You and Your Baby at Week 33 of Your Pregnancy

(10 minute read)

You and Your Baby at Week 33 of Your Pregnancy

Week 33

As you enter week 33 of your pregnancy, filled with anticipation and curiosity, this crucial stage marks significant strides for your baby's development, as well as remarkable changes in your body. Understanding these changes is vital for both your well-being and the healthy growth of your baby. So, what's happening in week 33? Read on to find out...

How Big is Baby at 33 Weeks?

At 33 weeks, your baby is rapidly approaching his or her final birth size. Typically, babies are about the size of a pineapple, measuring around 43.7cm in length and weighing approximately 4 to 5 pounds, or 1.8 to 2.26kg. However, it's important to remember that these numbers can vary. Your doctor or midwife will monitor your baby's growth through ultrasounds and fundal height measurements (the distance between the top of your uterus and your pubic bone).

During this week, the baby's bones are hardening, except for the skull, which remains soft and flexible, which makes the journey through the birth canal a bit easier. Your baby's brain and nervous system are now fully developed, and the eyes can detect light. The lungs are also maturing, preparing for breathing outside the womb.

Your Body at 33 Weeks

As your body accommodates a rapidly growing baby, you'll notice several changes. Your uterus is now about 5 inches above your belly button, and you've likely gained between 22 and 28 pounds, though this range can vary based on your pre-pregnancy weight.

One significant change is the increased blood volume, which supports the growing foetus but can also lead to certain symptoms. Your body is also producing more relaxin, a hormone that loosens ligaments and joints in preparation for childbirth. This can result in pelvic discomfort and a change in your centre of gravity, affecting your balance.

 


Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 33

Week 19 Fetus (1)

Several symptoms are common at 33 weeks of pregnancy. These include:

Braxton Hicks Contractions: These "practice" contractions are usually painless and irregular. They help prepare your body for labour but can sometimes be uncomfortable.

Back Pain: As your bump grows, it puts more strain on your back. Good posture, proper lifting techniques, and prenatal exercise can help alleviate back pain.

Heartburn and Indigestion: The growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, which can lead to heartburn. Eating small, frequent meals and avoiding spicy and fatty foods can help.

Swollen Ankles and Feet: Increased fluid retention and blood volume can cause swelling in the ankles and feet. Resting with your feet up and wearing supportive shoes can provide relief.

Shortness of Breath: The expanding uterus may press against your lungs, making it harder to breathe deeply. Try to take things slowly and sit or stand up straight to give your lungs more room to expand.

Urinary Frequency: The pressure of the growing uterus on your bladder can lead to an increased need to urinate.

Nesting Instinct: Many women experience a burst of energy and an urge to prepare their home for the baby, known as the nesting instinct.

Self-Care and Preparing for Baby

This is an essential time for self-care and preparation. Ensure you're getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet, and staying hydrated. Continue with prenatal check-ups and discuss anything that's worrying you with your doctor and midwife provider.

Preparations for baby's arrival should now be well underway, including setting up a nursery, packing a hospital bag, and considering childbirth and parenting classes. It's also a good time to discuss your birth plan with your healthcare provider.

What Should I Pack in My Hospital Bag?

You will need:

  • nappies and clothes for baby
  • spare clothes
  • underwear
  • nightclothes
  • breast pads
  • nursing bras
  • sanitary pads
  • towels
  • wash bag
  • snacks (healthy ones!)

 

In week 33 of pregnancy, your baby and body continue to change and grow rapidly in preparation for the coming weeks and your baby's imminent arrival. Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so always consult with your doctor or midwife for personalised advice and support, or if you have any concerns.

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