Institute of Somatic Therapy has been offering prenatal massage certification since 1999. (You may click all light green hyperlinks in this article to go directly to the pages they reference.)
Below are the most common questions that our potential students ask:
What will I be able to do after completing the prenatal massage certification process?
Upon completing Prenatal Massage Fundamentals (Step One) and Prenatal Massage Techniques (Step Two), you will be able to:
• 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
• Perform a full body massage during all three trimesters of pregnancy, with techniques utilizing your forearms and elbows to reduce stress to your hands and thumbs. You will also be able to perform a postpartum massage.
What topics will the courses cover?
Here is just a portion of the Table of Contents from the Prenatal Massage Fundamentals and Prenatal Massage Techniques courses:
Benefits of Prenatal Massage
Research on Prenatal Massage
Understanding the Trimesters of Pregnancy
Physiological Changes in Pregnancy (covers eight anatomical systems, including reproductive, cardiovascular, digestive, and more)
Emotional and Psychological Changes in Pregnancy
Contraindications for Prenatal Massage
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Reflexology in Pregnancy
Aromatherapy in Pregnancy
Exercise in Pregnancy
Postpartum Massage Concerns
Marketing Your Services
Closing the Sale
What positions to you teach for prenatal massage?
The Institute of Somatic Therapy teaches a side-lying and modified supine positioning, recommended for second and third trimesters. First trimester clients can likely receive massage in the standard prone/supine positioning if they prefer, if they are able to lie flat on their stomach. We do not recommend specialty tables or equipment designed for allowing the woman to lay on her stomach after the first trimester 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).
How much is the tuition?
Prenatal Massage Fundamentals, Step One, is $129, and Prenatal Massage Techniques, Step Two, is $139. If you enroll in both at once, there is a $25 coupon (listed on the course description page) bringing the total to $243. We have many other enrollment and tuition options and packages, for example if you also want to take Infant Massage or Doula certification, or if you wish to receive hard copies of the course materials by mail. Please refer to the individual course description pages for details. We also have a “Customize Your Own Package” option that you can find HERE.
How do I enroll?
Visit the course description pages for Prenatal Massage Fundamentals (Step One) and Prenatal Massage Techniques (Step Two), (click course name to be taken to the description page) which will also have links for packages if you wish to enroll in both of these courses together or in other related courses. We also have a “Customize Your Own Package” option that you can find HERE.
How long will it take me to complete this course?
To complete the prenatal massage certification process, you must take both Steps One and Two. Each are worth 12 massage therapy continuing education credits. The number of massage continuing education hours awarded was determined by the NCBTMB. Since not everyone reads and studies at the same rate, some massage therapists report that they are faster or slower than the number of CEs awarded. The theory is that it should take the average person one clock hour for every CE earned, so a 12 hour course should take you 12 actual hours to complete. Therefore, if you work on it 6 hours a day, you’ll complete it in two days. If you work on it one hour a month, it will take you a year to complete. You can work on it at your convenience and set your own schedule. Just be sure to complete the course within one year of enrollment, or it will expire. (You can reinstate an expired course if you need more time.)
Do I have to be a licensed massage therapist to become a prenatal massage therapist?
While our courses are designed as continuing education for licensed and/or certified massage therapists, a non-licensed person may take them for their personal use. Of course, they may not legally charge for these services without a massage license if their jurisdiction requires one, as most jurisdictions do. In most jurisdictions, doulas or other prenatal healthcare providers can use the techniques within the scope of their training and authority, such as a doula using some of the prenatal massage techniques during labor and delivery. You cannot, however, hold yourself out to be a certified prenatal massage therapist without having a massage therapy certification or license.
I am currently enrolled in massage therapy school. Is it possible for me to take the prenatal certification massage package while I am in school still?
Yes, you are welcome to begin taking the courses now. Many people do just that. The advantages to an early start are that the minute you do have your license, you’ll be certified and ready to “hit the ground running” in your chosen specialty. Just be aware that you cannot legally practice if you do not yet have any massage license that the jurisdiction where you live requires.
Will completing prenatal massage certification through you also certify me in my home state to give me a massage license to work with clients?
This common question confuses “certification” with “licensure”. Certification is evidence of education. Licensure is having a legal permit to practice a profession. Please read our blog article for an in-depth explanation on the difference between these two terms.
Are your prenatal massage certification courses valid for my state’s continuing education laws?
Institute of Somatic Therapy (Judith Koch) is approved by the NCBTMB (Provider #280672-00) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by Florida (#MCE-326), and New York (#0019). Our courses are also valid for AMTA, ABMP, and most individual states. Some states limit how many hours can be done online or by home study. Please refer to our State Guidelines section for specific information about your state. Laws can and do change, and your state will hold you responsible for knowing the laws that apply to you.
Do you offer installment payments or financing?
We accept credit cards, so you can make payments to your credit card company as it fits your budget. We do not offer private financing.
Do you offer prenatal massage certification in a live classroom setting, or only online?
This course is currently only offered online. With the expense of travel and lodging for our instructor, plus her salary, plus profit and expenses for hosting schools, the tuition would be triple of what it is online. And that isn’t counting the money you would lose (lost work, potential travel expenses, etc) that would cost you on top of tuition. For more on the advantages and disadvantages for live and online courses, check out our blog post on this topic.
Do you still have questions? Feel free to ask!
We have additional information on the courses available on our website, on each course description page. Please feel free to contact the Institute of Somatic Therapy if you have other questions about our prenatal massage certification. Click this link to contact us.
Thank you for your interest in our courses.
The Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the NCBTMB as a continuing education Approved Provider, #280672. Our courses are valid for NCBTMB, AMTA, ABMP, and most states.
Canada: We are valid for Ontario, NHPC in Alberta, and pending approval in British Columbia and Manitoba, with more to be announced shortly.