Bodywork for Better Breastfeeding

Hands-on Modalities to Improve Feeding Readiness and Outcomes


Infant Bodywork Course designed for PT, OT, and SLPs

Providing CEUs and Lactation Education for Healthcare Professionals

California Physical Therapy Association

0.8 CEUs

IBLCE Long-Term Provider

8.0 L-CERPs

Massage with function at the forefront

Learn gentle, hands-on bodywork techniques for better breastfeeding


Infant massage is an effective intervention to improve stress and sleep, facilitate weight gain and growth, and assist with transitioning between states of arousal, especially in the context of feeding readiness. 

In this course, you’ll learn the benefits, indications and contraindications for infant massage, and the importance of facilitating smooth state transitions in infants for better breastfeeding outcomes.

Most importantly, you’ll gain hands-on skills and confidence in the art and practice of infant massage. You’ll also gain insights into providing parent education so your therapeutic impact lasts long after your treatment session ends.



Bodywork for Better Breastfeeding Learning Objectives: 

  1. Summarize current published literature on the topic of infant massage. 
  2. List general benefits of infant massage to baby and benefits to caregiver
  3. Explain why infant massage is beneficial as a pre-feeding intervention for breastfeeding
  4. Compare and contrast infant anatomy with adult anatomy in order to apply this information in practice through palpation and treatment. 
  5. Identify contraindications to infant massage and distinguish between relative and absolute contraindications. 
  6. Recognize and implement changes in palpation, handling, and positioning skills taking into consideration age-appropriate developmental milestones.
  7. List components needed to create a customized infant massage intervention protocol using the wide variety of skills and techniques identified in the course
  8. List key aspects for teaching parents/caregivers how to perform infant massage on their babies

Timed Agenda


Here’s the breakdown of what’s in this bodywork course so you can make an informed decision and expand your infant massage skillset. Take your time — you have access to this self-paced course for 6 months. You’ll learn a variety of massage techniques under the umbrella of “bodywork.” and can incorporate them into your sessions as you see fit. 

Module 1

Course Introduction

25 minutes

  • Introduction

Module 2

Infant Anatomy

2 hr 24 minutes

  • Embryology
  • Skeletal system
  • Muscular system
  • Lymphatic system

Module 3

Neuromotor Development

32 minutes

  • Reflex development
  • State regulation (4 categories)
  • Vitals

Module 4

Infant Massage Benefits

25 minutes

  • Literature review

Module 5

Massage Contraindications

51 minutes

  • State regulation
  • Acute processes
  • Systemic processes
  • Special considerations 

Module 6

Touch & Handling

25 minutes

  • Energy, grounding, centering
  • Handling: 4 types of therapeutic massage techniques

Module 7

Hands-On Massage Techniques

27 minutes

  • Effleurage
  • Petrissage
  • Compression
  • Myofascial release
  • Trigger point
  • Jostling

Module 8


1 hr 2 minutes

  • Prone
  • Side-lying
  • Supine

Module 9

More Techniques

40 minutes

  • Myofascial release
  • Trigger point
  • Case example - full session with 3 month old

Module 10

Course Summary

52 minutes

  • Wrap-up
  • Case example - full session with 34 week old
  • Case example- full session with 5 month old (twins)

AOTA Approved Provider, ASHA CE Approved Provider, IBLCE Long-Term Provider

"Bodywork for Better Breastfeeding is a beautifully done course that provides a comprehensive review of the literature, a nice healthy deep dive in infant anatomy, and strong foundational skills for providing infant massage with a focus on the caregiver/child relationship. As a physical therapist certified in infant massage, it is refreshing to find a course that is not just a generic sequence of strokes, but one that gives you the tools to tailor your manual approach based on what you are seeing clinically."

Dr. Rhea Schmidt, Pediatric Physical Therapist

The intentional building of knowledge each module to understand use of infant massage and techniques. Emily was extremely knowledgeable about infant message, baby development, baby- parent dyad, and anatomy.  She was very client centered and conveyed how to be flexible in using this technique. I feel like I can modify it and am ready to practice.

Lindsey, Occupational Therapist


Emily Knell Spaeth



Dr. Emily Spaeth is a certified neonatal therapist (CNT) in a level IV NICU, and continues to follow her patients with complex medical needs post-discharge. She also provides home visits through her business, Be Well Baby PDX for infant massage training, craniosacral therapy, prenatal/postpartum yoga, and breastfeeding support. She is a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist (CBS) currently studying for her board exam to become an IBCLC. Emily is a graduate of the DPT program at Samuel Merrit University in her hometown of Oakland, California. She brings years of experience as a licensed massage therapist (LMT) to her physical therapy practice and is a certified neonatal touch and massage therapist (NTMTC). She also serves as faculty in two DPT programs teaching massage and pediatric physical therapy. She loves to empower caregivers, and as a Certified Trauma Informed Professional (TIP), she weaves her passion for trauma-informed care throughout all interactions with her small patients and their families, especially in the context of breastfeeding. Finally, Emily has two babies of her own who keep her busy like every other parent out there.

Frequently Asked Questions


Who is this infant massage/bodywork course intended for?

OT, COTA, PT, and PTA would benefit most from the course material. Other providers with a full-body scope of practice such as LMT, DO, or DC would also find great value in the course. 


Are there prerequisites for this course?

RN and SLP with proof of prior manual therapy/bodywork course completion (i.e. craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, massage, etc.) may be eligible to take this course. Contact us at [email protected] for enrollment.


Can I count this course towards my 90 hours of lactation-specific education?

Absolutely! This course is approved for 8.0 L-CERPs.

To receive credit for completion, the course must be completed with 100% watch time and each participant will need to complete a post-assessment with a passing score of at least 80% to ensure all learning objectives are met.


Information about AOTA CEUs

This course is approved for 0.8 AOTA CEUs for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. Participants will be required to:

  • Complete the course in its entirety (100% of the course watched)
  • Complete a multiple-choice post-assessment with a passing score of at least 80% (untimed test)


Information about ASHA CEUs

This course is NOT approved for ASHA CEUs.

Speech-language pathologists with proof of prior manual therapy/bodywork course completion such as craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, or massage may be eligible to take this course without earning CEU credits. Please contact us for enrollment questions. [email protected]


Information about CEUs for Physical Therapists

This course is approved for 0.8 CEUs for physical therapists through California Physical Therapy Association


How long will I have access to this infant massage course?

6 months from the purchase date. 


What is your refund/cancellation policy?

Refunds must be requested within 14 days of purchase by emailing [email protected]. A full refund is available if no modules have been started. A partial refund is available once ANY portion of the course has been viewed. The amount refunded is at the sole discretion of The Lactation OT LLC. There is no refund available after 14 days of purchase OR if module one has been completed. Recipients will receive acknowledgment of refund requests within 3 business days. If the request is valid per the terms listed above, the refund will be processed within 7 business days. If for any reason the course is canceled by The Lactation OT before the course is started, a full refund will be provided. 


How do I request special accommodation?

Please send us an email at [email protected] at least 14 days before starting the course with further details of your request.

Bodywork is a term used to describe many forms of hands-on modalities such as infant massage — if you’ve ever been unclear about bodywork, you’re not alone.


This course provides a strong foundation for clinical reasoning and the application of a variety of massage techniques depending on the needs of your client and their family. No generic sequences of strokes or cookie-cutter techniques — you’ll be able to provide client-centered, responsive treatments and improved clinical reasoning. 


The Lactation OT is proud to provide lactation-specific continuing education and resources to OT, SLP, PTs, IBCLCs, and healthcare professionals. Your clients depend on you, and we’re here to support you as you provide the most effective, evidence-based care possible.

Looking for more information? Have a comment or complaint? Send an email to [email protected]. View complaint policy here.