with sacrum

I hope this course inspires you to start applying your skills to supporting women at the end of pregnancy and in preparation for birth as well as understanding the impact of birth in the postnatal period.

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 supporting women preparing for birth 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.

Don’t forget that you can ask for clarification in the forum

Supporting material for all lessons

Course book: Pregnancy and Childbirth: relevant page numbers given in each section

Beautiful Birth: also has a lot of information to support couples

Sara Wickham:

Sara is a midwife/researcher who used to work for MIDIRS an advocate for supporting women to make the choices that are right for them. Her website is full of interesting articles, research and points to consider. She also has a newsletter and offers on line courses. Definitely worth a look!

AIMS: Association for the Improvement in Maternity Services

This is a wonderful UK organisation. Sara has written some leaflets for them. They have a newsletter and a 24 hour help line (which I have recommended to some clients). If you are in the UK consider subscribing to support their amazing work.

Positive Birth

Support and information for women: women sharing stories and a place to advertise your services.

Spinning babies:

Work based on “optimal fetal positioning”

Mother’s breath: Uma Dinsmore-Tuli

good book on breathing, Uma is a yoga teacher who has a special interest in pregnancy and womb yoga.

Here is a link which is useful for supporting women to make a birth plan

If you are not so familiar with the eastern ideas, you might want to do some further reading or study around that but it is not essential

For more information on eastern concepts, if they are less familiar to you: Shiatsu for Midwives, or my on line course Shiatsu foundation for midwives and doulas or the on line course on Extraordinary Vessels

Enjoy learning with me and remember that you can post questions in the course forum


  1. Gina Gilbert on 30/04/2022 at 10:50 pm

    Hello Suzanne,
    Checking to see if you received my latest response ie.: “new learnings”
    Best regards,
    Gina Gilbert

  2. Gina Gilbert on 23/04/2022 at 12:53 pm

    Hello Suzanne,
    I am more than half finished with your course. I thought I was supposed to create a “contract” to upload, but did not see that option. Instead of created a narrative/reflextion that I would like to upload. It is a combination of a”contract” and reflection. Took me several hours to write and includes my personal experiences with birth. Hope it is acceptable for completion of the essays and course.

  3. Gina Gilbert on 19/04/2022 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Suzanne,
    I am up to the reflective piece on visualization, and breathing . Have uploaded my narrative several times, which describes a birth I participated in many years ago. I spoke with the mother today and she filled me in on some of the details that I had forgotten, as well as the Birth Center. I may offer my services at a birth center.

    For some reason the uploads are not enabling me to move to the next segment.

    I also need to know if this course is graded or is a pass fail with CEU’s. If so, shall I retake the two quizzes I failed after I receive the text book?? Please advise. Thank you

    • Suzanne Yates on 19/04/2022 at 5:23 pm

      I checked your submitted essays and made some comments. You had uploaded the files as 2 separate ones – it is probably better if you put them together in one document. I am not sure why the uploads would be blocking you moving on. I noticed that you had submitted the answers 7 times, a few times for each document, so maybe you blocked up the system. Hopefully if you try now it should work fine. What had made you think that the upload hadn’t been completed? Anyway good luck with continuing.. And don’t worry it is not a pass/fail. If you don’t answer the questions appropriately I will tell you what you need to do to give an answer which passes. And same with the quizes. Redo them till you pass. I know what it’s like with new online materials. It takes a bit of time to get used to them.. So don’t worry.. Good luck with the rest of the cours.

    • Suzanne Yates on 20/04/2022 at 9:32 am

      Hi Gina, answered in the essay response. You uploaded several times. Maybe it just got temporarily blocked. Also you can retake quizzes so you can pass! Good luck

    • Suzanne Yates on 20/04/2022 at 9:33 am


  4. Gina Gilbert on 18/04/2022 at 12:58 pm

    Hello Suzanne,
    I am awaiting the text book (hopefully will arrive this week) for the class but started reading online and listening to the videos. The course is superb!
    Clear and beautifully filmed.

    Sadly, I failed the first quiz. Is it counted against the credits? I am having a little trouble navigating the technology and reading and re-reading the sections in order. I think I need to start from the beginning again, take the quiz right away and take notes. Learning online is a mixed bag for me and I would rather be hands on in person- but oh well. Thank you

    • Suzanne Yates on 19/04/2022 at 5:03 pm

      Glad you are enjoying the course. If you fail the first quiz, yes to pass the whole course, you need to do it again… Good luck.

  5. soulbodyshiatsu on 01/09/2021 at 2:07 am

    Hi Suzanne, just wondering if you have any links to Renzo Molinari’s research on the impact of the pill on fibrosity potentially making it harder to labour naturally?

    • Suzanne Yates on 12/09/2021 at 9:24 am

      Sorry for delay in replying. I have been looking for the research he did on this, but can’t find it. I heard him speak aobut it at a conference. Maybe the best is to email him? I would love to hear if you find research from him. This could help you get started

  6. on 15/09/2020 at 8:36 am

    Dear Suzanne,
    I have just finished completing my cours.I would like to receive your final feedback on my detailed program. In the coming period I hope to be able to fully finish all modules and to launch my program online. I have learned a lot and have been able to develop a total package thanks to this course. Thank you very much in advance.

  7. on 14/04/2020 at 8:05 am

    Hi Suzanne, can you give any advice in case of placenta previa?
    Thank you in advance!

    • suzanneyates on 14/04/2020 at 12:27 pm

      Placenta praevia: to encourage movement away from os, the inverted positions (and definitely no squatting etc) and energy wise work from the feet back up the Yin to the centre….
      Is that what you were looking for? If you need more detail, do ask!

      • Kelly Harper on 06/08/2021 at 12:45 am

        I’d like some more details about placenta previa, please. My client will be having a c-section so I would love some more ideas around any particular birth preparation ideas or visualisations you would recommend for someone in this situation. I think doing some connection with their baby prior to surgery will be so helpful for them in moving emotionally and energetically from very much wanting a natural birth to having a planned c-section.

        • Suzanne Yates on 06/08/2021 at 10:54 am

          Dear Kelly, Have you looked at the text and lesson “Medical interventions during labour”. That gives some ideas for C section. With any intervention, connecting with the baby is important and yes, visualisations to connect with what is going to happen for both mother and baby. Also to connect with the placenta. It sounds like in this case the placenta is too low and not likely to move so I presume also it is later in pregnancy? However, as you probably know, many women have low lying placentas in earlier pregnancy which then move out of the way as the womb grows. Then I get women to do inverted positions and visualise the placenta moving. Let me know how you get on and if you have any other questions.

  8. Veronique Santeler on 09/03/2020 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Suzanne,
    I have a question about page 55 of your book Beautiful Birth: “the partner can exert some pressure into the centre of her buttocks and open them out”. The photo shows one hand on the hip joint and one hand on the centre of the buttock. I imagine both hands are pressing down and away from each other. When you write “opening out the hips”, do you mean opening out the sacro-illiac joints? How can opening out the hip joints help with the birth?

    • suzanneyates on 21/03/2020 at 10:50 am

      Dear Veronique Sorry for delay in replying. Yes opening out hips essentially means freeing up the sacro iliac joints. If you open up the hips that can release tension for the mother, therefore pain relieving, but it can also create some more space for baby. Opening from back frees back. Drawing in focuses attention to back and opens up front. Hope that is reasonably clear!

  9. on 25/01/2020 at 10:35 am

    Hi, I am a shiatsu and Auditory Brain Stimulation Therapist and have my own practice since 7 years. I often collaborate with an midwife who promotes healthy pregnancy & birth to support pregnant woman during their pregnancy and more specific the last weeks befor birth. I would like to deepen my shiatsu techniques for counseling pregnant women in order to offer even better support.I have developed a special listening program for the different phases of pregnancy to experience a conscious and relaxed pregnancy. I also treat children who have had a reduced brain stimulation both pre-natal and post-natal because of atypical pregnancy or birth. The use of auditory stimulation with filtered maternal voice is hereby a very effective and budding therapy.The purpose of following this course is to speculate even more in this fascinating and, above all, far too little field of expertise.I look forward to receiving your expertise in this area.

    • suzanneyates on 11/02/2020 at 7:12 pm

      Thank you for signing up to the course. I hope you find it adds to your work. Please feel free to ask me any questions. Your work sounds wonderful. I also find shiatsu great for children and maybe you can use some of the work with them. I also have the infant shiatsu and massage course with more detail, but you may already find things with the Birth course too.

      • on 14/04/2020 at 8:07 am

        Thank you for the input Suzanne! I already work with children as i treat them very often with Auditory Brain Stimulation in combo with shiatsu. If i can find any more time, i will consider following your course.
        Best regards,

        • suzanneyates on 14/04/2020 at 12:27 pm

          Ah that sounds great…

  10. alinelittle17 on 17/06/2019 at 2:46 pm

    Hello Suzanne,
    I am wondering if you require anything else from me in order for me to receive a certificate of completion for this course?
    I have enjoyed learning and found the information very informative, thank you for sharing your knowledge.


    • suzanneyates on 22/06/2019 at 10:53 am

      Glad that you enjoyed the course. You need to make sure that you have completed everything and then you should be able to download the certificate of completion yourself. You should be able to check if there is anything outstanding from your learning profile.

  11. sabrinapetschi on 14/02/2019 at 11:56 am

    Lessons are not displayed!very sad!

    • suzanneyates on 21/02/2020 at 9:22 am

      Sorry, I didnt see this. It is a long while ago and hopefully you have discovered the lessons by now…

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