Massage for pregnancy course

07989 478 320 07989 478 320
20th - 23rd October 2022, 10.00am - 5.30pm
Therapists and trainees
Cost is £495 or £445 special price for early bird booking if you pay in full eight weeks before.
Standard Buildings, 94 Hope Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G2 6PH

Please note: This course is for fully qualified therapists only, not trainees.

This four-day course qualifies massage therapists to:

  • Work confidently during all trimesters, during birth, and postnatally.
  • Identify risks, and know how to work with them.
  • Be competent with IVF pregnancies.
  • Be able to show skills to partners to use during childbirth.
  • Understand the Eastern model of energy changes during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Be able to appropriately integrate Shiatsu skills into your practice.

This pregnancy massage course is accredited by the BCMA and gives you a firm foundation for maternity work. After attending this pregnancy massage course, you can choose to attend birth, or postnatal courses either in person or online. If you want a basic introduction to pregnancy massage you can just attend the first day of the pregnancy massage course. 

A respected and rigorous pregnancy massage course

Running since 1999, this pregnancy massage 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 pregnancy massage course, you will work with a pregnant woman and after the course there is a six month period of consolidation through supervised case study and project 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.

Cost is £495 or £445 special price for early bird booking if you pay in full eight weeks before start of course. £90 deposit secures your place, balance payment is £405 due six weeks before the start of the course. This includes six months student membership of the APNT, all assessment costs, certification, course manual. It does not include towels/sheets, oils and couches (though there are couches available at the venue). Payment plan options may be available please enquire. 

Entrance requirements:

  • 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
  • Up to date insurance and cover to work on pregnant women for your case studies.

Book this four-day course. This course can be commissioned for alternative dates. Get together a group of six students and get in touch to organise dates. Or please register for the newsletter and be kept up to date on all upcoming courses.

What will I learn on the four-day massage and pregnancy diploma course?

  • work for preparing for birth and birth itself and an introduction to work in the postnatal period
  • detailed massage techniques and approaches for all areas of the body, especially focusing on the back and the abdomen
  • options of working on table, floor or physio ball
  • energy approaches (shiatsu based) as well as more traditional Swedish approaches and lymphatic work: for most students the energy work is new: and so you are taught how to integrate it into your massage with oil.
  • a practical assessment on the last day gives students the opportunity to work for one and half hours with a pregnant woman

After the course, there is a six month period of consolidation through case study and project work. The aim of this is to enable you to integrate the new techniques with your current way of massaging, which may include reflexology or aromatherapy or Thai Massage. After receiving the diploma, students can feel confident that they have one of the most rigorous pregnancy massage qualifications in the world.

What to expect during the four-day pregnancy massage course

Day one

Understanding massage in pregnancy - the anatomy, physiology, precautions and working positions and new techniques; mobilisations and stretches: focus on second and third trimesters.


Anatomy and physiology of pregnancy: what happens during a healthy pregnancy in the second and third trimesters including changes in the abdominal muscles and symphysis pubis and supine hypotension. Cautions in massage and pregnancy.


  • Introduction to breathing and postural awareness exercises.
  • Work with integrating core massage skills with new working positions suitable for changes in the pregnant body through the second and third trimesters.
  • Understanding and using mobilisations and stretches in supine and side positions.
  • Opportunities are offered for working either on the couch/table or futons on the floor.
  • Demonstration of new massage techniques for the neck and shoulders including stretches for the arms and chest.
  • Visualisation - connecting with the uterus/ womb.

Day two

Integrating some Shiatsu based work which can be incorporated into pregnancy massage and exploring the holistic model; working with the back, and the abdomen. Including awareness of changes in the first trimester.


Introduction to Shiatsu energy work. Explore the connections between traditional massage techniques and Shiatsu techniques. Understanding first trimester changes as well as second and third trimesters.


  • Exercises and stretches -focusing on students connecting with their own energy and connections with the meridians.
  • Working with detailed massage techniques for the neck, shoulders, spine and back including integrating some Shiatsu style work (Governing Vessel and Bladder). This will usually be integrating the techniques into an oil-based massage.
  • Techniques for first trimester issues.
  • Visualisation - connecting to the pregnant womb and how to include the baby during massage.
  • Working with abdominal massage techniques, including some Shiatsu based work (Conception vessel meridian) and how to work with the baby and supporting optimal fetal positioning.

Day three

Integrating shiatsu skills with traditional massage techniques; the arms and legs - and working in pregnancy and labour, including teaching massage to the birth partner and working with the ball and other forward-leaning positions.


Working with the higher risk client in pregnancy. Oedema, the circulatory and lymphatic systems, Preeclampsia. Varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis.


  • Working with appropriate pregnancy massage techniques for the legs and arms including lymphatic skills, energy techniques and safe working with varicose veins.
  • Antenatal exercises.
  • Labour - introducing labour positions and learning massage and shiatsu and reflexology points and areas of use in labour. This includes how to work with the birth partner and birth preparation work as well as work in the third trimester.
  • Visualisation - supporting women in labour.

Day four

Practical assessments and consolidation of skills: integrating into creating treatments for different women and different stages of pregnancy and birth including the postnatal period.

This focuses on putting everything together to create unique pregnancy massage treatments for different clients and building on the existing skills of massage therapists. We work with different scenarios and group presentations on how to work in different trimesters and also in the postnatal period

Pregnancy massage clinic; a key opportunity to draw everything together by giving a pregnancy massage to a pregnant client

Written coursework required to complete the pregnancy massage diploma course:

You have six months after completion of the course to complete these tasks, although you can apply for extensions of up to one year. The aim is to consolidate your knowledge by gaining practical experience of working with pregnant mums. There will be time given during the course to discuss these assignments further and you will have supervision and support after the course to help you to complete these tasks.

a) Case studies

Present four case studies, of a minimum of four massages per person (up to six if that is appropriate).

You will find it helpful to have at least one or two women lined up so you can begin working on them immediately after the course. If you do not know anyone, try local NCT, active birth, aquanatal classes or local midwives, if they are sympathetic. It is up to you whether to charge your case studies, although I would suggest giving them at least a discount, so you don’t have the pressure of “performing”. You might however want to make a charge for room hire/heating etc.

b) Written project of approximately 3,000-5,000 words - (guideline only - if your project is a leaflet/handout the word count can be less).

We like this project to be something which will be useful for you and which you will enjoy! This is why the theme is open for you to choose. Engage in a project of your choosing on the theme of: “Working as a massage therapist during pregnancy”. It can be anything e.g. a discussion of your role as a massage therapist working with pregnant women or based around leaflets (these must be informational not promotional) you develop for your pregnant clients.

There are examples of students’ projects on the Wellmother website, under resources and support. Do bear in mind, however, that the ones chosen are the excellent ones which I feel deserve a wider audience!

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Hosted by Lucy Trend

Lucy Trend, director and principal teacher at STMTS, will be delivering this course. Lucy is a shiatsu therapist, specialist in pregnancy and fertility. She is a doula and a trained well mother teacher, also offering post graduate training courses for complementary therapists, midwives, doulas and OBGs, in massage, shiatsu and moxibustion.

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