Prenatal Massage and HELLP Syndrome - by admin@mcb on February 13 2018

Prenatal Massage and HELLP Syndrome

Prenatal Massage and HELLP Syndrome

Prenatal massage therapists need to have an understanding of complications of pregnancy that could contraindicate massage in their clients. One of the most severe conditions that may affect pregnant women is called HELLP Syndrome.

HELLP syndrome is a serious, but rare, complication of pregnancy. Chances are if a prenatal massage client has HELLP, she is too sick to come for a massage, so it is very unlikely that a prenatal massage therapist is going to encounter it during a massage session. However, if you suspect that your prenatal client has any serious complication, do not perform massage, and if necessary, call 911 or secure other help for your client.

What is HELLP Syndrome?

HELLP syndrome is extremely rare, occurring in only 2 out of 1,000 pregnancies. Approximately 20% of women who develop preeclampsia or eclampsia go on to develop HELLP Syndrome. HELLP can develop during the pregnancy or after giving birth. It is named for the following blood and liver conditions:

H–Hemolysis, a condition where red blood cells rupture, leading to a reduction in oxygen delivery throughout the body.
EL–Elevated liver enzymes, which are indicative of a problem in the liver.
LP–Low platelet count, which interferes with the ability of blood clotting.

Symptoms include:

  • Visual disturbances (blurriness)
  • Lethargy/Tiredness
  • Rapid onset of edema/water weight gain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Nosebleed, or other bleeding, that persists without quickly clotting
  • Seizures
  • Abdominal pain, most often on the upper right side

HELLP syndrome can become life threatening for both the mother and the baby, so it usually leads to an emergency induction or C-Section, even if the baby must be born prematurely.

Prenatal Massage Certification

Massage therapists who wish to become certified in prenatal massage can do so through the Institute of Somatic Therapy. We offer a variety of options, including prenatal massage certification, doula certification, infant massage certification, and fertility massage certification. To see these, as well as many other massage therapy online continuing education courses, visit

Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the NCBTMB as a conatinuing education approved provider, #280672-00. Our courses are valid for NCBTMB, AMTA, ABMP, and most states.

Postpartum Depression Repercussions for Children - by admin@mcb on February 06 2018

Postpartum Depression Repercussions for Children

Postpartum Depression Repercussions for Children

The list of repercussions from postpartum depression (PPD) continues to grow, as researchers continue to discover long term effects on both the mother and her child.

A recent United Kingdom analysis of children of mothers with severe and persistent postpartum depression was published online by JAMA Psychiatry, on January 31, 2018. The article reported that the study results disclosed several long-term effects to the children. It was shown that these children

1. Had a “substantially increased risk for behavioral problems” when tested between their third and fourth birthdays,
2. received lower grades in mathematics at age 16, and
3. were more likely to suffer from depression themselves at age 18.

The results were twice as high among children whose mothers had postpartum depression than their peers whose mothers did not have postpartum depression.

The two factors that were most involved in a risk to the children was the length and severity of their mother’s depression. PPD was deemed “persistent” if the woman scored high at both her 2 and 8-month postpartum assessments. Researchers discovered that women in this category experienced “consistently higher” and “relatively stable” rates of depression for a full eleven years after childbirth.

Approximately one in nine women in the United States experience symptoms of postpartum depression, according to a study published in the February 17, 2017 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. As such, the problems associated with PPD are significant and lasting.

Massage Therapy Proven to Lower Depression

Numerous researchers have documented that massage therapy helps to lower depression. Research has shown that women who receive massage or other labor support (doula support) during labor have lower rates of PPD than women who do not receive doula support during labor. Even performing infant massage on their baby has been proven to have positive impact on the moods of the mother.

Becoming Certified

If you are interested in learning prenatal massage, doula, or infant massage certifications, the Institute of Somatic Therapy offers a number of certification options. To see our various options and discount packages, click here.  The Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the NCBTMB as a continuing education approved provider. The continuing education credits you earn from us are valid for most states, as well as ABMP and AMTA.