33 Weeks Pregnant: Signs, Baby Development Milestones & Tips

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How Many Months Pregnant Are You At 33 Weeks?

At the 33rd week of pregnancy, you are about seven months and one week pregnant, which means you are in the eighth month of pregnancy.

How Big Is Your Baby At 33 weeks?

In this week, your baby is the size of a pineapple (1). The baby will measure 17.2in (43.7cm) in length and weighs 4.23lb (1.92kg) (2).

Baby Development At 33 Weeks

By this week, the baby gets into a head down position and begins to press down into the cervix. Read on to know how the baby has developed so far.

Body partsDevelopment stage
EyesThe baby can open and close the eyes. Pupils can constrict and dilate in response to light.
Skin (3)Thicker and less wrinkled. Fat continues to deposit beneath the skin layer.
Lungs (4) (5)Are almost fully matured. Rhythmic breathing begins.
Brain and nervous system (6)Fully developed.
BonesStarts to harden, but the skull bones remain soft.
LimbsFully developed with legs curled up towards the chest.
GenitalsIn boys, testicles descend into the scrotum.
ReflexesThe baby can feel, listen and see a little bit.

The movements of the fetus slow down by this week of pregnancy as there isn’t enough space inside the womb. The kick count will also be less this week, ideally around ten kicks in two hours. If you notice a significant drop in the number of kicks, let your doctor know about it.

The symptoms you have been experiencing in the past few weeks will persist this week as well. More about it next.

Did you know?
Your baby’s liver stores enough iron to last for up to four to six months after birth (13).

Symptoms Of Pregnancy At 33 Weeks

Here are the symptoms you may experience during the 33rd week of pregnancy:

  • Weight gain: Weight gain should be as per your BMI (7).
BMIBelow 18.518.5 – 24.925 – 29.930 and Above
Weight gain21-31lb19-27lb11.5-20lb8-16lb
  • As the body works extra to support the pregnancy, your metabolic rate gets higher and extra heat is generated in the body.
  • Stress, dehydration, and hormonal balances can cause a headache.
  • You could experience shortness of breath due to the pressure exerted by the enlarged uterus on the diaphragm.
  • Lack of sleep, stress, and anxiety can cause forgetfulness, a phenomenon called pregnancy brain.
  • The extra weight of the baby puts pressure on the lower back and causes back pain. Using hot and cold compress or taking a bath in warm water can help alleviate the back pain.
  • Sciatica, which is an excruciating pain felt in the back and down in the back of the legs, is common when the growing uterus puts pressure on the sciatic nerves.
Siatica pain is common at 33rd week pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

  • The ankles and feet swell due to water retention in the body, also referred to as edema.
  • Body aches and cramps make sleeping difficult during this time, resulting in insomnia.
  • You could become clumsy due to the change in the center of gravity of your body.
  • The enlarged uterus pushes the stomach upward, causing the gastric acids to move into the esophagus that leads to heartburn.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions are less painful and irregular contractions that help the body prepare for labor.
  • The loosening of abdominal muscles and ligaments cause round ligament pain.
  • Pregnancy hormones can make the nails grow faster and become brittle. Increasing your biotin intake can help prevent such changes in the nails.
  • The excess blood flow to the lower part of the body can cause swelling of the blood vessels in the legs, a condition called varicose veins.
  • The increased blood flow to the rectal area causes hemorrhoids, which is the swelling of the blood vessels.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is the tingling or numbness in your fingers and wrists. Wearing a hand brace can help relieve the discomfort.
  • Frequent urination is common due to the pressure exerted by the enlarged uterus on the bladder.

Apart from these symptoms, you will continue to experience bodily changes this week.

Quick fact
Some women may experience bleeding or swollen gums during this phase of pregnancy (14).

Changes In The Body At 33 Weeks

The physical and emotional changes you might notice during this week include:

Physical changes:

  • Enlarged abdomen from the enlarged uterus
Enlarged abdomen at 33rd week pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

  • The areola becomes darker and starts leaking colostrum.
  • The abdomen stretches further, causing stretch marks, and becomes more sensitive and itchy. Applying a moisturizer can help relieve the itchiness of the belly to some extent.

Emotional changes:

  • The anxiety level will be higher with increasing thoughts about labor pain and delivery.
  • The hormonal fluctuations will make you moody and take a toll on your mental health.
  • You develop nesting instincts and start preparations for welcoming the new member.

Since you are nearing the due date, chances of preterm labor exist this week.

Preterm Labor At 33 Weeks Of Pregnancy

Labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy is termed preterm. Some of the signs of preterm labor include (8):

  • Menstrual-like cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lower backache
  • Change in vaginal discharge (pink or bloody in color)
  • Vaginal fluid leak
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Uterine contractions (five or more in one hour)

If you have more than five contractions in an hour or the time between the contractions is less than 10 minutes, then:

  • Keep your bladder empty
  • Drink a lot of fluids
  • Lie on the left side for an hour and check the timing of the contraction.

If the contractions persist, then call your doctor right away as it may be an indication of preterm labor.

Call the doctor if contraction persist

Image: Shutterstock

Your Ob/Gyn Visit

During this week’s prenatal check-up, the doctor will check for:

  • Weight
  • Blood pressure
  • Fundal height

You also need to get an ultrasound scan.

In the case of twin pregnancy, there will be frequent visits to the doctor as they need to monitor the babies closely. The doctor will focus on your diet and nutrition and tell you about the ideal weight gain. As there is also a risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and anemia in multiple pregnancies, the doctor monitors your health condition on a regular basis.

Even as you are nearing your due date, healthy regimes should not be overlooked. You still need to practice healthy habits to have a healthy baby.

Tips For Mom-to-be

  • Avoid standing for long.
  • Avoid lying on the back.
  • Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
  • Stay calm and relaxed.
  • Follow a healthy diet and eat home-cooked meals. Have smaller meals at regular intervals. Eat fiber-rich foods such as plums and apricots.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  • Engage in regular and moderate exercises like walking. Practice Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
vPractice kegel exercises when 33 weeks pregnant

Image: Shutterstock

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothes.
  • Get lots of rest.
  • Read pregnancy related books.
  • Enroll in childbirth classes.
  • Do maternity and newborn’s shopping.
  • Start packing your maternity bag.
  • Spend quality time with friends and family.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is my belly so hard at 33 weeks pregnant?

As your baby grows, your abdominal wall stretches, making your belly feel firm. However, if you are in your second and third trimester, the occasional tightening or hardening of the belly could be due to Braxton Hicks contractions (false contractions). These less painful and irregular contractions prepare your body for labor and delivery (9).

2. How long do babies sleep in the womb at 33 weeks of pregnancy?

From around 22 weeks, babies start developing a sleeping pattern in the womb. Studies suggest that later in pregnancy, babies spend almost 90 to 95 percent of their time sleeping (10) (11).

3. Can I give birth to twins at 33 weeks?

Childbirth post 37 weeks of pregnancy is considered full-term pregnancy. Usually, the average gestational age at the time of delivery for a twin pregnancy is 35 weeks. However, depending on several factors, such as maternal and fetal health, mothers can deliver twins at 33 weeks (12). Babies born this early would need extra medical care for better health outcomes.

The 33rd-week pregnancy has the baby occupying more space in your tummy as the fetus is almost fully developed. You are in the eighth month of gestation, just a few weeks away from holding your bundle of joy. Increased pressure on other organs, causing heartburn, difficulty breathing, frequent urination, edema, and back pain are symptoms of this week. You may feel moody and lethargic due to all the discomfort. However, you should take care of yourself and report to your doctor for any unusual symptoms that may indicate preterm labor or other complications.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Week by Week Fetus Size Demonstrated by Fruits; EPAOA
  2. Hill M; Embryology Fetal Development; UNSW Embroylogy 2018
  3. Pregnancy calendar Week 33; Nutricia
  4. Pregnancy calendar Week 33; KidsHealth
  5. Fetal development; US National Library of Medicine
  6. You and your baby at 33 weeks pregnant; NHS
  7. Weight Gain During Pregnancy; Utah Department of Health
  8. Premature Labor; Sutter Health
  9. What Causes My Belly to Feel Hard and Tight?; Lamaze International
  10. You and your baby at 22 weeks pregnant; NHS
  11. Adrián Poblano et al.; Neurophysiologic Measurement of Continuity in the Sleep of Fetuses during the Last Week of Pregnancy and in Newborns; NCBI
  12. 33 weeks pregnant
  13. Week-by-week guide to pregnancy

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