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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Davis, LMT, CNMT

Top Book Recommendations for Prenatal Massage Therapists & Our Pregnant Clients

Prenatal Massage Therapist, Samantha Davis holds a stack of books  (all reviewed below) and peeks over the stack.

When I decided to change specialties, I was 10+ years into my career as a Licensed Massage Therapist. I found a passion for Postpartum Massage and wanted to learn as much as I could to specialize in Prenatal and Postpartum Massage Therapy. As an avid reader, I turned to books as my main resource (in addition to taking a top tier comprehensive Pre- and Perinatal Massage continuing education course!)

Below were the books that were either required reading for my Prenatal Massage continuing education, recommended reading from the same course, or books that I felt would help enrich my understanding of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum through my own research. These are all books I would recommend, but some will be better suited for certain people, and I've included that in my recommendation notes.


Cover Image for textbook: Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy by Carole Osborne, et. al.

1. Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy

by Carole Osborne, Michele Kolakowski, and David M. Lobenstine

This book states on the cover that it is a comprehensive guide to prenatal, labor, and postpartum practice. It is intended to be read ahead of attending the continuing education course, and includes a wealth of information about physiological changes during pregnancy and postpartum, guidelines for practicing in a safe, and evidence based way, and of course includes techniques and skills in print that are then learned in person at the continuing education. This book was an invaluable resource to lay the groundwork for me to learn and subsequently provide safe and evidence based massage therapy for pregnant and postpartum clients.

10/10 Recommend to LMTs taking the course.

Book cover: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Penny Simkin, et al

2- Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn the Complete Guide

by Penny Simkin, PT et. al.

I love this book! I reference this book almost as much as Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy. This book does an excellent job of providing up to date information in an inclusive, and non-judgemental way. It contains information on choosing a pregnancy care provider, what support you can expect from a doula, what you can expect in each trimester, and postpartum. In an era of oversupplied information and opinion given like it's fact based, this is a welcome resource when Google is just too dang much! I reference this book in many of my blog posts as well, such as this one on Movement Is Medicine.

10/10 Recommend for Prenatal Massage Therapists, Parents, Spouses, & Birth Workers

Book Cover: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

3- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

by Ina May Gaskin

This book is a beautiful collection of birth stories that highlights the strength and wisdom of women's bodies. It is an excellent explanation of the Midwifery Model of Care and of physiologic birth. While I truly love this book, and the amazing ways Ina May Gaskin has had a positive influence on women's health, it is not an inclusive read, which is why it gets 9/10 from me.

9/10 Recommend for Prenatal Massage Therapists, Parents, Spouses, & Birth Workers

book cover: expecting better by emily oster

4- Expecting Better

by Emily Oster

I read this book because I love that author Emily Oster is presenting fact based information so you can make an educated decision surrounding so many topics in your pregnancy and birth. Too often women and pregnant people are told what to do, without any supporting information, or even reason why. Knowledge is the foundation of being able to self advocate and make decisions that feel right for you.

10/10 Recommend for Prenatal Massage Therapists, Parents, Spouses, & Birth Workers

book cover: Supporting Queer Birth by AJ Silver

5- Supporting Queer Birth

by AJ Silver

I love this book! I provide a safe space for all women and pregnant people to receive the benefits of Prenatal Massage. This book helped me gain confidence in curating an authentically welcoming and affirming experience for all of my queer, non-binary, and trans clients. I posted a book review about this book, if you want more detailed information on it!

10/10 Recommend for Prenatal Massage Therapists, Parents, Spouses, & Birth Workers

book cover: What god is honored here?

6- What God Is Honored Here?

by Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang

Pregnancy and neonatal loss is common, and yet, remains an almost taboo subject. This can have the effect of leaving the bereaved feeling disconnected from support when they need it the most. Reading this book allowed me to learn from the experiences of loss from Native Women and Women of Color. These groups are disproportionately affected by infant and maternal death. As a white, cis-gendered woman who has never been pregnant, I'm so grateful to have this book as a resource.

10/10 Recommend to Prenatal Massage Therapists, Parents & Spouses who need support through grief, & Birth Workers

book cover: holding space by Amy Wright Glenn

7- Holding Space: On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go

by Amy Wright Glenn

This book does a beautiful job of conceptualizing "Holding Space." The information is presented in a way that is accepting of all faith/non-faith backgrounds, and is written through the lens of the experiences of author Amy Wright Glenn as a hospital Chaplain and birth doula. This is a great resource to better understand how to best support each other through the universal experience of grief, while acknowledging that each person's experience is unique to the

10/10 Recommend to Prenatal Massage Therapists, Parents & Spouses who need support through grief, & Birth Workers


I hope you've enjoyed these book recommendations! All opinions are my own, and I am not affiliated with, nor do I receive any compensation from, any of the authors/organizations listed above. I just truly believe that they are excellent resources! For your convenience, I've linked each book to the author's website, when available, and amazon when necessary. I receive no financial compensation should you choose to purchase any title for your own library. Happy reading!

Photo of Samantha Davis with text: about the author: Samantha Davis, LMT, CNMT Prenatal and Postpartum Massage Therapist KY LMT 271448

Hi, I'm Samantha, owner and Licensed Massage Therapist at Gaia Massage, LLC. I'm here to empower women, pregnant people, and new parents, to help them feel better through massage therapy techniques specialized for pregnancy, and through sharing knowledge, tips, & tricks for self care!

Button with text: Work with me! Click here to schedule a session.

Button with text: learn more about Gaia Massage


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