Third Trimester

Pregnancy Massage with Pamela McCormack

Third Trimester

The 3rd Trimester is between 28-40 weeks. Your baby looks similar to what he/she will look like at birth only smaller.  At 29 weeks lungs begin to develop and by 32 weeks the brain develops.  Your baby will start to feel more cramped but still has room to move.  You will be feeling the movements stronger and sometimes painful.  You will be gaining more weight as the baby grows and you may find that there is an increased strain on your body, exercise really helps with your posture.  This is the time for preparation for birth and deciding your birth plan.  There are many options for the birth for you to choose from e.g. Home birth, Birthing pool, Hospital birth, caesarean section, choose what option you are comfortable with.  Choose a birthing partner, someone who will support and help you through the birth.  It is vital that you take great care of yourself, rest, exercise, look after your diet and practice your breathing techniques.

At the end of 7 months:

  •        Fetus is 14 to 16 inches long
  •        Weight is about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds
  •        Taste buds have developed
  •        Fat layers are forming
  •        Organs are maturing
  •        Skin is still wrinkled and red

At the end of 8 months:

  •        Fetus is 16 1/2 to 18 inches long
  •        Weight is about 4 to 6 pounds
  •        Overall growth is rapid this month
  •        Tremendous brain growth occurs at this time
  •        Most body organs are now developed with the exception of the lungs
  •        Movements or “kicks” are strong enough to be visible from the outside
  •        Kidneys are mature
  •        Skin is less wrinkled
  •        Fingernails now extend beyond fingertips

 At the end of 9 months:

  •        Fetus is 19 to 20 inches long
  •        Weight is about 7 to 7 1/2 pounds
  •        The lungs are mature
  •        Baby is now fully developed and can survive outside the mother’s body
  •        Skin is pink and smooth
  •        He/she settles down lower in the abdomen in preparation for birth and may seem less active

 Pregnancy Massage in Third Trimester

During this trimester, many women experience some aches & pains due to her exaggerated posture, placing stress on weight-bearing joints and musculature.  The increased blood volume, extra interstitial fluid and weight gain contribute to stiffness and soreness in the body.  Massage helps to alleviate these symptoms by decreasing oedema, increasing venous outflow from the lower extremities and improve the condition of the smooth muscles in for to normalize venous function.

I focus a lot of attention in the last part of the third trimester on supporting the women and encouraging her to tune into her inner strength and wisdom and empower herself for childbirth.  Preparation for labor is a large part of my massage towards the end of the pregnancy.  Breath-work, visualization and work with swiss balls are all used to focus on optimal fetal positioning.  The last trimester brings emotional highs and lows for many women, with the right support, nurturing and understanding this trimester can be a truly enlightening experience in a women’s life.  As the pregnancy nears the end, I use acupressure points to encourage baby into the world.

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