Prenatal Partners, Birth Prep Yoga and Massage

Practical hands on tools to ease discomforts in pregnancy and support childbirth
4.7 (9 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a
course's star rating by considering a number of different factors
such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the
likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
112 students enrolled
Instructed by Jane Austin Health & Fitness / Yoga
62% off
Take This Course
  • Lectures 14
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 12/2015 English

Course Description

This Prenatal Partners workshop is designed to educate couples on how to use the tools of yoga in pregnancy and childbirth. You will learn breath awareness practices, partner yoga postures and massage techniques that can help strengthen and relax the body and soothe the mind during the birth process. These approaches will give you the opportunity to connect more deeply to yourself, your partner and your baby. The course will help birth companions support expecting mothers physically and emotionally in labor and birth. No yoga experience is required. This workshop is less about yoga and more about practicing tools to help in labor.

This practice is divided into 13 lectures. I recommend doing the entire 90 minute practice first and at least once. Then repeat any section you find helpful. I also recommend doing the massage often and deep relaxation section every day. Use the video instruction as needed and once you are comfortable with the massage techniques, you can do them on your own.

It is important to have fun and not to take it too seriously. Enjoy each other, laugh a little, and have a good time! Remember laughing is good for mama and baby!

What are the requirements?

  • For optimum comfort, couples should have two yoga mats or a non-slip surface, two blankets, two firm pillows or cushions, a large towel or scarf, and a chair. Don’t worry if you don’t have all of these items. Improvise with what you have on hand.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • support a laboring woman with massage and supported postures. The course will help birth companions support mama physically and emotionally in labor and birth.

Who is the target audience?

  • Those who plan to be present at the labor and birth. It is designed for intimate partners, but friends and family may benefit from some of the sections.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

Yoga is an excellent way to prepare the mind, body and spirit for the many transitions of pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood. In this course you will learn techniques for breath awareness, partner poses and massage, which can help strengthen and relax your body, and sooth your mind during the birth process. These techniques may be helpful for natural birth or medically assisted birth.

Additionally, these approaches will give you the opportunity to connect more deeply to yourself, your partner and your baby. We will also explore visualization and relaxation techniques that can further assist you during childbirth.

This practice is divided into 13 lectures. I recommend doing the entire 90 minute practice first and at least once. Then repeat any section you find helpful. I also recommend doing the massage often and deep relaxation section every day. Use the video instruction as needed and once you are comfortable with the massage techniques, you can do them on your own.

Section 2: Meditation and Breath Awareness

This deep wave breath is calming to body and mind. Tapping into the wave breath activates the relaxation response in the body. This breath can be a very effective tool in the labor and birth process to keep mama focused and relaxed. When a woman is relaxed in labor her uterus receives optimal blood flow. A well oxygenated uterus functions more efficiently. Healthy blood flow is healthy for mom and babe!


The touch relaxation is a simple yet powerful tool to connect a woman and her partner. It is not uncommon that, as a mama and partner busily prepare for the arrival of their baby, they sometimes forget about one another. This is a great exercise to keep that sweet connection as you prepare your nest for your baby. It is important to remember that you are at the beginning of a lifelong relationship with your child. Staying connected to each other will help you better welcome your baby into your lives.

Using touch, the partner will help mama relax her body, so that when the time comes, she can soften and open for birth.

Section 3: Warm Up

The shoulder work is meant to be challenging! This practice is used to help access the deep conscious breath when things get hard. When we step outside of our comfort zone, we have the opportunity to use our breath as a tool to soften and let go. The inhale is used as fuel to feed the muscles as they begin to fatigue with the effort of the shoulder work. We are reminded that our muscles need oxygen to function so we deepen the breath to support this effort. The exhale supports the body and mind to let go of any gripping or holding that might accompany this effort.

It is also important to maintain or build strong arms so you can do the work of parenting, which requires a lot of baby holding! Your baby will want to be held ALL the time. With practice you will get stronger and by the time your babe arrives you will have a strong body and a calm mind.


Hands and knees position is helpful to take pressure off a pregnant and laboring woman's back. It literally gets baby off her back. The cat stretch helps reduce tension in the muscles that support the spine.

Hip circles and figure eight movements create suppleness in the muscles of the back, hips and buttocks. These movements are particularly good for mamas who have a tendency to grip in the booty. It is important to be able to let these muscles go in order to make more room for the baby to move through the pelvis.

Flowy cat is also another great pose to encourage baby into mama's belly hammock. Also great in labor!

Section 4: Massage Techniques and Hip Opening

Massage in child's pose Child pose can be a comfortable resting pose and the birth partner has good access to her back for massage. It is important for partners to be mindful of their own breath when placing their hands on mama. This massage uses a slow, firm and downward stroke.

The rebozo shimmy is a great way to help release tightness in the back, hips and bottom.

Massage in hands and knees Mama can also rest arms on a chair.


One sided squats are a great way to gently open up the pelvis, making room for baby. This hip opener is deep and powerful. This position can be used in labor and birthing.

Polar bear pose is a calming pose. It is a super helpful resting pose in labor.


Light touch massage (or in French effleurage) is sometimes described as little more than a caress. Using the fingernail side of the hand, it is a very gentle stroking action that primarily affects the upper layers of skin and the nerve receptors associated with it. It is not a scratch, use the flat part of the fingernail, not the tip. It will often initiate a "goose bump" response. This promotes relaxation, and can alleviate pain because the body releases endorphins in response to the skimming touch...especially if it is performed by someone she loves. In this case, oxytocin may also be released. Oxytocin is the love hormone! This hormone is released, causing the uterus to contract in labor AND when a woman is having an orgasm. This light touch helps relax mama and stimulate labor; it is a very powerful tool to use in labor.

Section 5: Toe Curling Practice

Thai goddess pose or intense toe stretch pose is a challenging pose. Breath, touch and sound can be used to support mama through the intensity of the posture. This practice gives the partner a couple of hands on tools to help mama.

Just as in labor, there is space to rest between the postures. It is important to remember that rest is also a powerful tool. The body and mind need this time to recuperate and refuel.

Section 6: Partner Yoga Poses

Standing pose sequence

This standing pose practice is designed to build strength and stamina. If you feel pain, discomfort or dizziness in a posture, please discontinue the pose.

Even standing posture (mountain pose), standing V, warrior two, side angle pose, goddess pose with lions breath

Use this practice to connect and support one another and have fun. Enjoy each other, be silly if you want. Laughing in the practice is encouraged!


Supported Squats can be very helpful tools in labor. A deep squat can open the pelvic outlet and make more room for baby to come through. Mama may find some squats more comfortable than others. Practice the ones that feel good to you. If mama feels strain or discomfort in any of the postures, please discontinue the posture. It is also very important that the partner not strain when supporting mama in the various squat poses. Protect the back by using your legs when lifting.

Have fun; feel free to play around with the different squat options. Sometimes partners make great birth stools!

Section 7: Standing Massage Techniques

Standing massage

Sometimes laboring mamas are more comfortable standing or leaning against a chair or bed when being massaged. This forward leaning position takes pressure off the back. Many mamas naturally lean forward in labor; it places the uterus in its most efficient position.

Downward moving strikes work really well for most mamas. Pressure on the sacrum (back of pelvis) can provide counter pressure if baby is pressing on mama's back in labor. The low back and inner thigh massage techniques can help reduce discomfort in the back, hips and thighs. The shimmy massage helps a woman let go of gripping in the inner thighs and buttocks. Have fun shaking the apple tree!

Section 8: Final Relaxation

Finally, the savasana or deep relaxation! Come to any comfortable reclined position, it is important that you are very comfortable. Use whatever pillow or support you need.

The Special Place meditation supports the body and mind to relax. Make time in your day and in your life to do this guided meditation.

The positive affirmations about pregnancy and childbirth can help women feel more confident, supported and relaxed. This is good for mama and babe.

This deep relaxation exercise can be done every day to promote a positive attitude and a sense of well being. It can be used at the end of the day to help mama sleep!

Entire Class (play all the way through)

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

Instructor Biography

Jane Austin, Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga Teacher

Passionate about yoga and the transformative power of motherhood, Jane specializes in teaching prenatal and postnatal yoga. For two decades she has worked with mamas, not only as a yoga teacher but also as a midwife, doula (labor assistant) and childbirth educator. Informed by years of experience of working in the field of women’s health, she is uniquely suited to instruct yoga for the childbearing year. She weaves this breadth of experience into her classes in a warm and humorous, yet thoughtful way.

Jane is a certified yoga teacher and a registered yoga teacher trainer. She is the founder and director of Mama Tree, a yoga school dedicated to training yoga teachers and birth professionals to teach prenatal and postnatal yoga. Her school attracts students from all over the world. She also teaches the Yoga in Pregnancy component of many yoga teacher trainings including Yoga Tree in San Francisco. By training teachers, it is her mission to help make yoga available to all mothers who wish to practice.

Her teaching has been influenced by many teachers and traditions, including Ashtanga, and Iyengar, She has studied yoga philosophy and chanting extensively with Kate Holcombe of the Healing Yoga Foundation. Among her most inspirational teachers have been the many mamas and couples she has worked with over the years. A lifelong student, Jane continues to explore the many facets of this ancient tradition.

Although yoga provides the framework for her spiritual practice, it is her experience as a mother that has given her true opportunity for spiritual growth. Perhaps her most influential teachers are her own children, who reminder her very day to take her own advice and take a deep breath! 

It is with great enthusiasm and joy that she shares her passion with others! For more info about trainings and workshops go to


Ready to start learning?
Take This Course