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Week 33 of Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

Baby’s Development|Body and Life Changes|Your Doctor Visits|Health and Safety
Week 33 of Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

Baby’s Development

How is my baby growing?

Week 33 of pregnancy baby development means the infant has reached their eighth month and will be ready for the world in around 30 days. At this point, a mother and her partner can expect even more big changes.

Your infant is between 16 and 17 inches long and could grow another inch by week 33 of pregnancy baby development. The baby is over four and a half pounds and gaining half a pound of weight per week. They may gain a third of their weight before they are born or double that amount.

The growing life in your uterus is also maxing out your amniotic fluid. This means you have more baby than amniotic fluid. Your baby begins to move less now as they run out of room and curl up with knees bent, chin resting on chest, and arms and legs crossed.

The baby can now open their eyes while awake and close them when asleep.

The uterine walls are getting thinner, so more light enters the womb, and your baby can tell the difference between night and day.

Your baby’s brain is also growing tremendously. Its circumference has grown to nearly 13 cm (0.5 inches) by week 33 of pregnancy baby development. The baby is also seeing the liquid world, and feeling sensations when grabbing a toe or sucking a finger. They can taste the surrounding amniotic fluid and hear your heart as it beats.

Your baby’s nervous system is now in place.

Body and Life Changes

How is my body changing?

By week 33 of pregnancy baby development, your body is preparing for childbirth, so it is undergoing many seen and unseen changes.

The obvious ones are a growing tummy, fuller breasts, and heavier weight. Other visible changes include:

  • Varicose veins. They may be unflattering, but they may vanish after childbirth.
  • Round ligament pain. Symptoms consist of an aching tummy when you change positions or get up at once. There is no need to worry as long as this happens only once in a while and is not accompanied by fever, chills or bleeding.
  • Shortness of breath. Your growing belly is pushing everything out of the way – your lungs included. You may feel discomfort while your baby gets the oxygen they need from your placenta. Stand straight as much as possible to give your lungs more room.
  • Clumsiness. Your growing belly changes your center of gravity and makes you clumsy. Slow down and take it easy.
  • Foggy brain due to insomnia. You might become more forgetful.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions. Moms who have given birth usually feel these contractions. Even the strongest contractions usually go away when you change position — from sitting to lying down, sitting to walking around, etc. These contractions help prepare the mother for labor.
  • Fetal movement in the morning and at night. Count each wiggle, roll, kick, and flutter until you reach 10. Less than 10 movements after an hour mean your baby requires an energy boost. Get some snacks, take some juice, lie down, and count again.
  • Elusive sleep. Three in four pregnant women experience third-trimester insomnia due to hormonal changes, midnight bathroom trips, leg cramps, heartburn, a growing belly, and bouts of anxiety.

What should I be concerned about?

At week 33 of pregnancy baby development, women must pay attention to:

  • Swollen feet. Go horizontal as often as possible, and lie on your left side to take the pressure off your blood vessels and reduce swelling.
  • Breastfeeding concerns. Now is the best time to try breastfeeding positions. You can also read articles and watch videos on breastfeeding.
  • Rooming-in provisions. Check the hospital’s rooming-in facilities and policies, so you can share your room with your newborn round the clock. Studies show this is best for you and your baby, who will enjoy the health and emotional benefits of breastfeeding.

Try getting lactose-free milk or taking lactase capsules along with dairy. Yogurt has good bacteria. Limit your milk intake to half a cup at a time.

  • Back pain. Avoid this common problem by bending your knees instead of your back when picking up objects. Try to avoid carrying heavy objects. Try Pilates or aquanatal classes for a stronger back.
  • Carpal tunnel. Many expectant moms experience swelling in the area around the wrist nerves because of water retention. This will go away after childbirth.
  • Overheating. This happens because your metabolic rate is up.
  • Headaches. Hormone fluctuations, stress, and dehydration at week 33 of pregnancy baby development can bring headaches. Rest well and drink lots of water.

Your Doctor Visits

What should I tell my doctor?

Things to discuss during your next doctor’s appointment at week 33 of pregnancy baby development include:

  • Your weight
  • Your blood pressure and urine
  • Early labor signs and how to manage them
  • Your birth plans and what you aim to do should problems, like premature labor, arise
  • Your breastfeeding practices and how you will feed the baby after
  • Your worries, like recovery time, an emergency Caesarian operation, an overdue delivery, etc.

What tests should I know about?

Tests to expect at week 33 of pregnancy baby development include:

  • Fetal heart monitoring. This is done during pregnancy, labor, and delivery to check your baby’s heart rate.
  • Non-stress test. This weekly test for high-risk pregnancies measures the baby’s heart while it moves.
  • Contraction stress test. Also used for high-risk pregnancies, this fetal monitor checks the baby’s heart rate as a response to contractions due to oxytocin or nipple stimulation. Doctors use the data to tell how the baby will cope with labor stress.
  • Biophysical profile. This is done with ultrasound or with a nonstress test and ultrasound combined.

Health and Safety

What should I know about being healthy and safe while pregnant?

Staying healthy and safe at week 33 weeks of pregnancy baby development will help you and your child. Here’s what you can do.

  • Take more calcium. Take malunggay supplements, which are a good source of the nutrient. It also prevents constipation. Other sources of calcium are cheese, fortified fruit juice made of oranges, cranberry and others, and soy milk.
  • Lighten up on weights. Heavy weights add pressure on your body and can lead to blood flow problems in the uterus.
  • Sleep on your side. Studies link sleeping on your back with a higher risk of stillbirth. Sleep on your side even during daytime naps.
  • Try yoga. It practices your muscles and does not strain your joints. It also helps you with breathing techniques.
  • Get some sun for a few minutes daily. This makes your body produce vitamin D.
  • Take omega-3 fatty acids. Studies say that babies whose mothers took omega-3 fatty acids (DHA) found in fish oils have an advantage when it comes to early development. DHA also prevents premature labor and guards against postpartum depression.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says eating eight to 12 ounces (two to three meals) a week is good for you. Go for shellfish which are low in mercury, like shrimp, tilapia, salmon, catfish, and pollack.
  • Stay comfortable. Take a warm bath and a warm cup of milk before going to bed. Refrain from exercising, eating, or drinking before bedtime, and get a good massage.

Hello Health Group does not offer any advice, diagnosis, or medical treatment.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Maridol Ranoa-Bismark Updated May 08, 2020
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.