Virginia, May 6, 2010–Pregnancy is a time of profound change in a woman’s body, and finding ways to reduce the discomfort and stress can be challenging. “Pregnancy massage is one of the most beneficial things a pregnant woman can do to feel better,” said Rick Morgan, B.S.N., C.M.T., and founder of the American Pregnancy Massage Association (APMA). “However, many women don’t know anything about pregnancy massage or where to find a qualified therapist.” 

The APMA was founded to educate expectant mothers about pregnancy massage, help them find massage therapists with advanced training in pregnancy massage and support research into the effects of pregnancy massage. 

Morgan says it is important therapists have advanced training in pregnancy massage because there are considerations that need to be taken into account when working with pregnant women. While some massage schools cover pregnancy massage as part of the core curriculum, many do not or have very limited time dedicated to it. 

“When I was looking for advanced training classes for the staff of my massage center, I realized there were no consistent standards regarding how to teach pregnancy massage. I found ‘certification’ courses that were two hours up to 200 hours. Along with our board of advisors, the APMA set out to create minimum standards of training so that expectant moms can be confident their massage therapists are well trained,” said Morgan. 

How it works: for only $49 per year, a massage therapist can join the APMA. To qualify for membership, therapists must be current with the licensing requirements in the state where they practice, have graduated from an accredited massage school and successfully completed a minimum 18-hour advanced training course in pregnancy massage. Other resources for members include a community forum where therapists can share their best practices, tips and ideas. Course providers can list their qualifying course on the site free of charge. 

Expectant moms can find a therapist in their area by searching on the desired zip code. They may also see the APMA member logo displayed on a therapist’s website or marketing materials. 

“The APMA member logo instantly establishes the therapist as an expert in pregnancy massage and provides the expectant mom with the assurance that her therapist knows how to work with pregnant women,” said Morgan. 

Other resources for moms on the website include articles about pregnancy massage, and, in the future, research findings. 

About the APMA

Founded in 2009, the mission of the APMA is to enhance the profession of pregnancy massage through public education, promoting pregnancy massage and its practitioners, and setting and maintain standards for advanced training in pregnancy massage and supporting research in pregnancy massage. For more information, visit http://americanpregnancymassage.org or contact Rick Morgan at rick@americanpregnancymassage.org (703) 470-2762.

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