Bodywork for Better Breastfeeding


Hands-on Modalities to Improve Feeding Readiness and Outcomes

In this course (intended for OT, SLP, PT, and RN/IBCLC), you’ll learn the benefits, indications, and contraindications of infant massage, and the importance of facilitating smooth state transitions in infants for better breastfeeding outcomes.


Gain hands-on skills and confidence in the art and practice of infant massage. 


Ready to get started?

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Bodywork for Better Breastfeeding Learning Objectives: 


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


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Let's Look Inside the Course

Here‚Äôs the breakdown of what‚Äôs in this bodywork course so you can make an informed decision and expand your infant massage skillset.¬†Take your time ‚ÄĒ you have access to this self-paced course for 6 months. You‚Äôll learn a variety of massage techniques under the umbrella of ‚Äúbodywork.‚ÄĚ and can incorporate them into your sessions as you see fit.¬†

Module One: 25 minutes

Course Introduction

  • Introduction¬†
  • Disclosures¬†
Module two: 2 hour 24 minutes

Infant Anatomy

  • Embryology
  • Skeletal system
  • Muscular system
  • Lymphatic system
Module three: 32 minutes

Neuromotor Development

  • Infant reflex development
  • 4 categories of state regulation
Module four: 1 hour 16 minutes

Infant Massage

  • Benefits
  • Literature review
  • Contraindications
Module five: 52 minutes

Hands-On Practice of Techniques

  • Effleurage
  • Petrissage
  • Compression
  • Myofascial release
  • Trigger point
  • Jostling
Module six: 1 hour 42 minutes

Effleurage & Other Techniques

  • Effleurage (prone, side-lying, supine)
  • Myofascial release
  • Trigger point
  • Case¬†study: Full session with 3-month-old
Module seven: 52 minutes

Course Summary

  • Wrap-up
  • Case example: Full session with¬†34 week old
  • Case example: Full session with 5-month-old (twins)

If you’ve ever been unclear about bodywork, you’re not alone.

Bodywork is a term used to describe many forms of hands-on modalities such as infant massage


Course Instructor


Emily Knell Spaeth

Dr. Emily Spaeth grew up in Oakland, California where she started her career in the world of babies working in a nursery at the age of 12.¬† Emily studied sociology and music in undergrad at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Her thesis examined yoga as a ‚Äėthird place‚Äô and it seemed only natural to pursue a career as a yoga teacher (RPYT). After training with Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she returned to the pacific northwest to attend East West College of the Healing Arts for massage therapy school. Ever-inspired, she had to learn more.¬†

After opening her first business in 2012, which blended yoga and bodywork, she started the journey of taking prerequisites for a doctoral program in physical therapy. Emily graduated from Samuel Merritt University in her hometown with a degree as a doctor of physical therapy (DPT), and specialized as a Certified Neonatal Therapist (CNT) in a level IV NICU, where she has created training for healthcare professionals in the hospital system in providing age-appropriate, trauma-informed neuro-developmental care. 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), and Advanced Certified Infant Massage Teacher (CIMT¬†II). She has continued her studies in pelvic floor physical therapy studying¬†Holistic Pelvic Care‚ĄĘ and¬†Pelvic Floor Yoga‚ĄĘ.¬†¬†

She finally found her calling when she started blending lactation support with physical therapy, yoga, and bodywork, in her business Be Well Baby PDX and is now an IBCLC. Her business helps to support families pre-conception through postpartum. 

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 or chestfeeding. Finally, Emily enjoys hiking, baking, and snuggling with her own kids. 


AOTA Approved Provider & IBLCE Long-Term Provider

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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  RN, LMT, DO, or DC would also find great value in the course. 


Are there prerequisites for this course?

RN and SLP with prior manual therapy/bodywork coursework (i.e. craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, massage, etc.). Since the review of anatomy is fast-paced, we want to ensure a positive learning experience for each professional.

Contact us at¬†[email protected]¬†if you have questions.


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 will not have CEUs directly submitted to ASHA. You will receive a certificate of completion and can use the CEUs towards the 30 PDHs required for each 3-year certification.


Information about CEUs for Physical Therapists

APTA does not currently have an approved provider program for individual companies. If you need any information to submit to your state, please send us an email. We meet the requirements for multiple organizations and we are happy to provide any documentation that you may need.


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.

Learn more from Emily!

Infant Development for Better Breastfeeding
  • Focused on birth through 6 months

  • A month-by-month review of¬†reflexes, sensory, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive/communication skills

  • ¬†0.85 AOTA CEUs 0.85 ASHA CEUs, 6.5 L-CERPs¬†

Learn More¬† ‚ěĚ

Gain 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 ‚ÄĒ¬†you‚Äôll be able to provide client-centered, responsive treatments and improved clinical reasoning.¬†


IBLCE Long-Term Provider

8.0 L-CERPs