As you enter the third trimester, you are probably feeling well and are counting the days until the big day—delivery of the baby that you have carried for six months. The next three months will be exciting as you watch and feel your baby growing and make preparations for Baby’s arrival. Prenatal massage offers effective holistic relaxation and therapy during this important time.
Medical Appointments become more frequent. Be sure to follow medical advice and keep your appointments. Pregnancy is very normal and health professionals will assist you to prepare for a safe and healthy delivery. You should continue diet, exercise and medical routines from your first two trimesters unless advised otherwise by your doctor. These appointments can be exciting as your baby’s birth approaches.
In the Next Three Months You Can Expect significant increase in the size of Baby and your tummy. You will also experience increased size of your breasts, hips, legs and feet. Your doctor will advise you how much weight gain or swelling is normal. You can also expect more baby movement, which will give you comfort because you will know Baby is alive and well. You may start walking with the “pregnancy waddle.” You will notice other changes as you get ready for labor. Some pregnant moms will get leg cramps or numbness in arms or fingers at night. Share with your therapist your concerns so that you are more comfortable and relaxed.
Pregnancy Can Take a Toll on Your Body. Swollen legs, restlessness, fatigue, and headaches are common, especially as the due date approaches. Your shoulders, back, hips and legs will ache and you will tire more easily. Stress is often very high as you prepare for transitions in essentially every aspect of your life.
Massage for Happy Mom and Healthy Baby. Most moms enjoy relaxation during third trimester massage sessions. A skilled therapist also provides effective relief of aches, pains, muscle spasms and cramps, swelling and even numbness. As your baby grows and you approach your due date, your joints begin to loosen from the relaxin hormone that prepares you for labor, but creates discomforts and feeling “loose” with movements. Therapists with special training help the pelvis stay aligned, more comfortable and ready for delivery.
Instruction and Specialized Therapy. Your prenatal massage therapist will help you prepare for labor. Your specialized therapy will include massage treatment, information, instruction and encouragement to help with labor and delivery.
Labor Preparation. Massage therapy relaxes and provides flexibility to birthing muscles, and develops kinesthetic awareness for birthing. Many studies show that labor is shorter with fewer complications for massage clients and there is a lower incidence of C-sections. Massage can improve labor outcome by preparing the pelvis and hip muscles, reducing stress levels and increasing your confidence and knowledge before labor starts. Massage during labor by a midwife or doula is also very effective in facilitating successful labor and delivery. Health scores of babies at delivery are higher when moms receive massage therapy in the last months.