Baby Growth at 33 Weeks Pregnant
At this point, you are nearly halfway through the third trimester. At this stage your baby has reached the length they will be at birth, but will continue to gain about a half a pound each week. This is partially due to fat stores being deposited under the skin. Speaking of storage, iron, calcium and phosphorus are also being slowly built up and stored as well, good thing you’ve been taking your prenatal!
Your baby’s bones are starting to harden, but the skull will remain soft as it needs to be pliable for delivery. As far as growth is concerned, your little one is about the size of a butternut squash at approximately 17 inches and between 4.5-5 pounds. At this stage of pregnancy, babies grow at different rates so don’t be alarmed if the measurements don’t align perfectly.
Their brain and nervous system are fully developed and your baby is continuing to perfect the art of thumb sucking, swallowing skills, and mastering their breathing technique. Your little bundle can now hear what is happening outside of the womb and can even recognize your voice!
Their eyes are developed enough that their pupils respond to changes in light. Your baby is even acting like a newborn, closing their eyes when asleep and opening them while awake. At this point your baby has an independent immune system, ready to take on life outside the womb!
You and Your Body at Pregnancy 33 Weeks
You should have a total weight gain of between 22-28 pounds by week 33. Even so, you might be feeling extra sexy around this time in your pregnancy with an increased libido. Adjustments may be necessary but for most women it’s perfectly fine to have sex during pregnancy all the way up until labor starts or your water breaks.
Toting around a volleyball-sized belly is no joke! You may be struggling to sleep and who wouldn’t? With all the frequent bathroom breaks, swelling or restlessness in your legs along with other unpleasant symptoms like heartburn, no wonder you’ve been dealing with insomnia. Stressing about that to-do list before the baby's arrival could also be to blame for ongoing sleeplessness.
Momma needs to make sure she is getting plenty of rest. While it might seem like good practice for when your baby comes to be up all hours of the night, you should prioritize getting adequate sleep as much as possible. Here’s a quick list of things to avoid before bed: extra screen time from your phone or TV, strenuous exercise, or eating and drinking 1-2 hours before lying down.
Get yourself comfortable and relaxed. Try a warm bath or aromatherapy. Ask your partner for a foot rub or a back massage. If you need to, use extra pillows! If you’re still struggling to wind down, try listening to relaxing music, having a cup of decaf tea, or reading a book to relax.
Typical Symptoms at 33 Weeks Pregnant
You may be feeling more out of breath as your baby takes up more space in your abdomen. This puts pressure on your diaphragm, which can affect the ease of breathing. Take your time and take it easy for the next several weeks.
You may also experience rib pain at this stage. During pregnancy the ribs expand, which puts pressure on your chest and the baby may push or kick into your rib bones. Make sure you are stretching often, paying attention to your posture and move around to other positions if you feel discomfort. If you need to take extra breaks, get your rest momma!
Other symptoms may include:
- Leg swelling
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Itchy skin
- Abdominal cramping
If you have developed a sudden urge to clean, sanitize, and organize the house from top to bottom, welcome to your “nesting” phase. Nesting is an instinctual way of preparing for birth. You may have already experienced it, or it may sneak up on you in a later week of pregnancy. Take advantage of the newfound motivation and complete items that you may not have yet like your baby’s nursery, hospital bag, or preparing for postpartum.
Pregnancy Week 33 Tips and Advice
If you haven’t started packing your hospital bag, this is a good week to start! Things that you should consider including are:
- Comfy clothes
- Heavy-flow maxi pads
- Nursing pads
- Nursing Bra
- Nipple cream
- Clothes for baby
- Personal care items
If you drive a car, you also need to be prepared to have your car seat ready to take your baby home in. Make sure the carseat is new and that it is properly installed in your car. If you need help with installation, most fire departments have a certified car seat installer that would be happy to help.
You will continue seeing your OB or midwife every two weeks for the rest of your pregnancy, so make sure you are prepared beforehand with any questions you may have about your upcoming big day!
You may want to participate in childbirth education classes, especially if this is your first pregnancy, to prepare yourself for delivery. You can learn different ways to cope during labor, different positions to labor in, and stretches and exercises to encourage labor to progress. It is also helpful for your partner to attend these classes to learn how to support and advocate for you while in labor.