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Prenatal Massage Course (Institute for Somatic Therapy)

Instructor: Judy Koch Credit: 24 Hours

Web Site: Institute for Somatic Therapy

Description: The Prenatal Massage course is broken down into to courses—Step 1: Prenatal Massage Fundamentals (Credit Hours: 12) and Step 2: Prenatal Massage Techniques (Credit Hours: 12). APMA Members must complete both courses to qualify for membership.

Step 1: Prenatal Massage Fundaments


Course Description: The Fundamentals of Pregnancy Massage is the first course in the prenatal massage certification and doula certification series, and is a pre-requisite to taking the prenatal or doula certification courses. It lays the groundwork by teaching you the cognitive, conceptual aspects of prenatal massage so that you can:

  • Explain how prenatal massage benefits the mother physically and emotionally
  • List and describe pregnancy related complications and their symptoms that would contraindicate massage therapy
  • Describe the physiological changes that take place in each system of a woman’s body during pregnancy, and how each of those changes dictate modifications in a standard massage routine
  • Successfully market and sell your prenatal and delivery services
  • Prepare suitable forms to use for release of liability and record-keeping

Upon completion of this course, you have the option of taking the next course in the prenatal massage series, to earn the title of Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist. From there, you also have the option of taking the third course in the series, to earn the title of Certified Massage Doula.


Step 2: Prenatal Massage Techniques

Course Description: If you wish to move beyond the fundamentals to earn the title of Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist, after completing the prerequisite Fundamentals course, you next take the Prenatal Certification course (worth 12 kinesthetic CEs), which teaches you  how to perform a full body massage during all three trimesters of pregnancy. You will learn techniques utilizing your forearms and elbows to reduce stress to your hands and thumbs.

This course teaches a side-lying and modified supine positioning. We do not recommend specialty tables or equipment designed for allowing the woman to lay on her stomach for several reasons: Unless it is perfectly molded to her body, it will cause strain on her uterine ligaments, it is difficult to get in and out of in the final trimester, and makes no provision for a modified supine position (necessary to keep the weight of the uterus off of the vena cava). We recommend the Oakworks Sidelying Bolster System. As an alternative, we are happy to provide the dimensions for the foam cushions we use in our video, if you prefer to have them custom made.

APMA Approved Courses

The following courses have been approved by the APMA. This is not a complete list of qualified pregnancy massage courses. If you have taken a course that meets our criteria, but is not listed here, please let us know about it so that we can review it and add it to this list.

  • Carole Osborne, Pre- & Perinatal Massage Therapy
  • Kate Jordan, Bodywork for the Childbearing Year
  • Ellaine Stillerman, Mother Massage
  • Judith Koch, Prenatal Massage (Step 1: Fundamentals and Step 2: Techniques)
  • Kelly Lott, Pregnancy Certification Course
  • Claire Marie Miller, Nuturing the Mother
  • Leslie Stager, Touch for Birth
  • Sheri Gregg, Perinatal and Infant Massage Techniques
  • Jenny Ray, Pre- and Post-Natal Stones
  • Massage Envy Pregnancy Massage Training