Online Course & Online Test

The online test for this course contains  60  multiple choice questions.

Massage Therapy CEs | Prenatal/Doula/Infant Courses

Prenatal Massage Techniques (Step Two)

Pre-requisite: To qualify for the title of Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist, you must takes Prenatal Massage Fundamentals (Step One). To enroll in both steps together for a package tuition discount, click here. We highly advise enrolling in the package rather than the courses individually if at all possible. Doing so will enable you to complete online certification, which will save you a manual processing fee.

Massage therapy continuing education CEs earned: 12. The average massage therapist should expect to devote one clock hour for every CE credit earned, based on NCBTMB calculations. These are online, home study CEs. They are not "live" or "classroom" hours. We do not offer live seminars at this time.

Classification of hours: Kinesthetic (hands-on). Some states, such as Texas, do not accept kinesthetic hours by home study for your required license renewal continuing education, but you can still legally practice the techniques, and advertise your certification title, provided that you have a valid massage therapy license and are legally allowed to practice massage therapy in your jurisdiction.

Approved by: 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. 

Attention Florida Massage Therapists: This course is approved by Florida as an approved distance learning course for required hours of "relevant to massage therapy" category hours through 8/31/2025. You are still allowed to complete the 12 required "relevant to massage therapy" hours via approved online courses through at least 2025. The approval number for this course: 20-795800.

Tuition: US$ 139 To enroll: Simply click the green "buy now" button. You will see the course in your shopping cart, with the option to continue shopping (if you want to enroll in more than one course) or checkout. Once you click checkout, it will take you through the process of creating a new account if you do not have one, or logging into an existing account if we find an account already associated with your email address. You do not need to have an existing account before you add a course to your shopping cart.

Instructor: Judith Koch Stapleton, BCTMB

Course Materials: The course consists of the Massage Doula student handout and video files in an online format, along with homework documentation paperwork.

Course format: In order to adhere to board standards of principles in adult education, we try to provide information to suit many learning styles. Some people want to read and reflect, some learn better with audio and visual. For this reason, you will see our written information, often followed by links or resources to this same information in a video format. Our courses consist of our written words, videos that we produced, videos from outside sources, and attached files of written word from outside sources. We hope that no matter what type of learner you are, you will find the information in a format that fits your needs.

Course Description: Once you are ready to move beyond the Step One - Prenatal Fundamentals, your next step is to take this course - Prenatal Massage Techniques (Step Two), worth 12 kinesthetic CEs. In this course you will study our course materials and videos to learn 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, recommended for second and third trimesters. First trimester clients can likely receive massage in the standard prone/supine positioning if they prefer. 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). Therapists who prefer such positioning will need to modify the techniques taught to accomodate the changed position.

Course Topics:
Necessary Equipment
Trimester Specifics
Routine in Sidelying and Modified Supine Position
Recap of Routine
Adjunct Training Videos
Perineal Massage
Postpartum Massage Concerns
Postpartum Depression

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define common terminology relating to pregnancy
  • Describe the specific considerations for performing prenatal massage during all three trimesters, including positioning, bolstering, and draping
  • Perform a full body prenatal massage in all three trimesters
  • Explain the effect of episiotomies, explain the benefit of rationale of self-perineal massage practice, and demonstrate perineal massage to help prepare their clients to avoid an episiotomy (NOTE: The therapist does NOT perform perineal massage, and demonstrates using the webbing of their thumb and forefinger to represent the perineal tissue
  • Perform a postpartum massage on the uterus and check for a diastasis of the rectus abdominus
  • List and explain the risk factors for postpartum depression and recognize symptoms of postpartum depression

Testing: You will take the online test to earn your 12 CEs. You will be able to print your certificate immediately upon passing. This is the certificate you will provide to any agency that requires proof of your massage continuing education credits. All online exams must be completed within one year of enrollment. Please note that due to COVID, we are giving grace periods on submitting documented practice sessions as long as you completed your online exam in the one year period. Because we do not know at this time how long COVID will interfere with your ability to perform practice sessions, we cannot give time periods. We can only assure you that we will be reasonable in allowing you sufficient time to complete this process.

View sample video: You can preview samples of video from this massage CEU course, as well as some of our other online courses, by visiting our YouTube site

Package Special Prices: Sign up on this page only if you have already taken Step One and now want to enroll in Step Two. If you want to enroll in steps one and two at the same time, you can receive a $25 discount by enrolling in the
package found here

If you are interested in taking three or more of our related courses at a discounted tuition, you can create your own custom discount package here: Create Your Own Customized Discount Package

Receive a discount of 10%-15% (depending on tuition value) when you enroll in any three or more of our courses at the same time. (Enrolling in the prenatal certification package will count as two of the three courses.)

Please note that our package specials are non-changeable/non-refundable. All courses must be completed within one year of enrollment. Coupon and package discount codes are not retroactive. They must be used at the time of enrollment or the offer will expire.

Earning the title of Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist: You have the option of completing documentation of three practice sessions (two pregnancy massages on two different women who are 20 or more weeks into their pregnancy, and one postpartum massage on a woman who is no more than 14 days post-delivery. The postpartum massage must include the abdomen, so make sure it is on a client who is comfortable with that.) To earn the optional certification, you will complete the certification process. There is a one-time $35 certification fee.

CE Broker Reporting:  Institute of Somatic Therapy will automatically report your hours to CE Broker in applicable states ONLY IF you have provided your license number in your online account with us. You can verify your license information by logging on to our website, and reviewing your account information. If your license is not shown there, please select “edit” to include it. We generally report to CE Broker 2-3 times per week. Once the course shows in your online account with them, you will have an opportunity to rate it. If you were happy with the course, would you be so kind as to take a few minutes to share that with others? If you were not happy, please share specific ways in which you feel that we can try to improve. Thank you. 

Student comments:

"I am a certified DONA doula of 6 years, practicing for 8 years, with 18 years massage experience & I am a certified prenatal massage therapist. I absolutely love being able to use what I have learned & what I can discover doing prenatal massage for my doula clients. Not only do I feel that during pregnancy massage can help me to find out more about my clients but how that can ultimately affect our time during labor. There is already a physical comfort between us before labor, so that is so helpful with our connection during that process."
Sincerely, Heather Steele, Mountain Home, ID

"Some women are very active but because they are pregnant many times they have the same issues with the hip,
leg and abdomen. This massage we learned here was so much more effective on helping these areas than one
I was taught formally." Dee Nicovich, Joppa, AL

"I am really super excited to have taken the courses because:
 - It is extremely well done.  The material is clear, well organized and contains a wealth of information regarding pregnancy.  It makes you want to learn more and I truly enjoyed the process. 
- It gave me the level of confidence I needed to start building a prenatal massage clientele.
- On top of the basic prenatal chapters, the training offers extremely useful Marketing and Sale advices containing some of the best ideas I've heard so far (I've been in business a little bit over a year) and I can apply them to any massage modality I want to sell.  
Thank you again for this great training and for offering the class online!"
Céline F. Consoli, Honolulu, HI

"Having a private massage therapy practice, I have had many inquiries regarding if I offer prenatal.  I have always referred these women, as I did not feel confident working on them without being certified. After a few consecutive phone calls, I decided to find out what it would take to become certified and found this wonderful program. At first I was worried that by taking this type of course online, I would be "missing out", and leave it still feeling ill equipped with expectant mothers. I soon discovered that I was quite wrong!
This course is so informative, covering aspects of pregnancy, the birthing process, techniques, draping, even incredible business and marketing tips.  I was also amazed to discover that it provides dimensions and directions for having an optimal bolster system made for mothers-to-be. Videos of a routine, links to more helpful videos, and a list reference books were also provided.
Upon starting this course, I thought that I would gain knowledge of how to work on pregnant women, contraindications, how to drape and bolster, and that would pretty much be it. Yet I left this course with so much more, so many extremely helpful ideas of how to be the best, most helpful prenatal massage therapist that can help guide and support women through the pregnancy process.
I recommend this course to anyone who is interested in prenatal massage therapy. It has given me the confidence I was looking for plus so much more!" Rebecca Leaden, New Milford, CT

"Thank you so much. I did not expect to enjoy these courses (prenatal steps one and two) as much as I have. I just purchased the doula class and I'm sure I'll be taking the infant massage course, as well. Thank you so much for helping me grow my business and become more passionate about my craft." Whitney Brown, Bremen, Kentucky

"Thanks for offering this course. I had prenatal training in 2007, and wanted to take this as a re-fresher. I have been providing prenatal massages and I very much appreciate your rational approach to everything, without all of the fear-based info that I received in 2007. It's a very good course." Jacki Sellers, CMT, NCTMB, CMLDT, Aliso Viejo, CA

"Thank you for all of your help with this course. It's an awesome course! I've taken a few other Prenatal massage courses and found yours the most comprehensive. Thanks again." Patti Nebel, Wenonah, NJ

"Thank you for offering this course!!! It was very easy to follow, the information was very thorough, and it was a convenient and more affordable alternative to other prenatal courses. As a licensed massage therapist, I strongly believe in the benefits of prenatal massage - for the mom-to-be and the baby. This course gave me everything I need to confidently incorporate prenatal massage into my practice. I ordered this course along with the Doula course, and am really looking forward to obtaining Doula certification next." K. Jackson, Las Vegas, NV

"Thank you for developing such a wonderful course! My massage office is located within a birth center & I have been giving pre & post natal massage for 6 years now, I LOVE it!! I have read several books and watched a few DVDs on the subject and the information in your workbook & DVD is by far the best. I have learned so much & am so exicted to share this info with my clients. Thanks you." Heather Barber LMT,  Palmer, Alaska

"I have been a holistic therapist for the last 27 years and have invested a lot of money in furthering my education. Some courses were worth it...many others weren't. I love the courses you offer not only because there is so much to choose from but also because all is actually applicable! So many times I have taken courses and half of what was being taught had absolutely no relevance. Your courses are of high quality and they are relevant - that's the most important aspect for me. I know I'll be back for more :)  Cheers," Gabriela Eikeland, Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada. Courses Gabriela has taken: Manual Lymph Massage, Prenatal Fundamentals, Prenatal Techniques, Spa Fundamentals, Communicable Diseases

"Thank you for putting Prenatal Massage Certification course together. It was wonderful. I learned so much and realized afresh how much I love massaging mothers-to-be. I look forward to expanding my practice to include prenatal massage. Thank you for all the time, energy, expertise, resources, perseverance and commitment it took for you to produce this course. You have enriched my career and will share in the enrichment I am privileged to pass to my clients. I know being equipped to do prenatal massage will expand and extend my career. Blessings," Susan Valk, Austin, TX

About the Instructor

Judith Koch has been in the massage therapy field since 1991, after taking to heart a book that encourages seeking a career doing something that you love. In her former career, as a sales trainer and manager, she would frequently give her staff neck and shoulder rubs. Always fond of receiving massage herself, she realized this was a career she would love. Once Judith began, it was obvious that this was her niche. Her first discovery was that people like their massage therapist a whole lot better than they like their sales managers. She was hooked.

Less than two years after entering the massage field, three of her regular clients all got pregnant at once. Knowing that they must certainly need massage now more than ever, but having been taught that pregnancy was a contraindication for massage, she decided to fly half way across the country to attend an advanced prenatal, labor and infant massage certification course. She couldn’t believe it -- she found a niche within her niche, and was hooked again, this time getting to watch little miracles happen as icing on the cake. She continued her massage education and achieved national certification status in 1993. Her business continued to grow. An article appeared in the newspaper. The local television news included her in one of their health segments. Massage and Bodywork Quarterly, a national massage association journal, did a story on her. Parenting Magazine did year later. As the years progressed, she has given countless prenatal massages, and attended nearly 100 births. Her mothers maintained an unbelievable average of about four hours of labor, most completely drug free. 

 Early in her prenatal massage career, Judith started hearing about women called doulas (from the Greek word for “servant”), who helped women during labor. Judith had been relying almost exclusively on massage to assist her clients, and she wanted to see what these non-massage therapists were doing to ease labor. She attended the doula training nearest her, and two months later again flew half-way across the country, this time to take advanced doula training from Penny Simkin, a physical therapist who was instrumental in beginning the doula movement within the United States. There, Judith discovered a range of methods to make the laboring and pushing processes easier. Her certification with Doulas of North America was actually delayed several months because her mothers were having their babies too fast to meet DONA’s minimum five hour labor requirement.   Based on her extensive training and experience, she has developed these courses for massage during all stages of pregnancy and delivery, as well as basic infant massage and movement. Isn’t it time you learn how to start watching miracles happen for a living?

If you are interested in this massage therapy CEU course, other courses that might be of interest to you are: Prenatal Massage Fundamentals (Step One), Massage Doula Certification (Step Three), Infant Massage, and Fertility Massage.

To contact the Institute of Somatic Therapy about this or any other massage therapy CEU course, please go to the "contact" link above. Thank you.



I have had some prenatal massage elsewhere. Can I skep Step One and go directly to Step Two? Yes, but you will not qualify to earn the certification title. The reason we have to do it this way is that we have no idea what your prior training included and if it may or may not substitute for our training. In fact, we have no choice but to believe that your requesting to do this is essentially an acknowledgement on your part that the training you have received was not complete. We have seen pregnancy massage courses that were little more than how to give a regular massage in a sidelying position, without giving any information at all on the physiological changes of pregnancy, complications that could contraindicate massage, etc. We feel it is better that you take a chance of some redundancies than take a chance that you don't learn something important. If you wish to skip Step One, and take only Step Two for the training, you can do that, but you will not be eligible to be awarded the title of Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist if you skip Step One.

What is the difference between the Prenatal Massage Fundamentals course and the Prenatal Massage Techniques course? What are there two 12-CE courses instead of a single 24-CE course? Originally it was a single course, but there are two practical reasons why it was separated it into two segments. First, some jurisdictions changed their rules to only accept cognitive, but not kinesthetic, hours by home study. If the course was still a single 24 CE course, it would all be considered kinesthetic, and massage therapists in those states would not be able to count any of the hours toward their license renewal requirements. By separating the cognitive concepts from the kinesthetics techniques, they are able to count 12 of the total hours toward their CE needs. Secondly, for states with annual CE renewals, or biannual CE renewals that have other mandated requirements such as laws and ethics, many therapists are unable to use all 24 CEs in a single renewal cycle. While we believe that education is never “wasted”, many do not like taking more CEs than they can use in a single cycle. It is more convenient for them to be able to split the course into two 12-CE segments, so they can straddle it over two renewal cycles. They can still enroll in the package to receive the volume discount. They can finish the first part in their current renewal cycle and wait on the second part until the start of their next renewal cycle. Another benefit to having it as two courses is that it is easier for some students to break the tuition into two segments instead of having to do both at once.

Do I have to be a licensed massage therapist to take this course? While our courses are designed as continuing education for licensed and/or certified massage therapists, a massage student can begin them while still in massage school, or 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 massage package with doula massage 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.

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.

How long will it take me to complete this course? The number of massage continuing education hours awarded was determined by the NCBTMB, although 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.