403D Gordon Drive
Exton PA, 19341 (map)
Call Today: (484) 341-8598
Please Leave a Review

Prenatal Massage Certification

Approved for 8 Online Continuing Education Units/Credits (CEU's) for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists

Receive Your 8 CEU's Now

Approved for 8 Online CEU's for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists. Cost $100.00 / Certificates Awarded Upon Completion.



Please allow time for your purchase to process. We will contact you via email with instructions to access the online course as soon as your payment is complete. Please make sure your email address is correct. Thank you for your patience. 

Introduction
History
Summary

Prenatal massage is made up of a wide variety of appropriate massage techniques that treat the common discomforts of pregnancy, support the dynamic physiologic changes the expectant woman undergoes during each of the three trimesters of pregnancy, allay stress, and prepare the gravida (pregnant woman) for labor and childbirth. (Human gestation, or pregnancy, takes approximately 280 days or 40 weeks, on average. This period is subdivided into three distinct phases, called trimesters.)

Massage and touch have a long and respected tradition in women’s journey to motherhood. From ancient times to the eighteenth century, the responsibility of birth was the domain of midwives, who were poor and uneducated women but highly skilled in their craft. Within their practice, massage played a very important part in speeding labor and turning breech presentations. During labor, if the baby was not in its preferred head-down or vertex position, the laboring woman would lie down on her side while the midwife pressed her abdomen with enough pressure to turn the baby.1 The midwifery practice also included abdominal massage and massage of the legs and back, as well as massage to correct breech presentation.1

In some indigenous cultures, the role of the birth assistant was to physically hold and support the laboring woman and to massage her to speed delivery.

An English midwifery text written in the sixteenth century, the Sloan Manuscript No. 2463, instructs the midwife to “anoint her hands with the oil of white lilies and then gently stroke the mother’s belly about the navel.”2

In the United States during colonial times, doctors usually had no formal medical training, and women, also without formal training, were the primary health care providers and prominent lay practitioners.36 By the end of the eighteenth century, it was accepted that midwives’ lack of formal training proved that they had no intellectual capacity to learn the “modern” obstetric techniques. Women of wealthy families chose to go to physicians and hospitals to have their babies, whereas poor women stayed with the midwives. The practice of massage during birth all but disappeared as the status and work of midwives was overtaken by physicians.7,8

Starting in the late 1950s, a movement toward more maternal control took hold as the American College of 242Nurse-Midwives was established in 1955 and La Leche League was founded in 1956. During this time, Drs. Lamaze and Bradley offered women unique pain-relieving techniques for labor.9

During the 1960s through the 1970s, obstetric technology was replacing the hands-on skills of doctors, but midwifery was enjoying a renaissance. The midwives continued to foster attitudes of maternal control during pregnancy and labor, and in 1980, a new movement reintroduced the time-honored tradition of prenatal massage to massage practitioners, childbirth educators, doulas (“handmaiden” or “servant” in Greek; a labor or postpartum support professional), and the obstetric community.10 As evidence-based studies continue to validate and reinforce the beneficial effects of prenatal massage, pregnant women, as well as the once-reticent medical community, are embracing massage as an integral part of prenatal care.11

Massage and ritualistic touch during pregnancy have a long and honorable history. Midwives, who attended the majority of births in the United States until the mid-1900s, always used touch and massage to ease the pain of childbirth and keep the laboring woman calm and focused. Massage practitioners today have a myriad of appropriate techniques to support their pregnant clients and treat the common discomforts of pregnancy.

To provide the most supportive work, practitioners must understand the anatomy and physiology of pregnancy. Nearly every biologic system is affected by the pregnancy, and appropriate bodywork will support these physically pervasive changes. In addition, pregnancy often causes emotional issues that can be ameliorated by nurturing, respectful care. It is as important to understand the precautions and contraindications of massage as it is to learn what modalities are beneficial.

255

It is my strong belief that prenatal massage, like any hands-on modality, is best learned in a classroom situation with the on-site supervision of a trained professional.

See this technique in practice

A Video Preview

Receive Your 8 CEU's Now

Approved for 8 Online CEU's for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists. Cost $100.00 / Certificates Awarded Upon Completion.



Please allow time for your purchase to process. We will contact you via email with instructions to access the online course as soon as your payment is complete. Please make sure your email address is correct. Thank you for your patience.