Anatomy & Physiology of the Pregnant Patient

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Massage therapy is an effective treatment for musculoskeletal symptoms associated with pregnancy and childbirth. It is important to understand the anatomy and physiology of fetal development throughout the three trimesters. Explore the anatomy and physiology of fetal development from conception to birth. Understand postnatal recovery and the hormonal changes throughout pregnancy.

In this course, you will learn:

  • Perinatal physiology and fetal development in the first, second and third trimesters.
  • Process of Birth/Labour and Delivery
  • Postnatal recovery
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy

Dexterity Professional Development submits courses for approval to regulatory colleges and associations across Canada. Timelines vary and courses are submitted on a rolling basis. As approvals are granted, this section is updated. Remember to check back often!

Certified Registered Massage Therapist Association (CRMTA) 1 Primary Credit
Canadian Massage & Manual Osteopathic Therapists Association (CMMOTA) 1 CEC
Massage Therapist Association of Alberta (MTAA) 1 Primary Credit
Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba (MTAM) 1 Core Competency Credit
Massage Therapist & Wholistic Practitioners of the Maritimes (MTWPAM) 1 credit hour Primary / Category A
College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick (CMTNB) 0.5 Category A Credits
College of Massage Therapists of Newfoundland & Labrador (CMTNL) 0.5 Category A
Massage Therapists Association of Nova Scotia (MTANS) 0.5 Primary CEU
PEI Massage Therapy Association (PEIMTA) 1 Category A Credit
L'Association des Naturopathes Professionnels du Québec (ANPQ) / L’Association des Naturothérapeutes du Québec (ANQ) / Regroupement des Massothérapeutes du Québec (RMQ) 1 Credit
Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS) 1 Primary Credit
Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) 5 CCP Credits

Under the CMTO’s new Quality Assurance Program (STRiVE), courses are no longer granted approval by the CMTO. It is up to the learner to demonstrate that a course is relevant to their learning goals and the STRiVE competencies. We have provided the description below to help the learner link the course to the STRiVE competencies. A course is often related to more STRiVE competencies than those listed.

The competencies below are established in the CMTO continuing education guidelines. This course addresses the competencies in many ways, including those described below.

Work within areas of personal knowledge and skills. This course provides the RMT with the opportunity to fill gaps in knowledge of fetal development and hormonal changes, this will allow the RMT to effectively treat the perinatal patient through all stages.

Function in a client-centred manner. By having the understanding of what is physiologically happening during the specific trimester a patient is in can allow the therapist to focus in a client-centred manner. This can allow the therapist to educate the patient, and allows the therapist to modify their treatment plan with the knowledge they have received in this course.

Apply the principles of sensitive practice. This course highlights that the perinatal patient may be particularly sensitive regarding appropriate therapeutic boundaries, and these boundaries may be different from the average patient. Understanding the hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy and how they impact fetal development and the mother is crucial to applying principles of sensitive practice.

Use an evidence-informed approach in your work. This course was developed based on current evidence and research by an RMT experienced in the area of perinatal massage therapy. Additionally, this course was reviewed and endorsed by Trimesters: Massage Therapy Education. The Dexterity PD promise is to evaluate every course on a biannual basis to ensure any developments or changes in the profession are reflected in course content. Thus, RMTs who take this course and adopt its recommendations can be assured that they are practicing in a manner consistent with current developments. A resource list is included in the downloadable guide to every course so that RMTs can conduct further research and/or confirm course findings. Any treatment recommendations are based on this research and the opinion and experience of the RMT who developed the course. All course content and recommendations have been evaluated by two additional RMTs to affirm the accuracy of the content. For more details, please see Our Quality Control Process.






Ana Kordic

This course has been Reviewed and Endorsed by Trimesters: Massage Therapy Education.

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