Prenatal massage focuses on the special needs of women as their bodies undergo the many dramatic changes that occur during pregnancy. From stress reduction to improved circulation, prenatal massage can make a significant difference to the wellness of a mother-to-be.
Learn why prenatal massage training is essential to ensuring that a massage therapist understands the unique techniques and comforts that this modality requires, by reading the career and education information below.
A prenatal massage addresses a wide range of health issues, from physical concerns to emotional ones. Therapists combine their prenatal massage training, experience and patient health information to decide on the right path for treatment. With knowledge of the specific positioning recommendations and safety concerns for pregnant women, prenatal massage therapists can help alleviate a number of conditions that affect pregnant women, including these:
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Edema or swelling
- Stress and anxiety
- Muscle tension and headaches
- Sciatic nerve pain
- Reduced circulation
Training and Education
What You'll Study in Prenatal Massage Therapy School
Classes in prenatal massage training typically come in the form of electives, continuing education or advanced training workshops available at massage therapy schools. You can expect prenatal massage training course work to cover the following:
- Anatomy and physiology of the pregnant body
- Safe massage positioning for pregnant women
- Pregnancy massage techniques
- Precautions and contraindications to support healthy pregnancies
- Physical, emotional and practical concerns of pregnant women
- Hands-on practice
Average Length of Study
Prenatal massage certification programs usually provide 24 to 32 hours of training spread over the course of three to four full days of classes. Some prenatal massage training workshops require an additional number of hours of hands-on pregnancy massage practice after you complete the program in order to become certified.
Tuition for prenatal massage training ranges from $420 to $600 for a certification workshop. A typical curriculum will include massage training for the prenatal period, labor and birth, and postpartum.
Prenatal Massage Certification
Many massage therapy schools cover prenatal massage as part of their overall curriculum. However, earning prenatal massage certification requires specific training through a certification workshop. In addition to class time, students typically must pass a written or hands-on practice exam and, as mentioned above, perform a specific number of prenatal massage hours outside of massage therapy school to complete prenatal massage certification. Learn more about massage therapy certification.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of massage therapists in general will grow at a rate of 23 percent through 2022. The country's continued interest in wellness care and the increasing acceptance of massage therapy as a complementary treatment to allopathic medicine will play a significant role in the career outlook for prenatal massage therapists in the coming decade.
Learn why massage therapy careers are thriving.
Prenatal Massage Therapy Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for massage therapists is $35,970. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.
Learn more about the massage therapist salary.
Is a Prenatal Massage Therapy Career Right for You?
A career in prenatal massage requires advanced massage therapy school training and a high level of understanding, compassion and communication when it comes to listening to and providing for the comfort and health needs of pregnant women. In addition, you will need some core business skills to help you build and market your prenatal massage therapy practice.
If you are interested in a prenatal massage therapy career, take a closer look at prenatal massage training. Then choose the prenatal massage certification program that meets your personal and professional needs.
Sources: American Pregnancy Association, PregnancyToday.com