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‘An absolute delight! Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy is a gem of a book. The authors have managed to coalesce many years of clinical experience and research findings into a delightfully readable manuscript. Warning, readers: you, too, may lose sleep when you can’t put it down! The layout is thoughtfully designed and the content excellent – all done with a sense of wonder and passion that is heart-warming and engaging. This is an important contribution to the field of massage therapy.’ Douglas Nelson LMT, BCTMB, Past President, Massage Therapy Foundation

Welcome to the third edition of a highly successful guide to using massage therapy through all stages of the birth process, from pregnancy, through labor and birth, and into the long postpartum period. It is primarily for massage therapists, but is also intended for physical therapists, other manual therapists and bodyworkers, nurses and midwives, physicians and doulas – any professional who wants to integrate more therapeutic touch in their work. The text combines what anyone who works with pregnant people needs: an exhaustive distillation of current scientific knowledge, alongside hands-on recommendations, specific techniques and business success from almost a century of the authors’ combined experience. The reader gains a detailed understanding of what is happening to the body during pregnancy and beyond; how massage techniques can impact those changes; and very concrete, applicable strategies for how to actually work with maternity clients to make them feel better. Amidst this abundance of detail about what to do, the authors also explore the flipside: what therapists need to modify and avoid to ensure that our work with pregnant and postpartum clients is safe. How to recognize high-risk factors or other complications, and then how best to adjust our treatment, and how to work with medical healthcare providers throughout the process.

What’s new for the third edition?

  • Now in full color!
  • Synthesis of new research reflecting the significant increase in massage-related research (and pregnancy, birth and postpartum-related research) over the last decade.
  • Many of the images have been redrawn, with clearer anatomical overlays and clearer instructions for the therapist-reader.
  • A greater attention to working with a more diverse clientele.
  • More detailed discussion of the myths and misinformation that abounds in our field, and ways to talk with clients and healthcare providers about what we know and what we still don’t know.
  • An expanded chapter on working with high-risk and medically complicated clients with far more information about how to modify your work, and how to talk both to these clients and to their healthcare providers.
  • More specific tools and examples to ease your treatment decision making.

Chapter 1     BENEFITS: Helping Our Clients & Their Babies

Chapter 2     GUIDELINES: Massaging Safely & Effectively

Chapter 3     PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS: Caring for Your Clients & Yourself

Chapter 4     PRENATAL TECHNIQUES: Nurturing Throughout Pregnancy

Chapter 5     LABOR TECHNIQUES: Supporting a Positive Birth Experience

Chapter 6     POSTPARTUM TECHNIQUES: Facilitating Restorative Healing

Chapter 7     ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS: Working with Special Needs Clients

Chapter 8     PRACTICE CONSIDERATIONS: Growing a Satisfying Career


Additional information

Format Paperback, eBook
ISBN 978-1-912085-73-6
Edition No 3
Pages 336
Illustrations 230 color drawings and photograph
Dimensions 276 X 220 mm
Status Published
Publication Date 26 January 2021

Author biography

Carole Osborne is an integrative bodywork practitioner, author, course developer/instructor and mentor based in San Diego, California. Since beginning her career in 1974, she has worked in private practice and in osteopathic, psychological, and women’s medical settings. In the early 1980s, she began exploring how informed therapeutic bodywork could safely support childbearing challenges and potentials. Her work, in collaboration with colleagues, pioneered the reintroduction of therapeutic massage and bodywork to American maternity healthcare. Carole’s major career accomplishments include: Co-Founding the International Professional School of Bodywork (IPSB), where she developed ground-breaking techniques and instructional approaches to somatics, rhythmic deep tissue, prenatal, labor and postpartum massage therapy. Publishing Deep Tissue Sculpting, Second Edition. Authoring the definitive pregnancy massage training textbook, Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy in1998; second edition (Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins) in 2012; Japanese translation, 2015; and now the third edition, co-authored with Michele Kolakowski and David M. Lobenstine. Developing numerous continuing education (CE) courses, nationally approved (NCBTMB) in the United States, including the Pre- & Perinatal Massage Therapy Specialization Workshop, and other maternity-related and CE curricula on somato-emotional integration, career longevity, and teaching massage therapy. Contributing to Teaching Massage and to When Survivors Give Birth. Being one of a select group of practitioners for the Massage Research Agenda Workgroup (1999) for the Massage Therapy Research Foundation, providing input to their 10-year research agenda. Receiving the Jerome Perlinski National Teacher of the Year Award, presented by the American Massage Therapy Association, 2008. Carole has trained over 5,000 therapists and other perinatal specialists throughout North America and in the United Kingdom. She has taught in hospital and visiting nursing programs, at innumerable massage schools and conventions, and in spas, resorts and businesses of all sizes. She has also developed a dynamic team of authorized instructors of her work. Her numerous articles have appeared in many professional and mainstream publications. In addition to her continued enthusiasm for her practice, teaching and writing, she is highly motivated to work with individual therapists and small groups in practice supervision and mentoring. She is a professional member of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) and the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), and is Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB). Carole’s earliest bodywork studies were with the Arica Institute, Milton Trager, and Tai Chi Master Abraham Liu. A 1976 private apprenticeship with Edward Maupin, Ph.D., one of the first seven Rolfers, added a foundation in the perspective of Ida P. Rolf. Throughout her career she has sought balance between the art and science of hands-on therapies. Her curiosity and inspiration continue to spiral within her own and her clients’ physical, emotional, mental and spiritual experiences. In addition to her professional passions, her children, grandchildren, dancing and spiritual development are paramount. For more about Carole and her work: www.bodytherapyeducation.com or carole@bodytherapyeducation.com.

Michele Kolakowski, LMT, CD & CPD(DONA), CLC has decades of diverse experience serving women and babies since 1992. This passion began after watching a video of an Indian mother on the other side of the world lovingly massaging her baby outside her simple lean-to home. Michele became fascinated with the baby’s experience of touch and the transformative bonds between mothers and their wee ones. She believes how women and their infants experience pregnancy, birth, the “fourth trimester” and beyond, matters for all of us. She is an authorized instructor of Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy workshops and has taught maternity massage at massage schools, spas, destination resorts, hospitals, and conferences nationwide. Michele studied with a number of maternity massage pioneers before designing and teaching 150- and 200-hour maternity and infant massage certificate programs for the Boulder College of Massage Therapy and Cortiva Education. She also led a hospital-based integrative medicine program providing inpatient maternity massages to thousands of new mothers. She has joyfully attended births in homes, birth centers and hospitals. She is passionate about improving maternity care’s interdisciplinary teamwork and bringing high touch, patient-centered care practices to the care of childbearing women and their babies. She founded Sanctuary Healing Arts LLC specializing in hands-on care of women and their wee ones including massage therapy and doula care in Boulder County, Colorado. Michele is passionate about improving maternity and newborn care – one pregnancy, one birth and one new family at a time. She treasures the opportunity to help families, nurses, midwives and physicians improve family-centered care and interdisciplinary teamwork. Michele enjoys sunshine, gardening, Carolina blue sky days, hikes to the summer mountain wildflowers and lakes, her meditation and yoga practice, and being witness to her sons becoming amazing young men. Visit her at sanctuaryhealingartsllc.com

David M. Lobenstine, BA, LMT, BCTMB has been massaging, teaching, writing and editing for over fifteen years. He is a licensed massage therapist, and a graduate of Vassar College and the Swedish Institute of Health Sciences. He has massaged across the gamut – from the US Open Tennis Tournament to a hospice, from a wellness center to too many spas to count – and now feels very fortunate to run his own private practice in New York City, Full Breath Massage. His work is a blend of Swedish, deep tissue, and myofascial; each session is built around facilitating the client’s full, easy breath, and facilitating the client’s own somatic awareness. David was certified in Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy soon after graduating from massage school, and has been gestating his own work, with mamas at all stages of the parenting journey, ever since. He was a teaching assistant for both Carole Osborne and Linda Hickey for over a decade, and he is now an authorized teacher of the Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy workshops. David feels the glorious challenge, and a continual honor, to work with clients across pregnancy and into the postpartum period, to facilitate a process that he will never experience himself. He can empathize, but not embody, that experience, which encourages him to listen more and assume less, and makes him a more effective therapist for each and every client. When he is not working with pre- and perinatal clients, or teaching other therapists to do so, he also designs and teaches his own continuing education workshops, both around the country and online, at Body Brain Breath. His aim, for his clients and students and readers, is to encourage us all to inhabit our bodies more fully, so that we can do the things we love with greater ease and effectiveness. Find him at www.bodybrainbreath.com and www.fullbreathmassage.com.

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