Massage for Pregnancy

Massage for Pregnancy Diploma


Connecting with the Baby (or Babies!) in Third Trimester

One of the most rigorous pregnancy massage qualifications in the world, this 4 day Diploma course is special because it qualifies you to work confidently during all trimesters, during birth, and postnatally, and to identify risks, and know how to work with them. You’ll learn to be confident with IVF pregnancies, and you’ll be able to show skills to partners to use during childbirth. In particular you’ll learn to understand the energy changes during pregnancy and childbirth and to be able to appropriately integrate Shiatsu skills into your practise. Recognised by APNT, Embody (30 CPD points), FHT and other organisations worldwide including IMTA in  Ireland. For detailed information on course content please scroll down.

Foundation Day: You can attend the first day only for a foundation training. We explore comfortable positioning and techniques to give massage safely in low risk pregnancy for second and third trimester. Those who attend Foundation Day and wish to go on to specialise further receive a discount on the full price when they register for days 2-4 at a later date.

Course dates for Glasgow:
Foundation Day: Saturday 11th May 2019.
Full course: across 2 Weekends – 11th & 12th May and 18th & 19th May 2019

Please get in touch to express interest if you can’t do any of these dates, this course can be commissioned if you can get together a group of 6 students and wish to organise it.  Or please click here to register for the newsletter & be kept up to date on all upcoming courses.

Taught by Lucy Trend. Class numbers are limited to ensure individual attention. Held at Shiatsu and Thai Massage Training,
Fifth floor, Standard Buildings, 94 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 6PH in Glasgow City Centre beside Glasgow Central Station 

Registrations & enquiries: email/call/text Lucy on 07989478320 or lucytrend(at)
(it’s written like this (at) to prevent spam, but just write it like an ordinary email address please)


Foundation – Day 1 only: £90. If you attend the full course within a year of attending a foundation day you receive £50 discount. You can choose whether or not to repeat the Foundation day.

£495 4 days course. £90 deposit secures your place, balance payment of £405 due by 30th March 2019. This includes 6 months student membership of the APNT, all assessment costs, certification, course manual. It does not include towels, oils and couches (though there are couches available at the venue). Payment plan options may be available please enquire.

£445 special price for early bird booking 8 weeks before start of course, 16th March 2019.

For all details of the training see below, or browse the Well Mother website.

Epanouie Within by Nahomie Hann Photography

Easing Rib Pain with Shiatsu technique

What will I learn on the four day Massage and Pregnancy Diploma course?

It includes:

  • 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 6 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.

Overview of 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 of 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 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 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. Odema, the circulatory and lymphatic systems, Pre eclampsia. 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 postnatal period

This focusing on putting everything together to create unique pregnancy massage treatments for different clients and building on the existing skills of the 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 6 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 4 case studies, of a minimum of 4 massages per person (up to 6 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 3-5,000 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 (eg 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!

Entrance requirements and Insurance required to attend Pregnancy Massage Diploma course:

  • Recognised qualification in Massage or Aromatherapy with (ideally) 100 hours post qualifying experience. If you do not have this number of clinic hours, you can call us to discuss. We want to make sure you are confident with your current massage skills and ready to learn new ones. If you are interested in the course but don’t have a relevant qualification, you will need to gain one. If you go to “Choosing the right maternity practitioner”, at the end of the page there is a section on regulating bodies in the UK and you can gain further information on massage schools there.
  • Access to pregnant women for case studies.
  • Up to date insurance
  • Insurance for massage therapists working with pregnant clients

Accreditation by APNT of pregnancy massage course

The main accrediting body is the APNT in the UK, since Well Mother is based here. The APNT work with Well Mother to assess the quality of practical and written work. The Diploma course is also recognised by other organisations and we can provide the necessary paperwork if you need your qualification validating in other ways.

  • UK – APNT Diploma – Embody approved (30 CPD points), FHT recognised.
  • Ireland – IMTA. US – NCBTMB.
  • Canada – OMTA (Ontario, Canada).
  • Australia – (AAMT),

We provide certificates of attendance for your CPD

One question frequently asked by therapists is whether they will be covered for practising massage on pregnant women or during labour, both after attending the course, and upon qualification. It depends on the individual insurance company, so ask them. If they want more information about the Well Mother Massage and Pregnancy Diploma, Suzanne Yates can discuss this with them and supply further information as necessary.

Some insurance companies may require you to send them the certificate of course attendance plus your practical assessment results to provide cover whilst you are doing your case studies.

If you have any issues with your current insurer, then the APNT which validate the course can arrange appropriate insurance cover for you.

Denman Direct, which insures therapists under the GCP and MTI schemes, recognises the Well Mother course for those therapists working with women during labour – providing the therapist is acting under the auspices of a midwife.

The FHT recognise the Well Mother Massage and Pregnancy Diploma course as qualifying therapists to work during the first trimester of pregnancy (most courses it is only 2nd and 3rd).

To register for this course please email/call/text Lucy on 07989478320 or lucytrend(at) (it’s written like this (at) to prevent spam, but just write it like an ordinary email address please)

For further details of the training please to go to the Well Mother website.


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