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Midwives and maternity health professionals

Midwives and maternity health professionals:integrating complementary therapy: shiatsu

For midwives, doulas, birth and pregnancy supporters and educators who want to integrate Shiatsu and the Well Mother approach into their work

We want to support you to integrate shiatsu into your work. Shiatsu is a complementary therapy, a specific form of massage, which offers a healing touch and a different approach to maternity care which can enhance your work.

The main course we offer is Shiatsu and Maternity Care. We also have a book written specially for you: “Shiatsu for Midwives”.  The book is relevant not just for midwives but all working with maternity care. We also offer other resources (books, articles) and support (contact with other professionals working in the field through CPD events and newsgroups)

Why would I want to learn shiatsu?

Shiatsu  massage and touch are powerful tools to include in your work in supporting women. The  Well Mother approach  can enable you to learn skills which can be practically  integrated in your work.  It also offers another perspective on pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period which can enhance your practice. You will also explore how shiatsu-based skills can support you personally – promoting your own well-being and preventing ‘burn-out’. Particularly relevant skills are: specific ways of touching,  awareness of posture, breathing, movement and exercise as well as relaxation. You will learn to work in an holistic way, combining Eastern and Western philosophies as well as developing your touch sensitivity skills.

Can I learn enough in six days to be able to apply to my work?

The essence of shiatsu is simply a focused way of touching: which can be integrated at some level even after one day of training. Well Mother courses teach Shiatsu skills which are particularly relevant to those working in the maternity field and which can be effectively learnt and applied without undergoing the full 3 year shiatsu training. Skills learnt can be immediately applied to practice and the hours completed on these courses may be able to count to hours required to become practitioners if midwives or doulas wish to continue further with their studies. They are primarily aimed at those who have no or limited pre-existing shiatsu knowledge, although courses can be tailored to suit specific groups such as acupuncturists or others who already have some knowledge of Chinese medicine. There is an emphasis on giving a direct experience of these skills as well as more lecture based presentations.  All courses include supervised practicals working with maternity clients.

Shiatsu for pregnancy birth and the postnatal period: six-day course

This course has been running since 1999 teaching aspects of shiatsu which are relevant to midwives and other maternity health professionals such as doulas, childbirth educators, yoga teachers and massage therapists. As well as learning practical skills for your clients you will learn skills which can support you personally. We can tailor lectures and workshops for small groups or at conferences, tailored for you about integrating shiatsu and a different approach.

Shiatsu for pregnancy birth and the postnatal period six-day course details

Infant massage – a course integrating shiatsu with massage

This course is open for health professionals and massage therapists who want to learn infant massage with some shiatsu. This is taught by Suzanne Yates with Anne Badger.

Infant massage course details

CPD events

Once you have completed your training, we offer Continuing Education events These courses offer  a wonderful opportunity to link with other Well Mother practitioners such as massage therapists and shiatsu practitioners


The Well Mother Register of Maternity Professionals, Massage therapists and Shiatsu Practitioners specialising in maternity work; once you have completed the your Shiatsu skills Diploma you can go onto the Well Mother register.

The Well Mother Community: Well Mother Facebook and Yahoo discussion groups: to communicate with other therapists, teachers and maternity professionals  who have studied with Well Mother.


Book: The course text book is  “Shiatsu for midwives”  written by Suzanne Yates, director of Well Mother.

Suzanne wrote this book because there were no specific books on shiatsu and maternity care relevant for midwives. However many shiatsu practitioners have found this book useful for understanding more about shiatsu for labour.

Articles:  Suzanne has written numerous articles on her work with shiatsu and health professionals . (link to articles)

There is also a study on the effects of shiatsu on post term pregnancy carried out at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol where Suzanne Yates has run courses (link to that article and I found a new weblink below!) Ingram, J., Domagala, C., Yates, S., 2005. The effects of shiatsu on post term pregnancy. Comp. Ther. Med. 13, 11 – 15

If you are interested in attending the course and would like some information for your manager then here is some useful information: Shiatsu for Midwives Managers information pack (pdf) For more information, you can read a review of the course for midwives by Julie Williams, (Midwife Tutor, University of the West of England)

Course participants projects: these are a great way to see how other therapists are using the work and to get ideas for yourself. DVDs on massage and shiatsu: we are in the process of making these