Massage for Pregnancy

Massage for Pregnancy Course

Update! All courses are in-person attendance unless specified. Book with confidence guarantee – If we go to level 4 lockdown, or if you personally need to self isolate you can still attend the course with live interactive streaming.


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

This can be either a one day course or a more in depth four day diploma course. Taught by Wellmother teacher, Lucy Trend.

Location: Available both Online and in person at Shiatsu and Thai Massage Training,
Fifth floor, Standard Buildings, 94 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 6PH

One Day Course – Thursday 25th March 2021: This course is for qualified massage therapists to learn to give massage safely in low risk pregnancies during second and third trimester. It is a stand-alone training but also counts as the foundation day of the diploma course. You will learn comfortable & safe positioning of the client and how to adapt your existing skills for pregnancy. Fee: £90. If you attend this as a one day course you can later go on to attend the remaining days 2 to 4 of the diploma, you’ll get a discount of £50 on the full diploma price. AND you can choose to repeat day one at no further cost, although this is not required. Book this course

Full 4 day course: 25-28th March 2021  This qualifies massage therapists 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 competent 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 Eastern model of energy changes during pregnancy and childbirth and to be able to appropriately integrate Shiatsu skills into your practise. It is one of the most rigorous pregnancy massage qualifications in the world. 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. Cost is £495 or £445 special price for early bird booking if you pay in full 8 weeks before start of course. £90 deposit secures your place, balance payment is £405 due 6 weeks before start of course. This includes 6 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. . Book this course

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 course

This course can be commissioned for alternative dates. Get together a group of 6 students and get in touch to organise dates.  Or please click here to register for the newsletter & be kept up to date on all upcoming courses.

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?

  • 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. Oedema, 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!

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 if required 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, your teacher 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).

Further enquiries 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).

Recent Posts

Snowdrop Day

It’s a little late to be posting this really, I saw my first snowdrops 10 days ago, but having spoken to a friend who is sad just now, and patiently but painfully awaiting a little lightness of being, I felt moved to share it here again. It’s timely too, as yesterday was the new moon in Aquarius, heralding the shift from the Age of Pisces, nebulous and mutable, to the presence, grounding and connection of the Age of Aquarius. And if that’s not enough it’s also Chinese New Year! By this model we are beginning the Year of the Ox, symbolic of hardworking attitudes. Tibetan New Year, Losar, is also celebrated on the same day. So here’s to all things new, grounded in the Earth, yielding shoots of renewal ready for the necessary work of our lives ahead.

Snow Drop Day in Glasgow

Lucy Trend 23/1/2015

Today is Snowdrop day. It’s the day when I see my first snowdrops of the year and my heart jumps a little jig of delight at these tiny white drops of hope, announcing the dark days are over, it’s time to think about new beginnings, soon fresh energy will be springing up. It’s a beautiful time of year, a time to rejoice in the miracle of life.

Ancient festivals have stuck fast at this season, evolving through time with changing religions and spiritual beliefs. The festival of St Bride, the patron saint of Midwives, is a combination of the Christian festival of Candlemas, and the fire festival of Imbolc, of the pagan tradition. This celebrates the ewe’s milk coming (‘oimelc’), as early lambs are about to be born into an uncertain future, will they survive if the season is harsh, will they perish in the snow? And Candlemas holds a similarly uncertain future for the lambs, stemming from the Law of Moses, a ritual purification of the new mother at the temple, 40 days after childbirth, offering a sacrifice of a lamb as thanksgiving for new life, or more modestly in the case of Mary and Joseph, a pair of doves.

For some, the returning of the light is not joyful and rebirth is hard to see. As the days become lighter our inner shadows may seem deeper, the darkness within felt more harshly, stubborn and unyielding to external signs of hope. Patience is required; deep, slow nurturing, and drawing on our reserves of faith, that the light within will return. It is important that the beautiful stillness of Winter does not become stagnation, we must try to look to the future, be flexible and open to the shifting energies of nature. Likewise, frail lives, knowing deep down that their reserves are almost empty, have held on through the long winter, and seeing the light returning, find strength to let go of their struggle and slip away. This is the cycle of life. We each have our place on that wheel, the big wheel that keeps on turning.

So, now that the snow has trampled the last surviving undergrowth revealing the bare bones of the landscape, we have an opportunity to see our own lives laid bare, stripped down to the underlying structure. Now is a time tor considering plans for the future. We don’t have long if we want to catch the wave of growing energy that lies ahead! Snowdrops were pushing up under that snow, and now it as melted, there is no longer any doubt. Spring is coming!

Lucy Trend written 23/1/2015 posted here on 12/2/21

  1. Touching the Earth Leave a reply
  2. Blog 3: Gratitude in the time of Coronavirus: Mindfulness and Transitions Leave a reply
  3. Seven Touches (which are permitted during lockdown) Leave a reply