33rd Week Pregnancy: Symptoms, Baby Development And Bodily Changes

33rd Week Pregnancy

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How Many Months Pregnant Are You At 33 Weeks?

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

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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).

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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.

Baby Development At 33 Weeks

[ Read: 34th Week Pregnancy ]

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.

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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.
  • 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.

[ Read: 36th Week Pregnancy ]

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Changes In The Body At 33 Weeks

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

Physical changes:

  • Enlarged belly, which looks bigger with a protruded navel.
  • 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 the 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.

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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.

[ Read: 38th Week Pregnancy ]

Risk factors for preterm labor:

  • Previous preterm deliveries
  • Cervical cerclage
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Cervical or uterine abnormalities
  • More than two miscarriages in the second trimester
  • Elective abortions
  • Previous Cone Biopsy or LEEP (this procedure helps diagnose cervical cancer and is recommended in case of abnormal results of Pap tests)
  • Infection, with a fever (> 101 °F)
  • Dehydration
  • Smoking
  • Emotional stress
  • Physical abuse
  • Kidney or bladder infections
  • Excess amount of the amniotic fluid
  • Use of drugs, such as amphetamines or cocaine

If the symptoms and signs indicate a smoothly progressing pregnancy, it’s time to fix a regular appointment with your doctor.

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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 high-risk pregnancies, a biophysical profile (BPP) will be suggested by the doctor to

  • Monitor fetal heartbeat.
  • Monitor lung movements to check the breathing pattern.
  • Check if the baby is moving his/her arms, legs, and fingers.
  • Detect the amount of amniotic fluid.

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 tells 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, the healthy regimes should not be overlooked. You still need to practice healthy habits to have a healthy baby.

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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.
  • 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.
  • Start searching the names for your baby.
  • Spend quality time with friends and family.

Your partner should also play a key role in supporting you during this delicate period by making you feel comfortable.

[ Read: 37th Week Pregnancy ]

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Tips For The Dad-to-be

  • Ensure that all the documents are in place.
  • Accompany you during the prenatal visits.
  • Ensure that the maternity bag has all the essential items.
  • Take you for an outing for a change.
  • Support you by being patient with your mood swings and emotional outbursts due to hormonal changes.

You are just a few weeks away from holding your little one. Until then, it is vital that you take care of yourself and have a close look at any unusual symptoms. This phase is not an easy one for you, but rest assured that it is temporary.

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Have any suggestions for easing pregnancy symptoms this week? Let us know in the comments section.

References

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. Week by Week Pregnancy; NHS
7. Weight Gain During Pregnancy; Utah Department of Health
8. Premature Labor; Sutter Health

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shreeja pillai

Postgraduate in Chemistry and content writer. She has worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company and also holds a diploma in pharmaceutical regulatory affairs. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. She is a writer for MomJunction and aims at providing informative articles based on health and wellness. Apart from writing, she takes a great interest in music and traveling. know more about her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shreeja-pillai/
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