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33 Weeks Pregnant: Week by Week Pregnancy

Symptoms, Tips and Fetal Development

 

Congratulations, the big day is coming fast! The last few weeks of your pregnancy will fly by, so it's time to get all the big stuff out of the way if you haven't already. 

Your baby is almost fully formed now, meaning you may be feeling more uncomfortable than ever. Read on to discover what you can expect at 33 weeks pregnant.

Baby at 33 weeks pregnant

It's time to get tropical! At 33 weeks, your baby is the size of a cantaloupe or pineapple. If fruits aren't your thing, think of your child as being the size of a head of celery. He's about 19 inches long and 4.5 pounds heavy, so he's got a bit more to gain before he's ready to come into the world. In these remaining seven weeks, your baby will almost double his weight.

Still, in terms of bones and organs, your baby is is pretty much fully formed. He's looking and acting much more like a child outside the womb now in that he closes his eyes while sleeping (often at night) and keeps them open while awake.

weekly development of a human fetus at week 33 of pregnancy
Development of a human fetus at week 33 of pregnancy

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, his immune system is forming. The umbilical cord is passing antibodies from you to your little one, which will help protect him from illness during those first few moments of life.

Your body at 33 weeks pregnant

At 33 weeks, you've likely added anywhere from 21 to 28 pounds. You have more baby than amniotic fluid inside your uterus at this point, so you'll feel his every move and wiggle. This means, unfortunately, that his kicks will feel sharper.

At this point, you may notice a lot of swelling in your hands and feet. These symptoms are normal in pregnant women, but they're sometimes signs of preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition affecting approximately 10 percent of moms. Make sure to keep up with your doctor's appointments, and call 9-1-1 or your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you experience sudden high blood pressure, severe headaches or abdominal pain, shortness of breath or vision problems.

woman with visible fetus at 33 weeks pregnant
Development of a visible fetus at 33 weeks pregnant.

On a less serious note, you might also notice varicose veins showing up. These are swollen blood vessels that rise above the surface of the skin and cause purplish lumps. Considering that your body is producing more blood for your growing child who is putting pressure on your uterus, plus the extra progesterone in your body, it's no wonder such swelling shows up. Varicose veins are common along the legs but can show up anywhere on your lower half. If you want to get rid of them, here are a few tricks:

  • Elevate your legs when possible.
  • Do some low-impact exercises.
  • Wear support hose.
  • Sleep on your left side.
  • Consume lots of vitamin C.

33 weeks pregnant ultrasound

An ultrasound at 33 weeks will show your little one looking more like a normal baby. His skin is smoothing out, his body is mostly fully formed, and even his hair and toenails are all grown in. You might also see your little one blinking, breathing and swallowing as he prepares for life on the outside.

At this point in your pregnancy, your doctor may order an ultrasound as part of a biophysical profile for high-risk pregnancies. The ultrasound helps the doctor estimate your child's movement, muscle tone and breathing, as well as the amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus. 

33 weeks is how many months pregnant?

Thirty-three weeks is just shy of eight months pregnant.

Common symptoms at 33 weeks pregnant

Your delivery date is close at hand, meaning this might be the most physically intense period of your pregnancy. All those symptoms you hear about are hitting you now, including:

  • Clumsiness. It's not easy adjusting to a giant belly. Your center of gravity has shifted, and you don't have the same range of motion you had when you were smaller. You might be a little more of a klutz than usual, so just take things slow and keep a firm grip on any hot mugs of herbal tea. 
  • Shortness of breath. If your baby hasn't dropped yet, he'll still be taking a little space away from your lungs. Feeling short of breath might continue for a little while, as every mom's baby drops at its own pace. Lucky for you, most babies make their move around this time, so you shouldn't have to wait long.
  • Your metabolic rate is pretty high right now, so your body is generating a lot of heat. Try relaxing with your feet up and taking cool showers. Also, drink more water to make sure you stay hydrated.
  • Exhaustion/Insomnia. At this point, you're probably having trouble getting a good night's sleep. Your mind is racing through all the things you need to get done, your body aches, you have to use the bathroom during all hours of the night and, to top it all off, your hormones are going nuts. But, quality sleep is more important than ever, so do what you can to get a night of rest. Start winding down an hour before bed time, do some gentle yoga, use essential oils — whatever you can to sleep.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions. You might start feeling some light contractions if you haven't already. These are just your body preparing for labor and are nothing to be worried about.

Pregnancy checklist at 33 weeks pregnant

It's not go time just yet, but you're close enough to where you should start preparing for your delivery day.

  • Install a car seat. Finding the right model for your budget, car and baby can take some time, so start researching now. Learn what types of seats are best for newborns (rear-facing, convertible or all-in-one) as well as the installation system your car needs (seat belt or LATCH). If you have trouble securing the seat yourself, consult a certified specialist for help.
  • Attend a breastfeeding class. A full course usually lasts a few weeks, so now is the perfect time to start. Many women are upset to find out that breastfeeding doesn't always come naturally, so a class can help you prepare and get rid of any anxieties you have.
    Your baby is almost here, so don't put things off until the last minute.

What to Expect at 34 Weeks Pregnant

 

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