Survey of Graduates of Maternity Massage Therapy Certification Courses Developed by Carole Osborne
Conducted Spring 2009
After almost 3 decades of teaching maternity bodywork and massage, I wanted to know many things including: Who of my former students are practicing this work and where? What percentage of their practice is prenatal work? What are therapists’ fees and practice settings like? With these and other questions in mind, I undertook the task of surveying graduates of my childbearing-related certification courses.
An experienced public health researcher, Jane Serling MSPH, and I pilot tested and then finalized a questionnaire. We then mailed or emailed them to more than 3000 therapists from as far back as the mid-1980s on. We received 247 surveys over a two-month period, which was a response rate of only about 8%. This low response rate was the one predominant methodological limitation. In full recognition that this might not represent all practitioners, we reached some meaningful conclusions from what we had.
Despite the shortcomings, this information provided by massage therapists from across the country gives us an unprecedented glimpse into the practices of those who pursued 32 hours or more of hands-on training in pregnancy, labor, and postpartum massage. It paints some broad strokes for your consideration.