You’ve just hit your 33th week — and you’ve got another 7 to go! How big is a baby at 33 weeks? You’d be surprised by how much your baby has grown from last week. Fetus measures about 17 inches head to heel, and weighs 4 1/2 pounds — quite a lot of weight, right? During the rest of weeks before birth, he’ll gain more weight as he piles on layers of fat. By now, he has probably moved to the head-down (engaged) position that will prepare him for birth — aren’t you brimming with excitement already?
What to expect at 33 weeks pregnant? Lots of changes are happening in your body during week 33.
Your growing belly can make you increasingly comfortable, and you’ll probably find sleeping quite a challenge right now. If you can’t find enough support for your belly, consider investing in a specially-shaped pregnancy pillow; or, sleep on one side with one or both knees bent and a pillow tucked under your stomach. Avoid lying on your back — this will put strain on your muscles and worsen your backache.
Do your fingers feel achy and painful? That’s because the tissues in your fingers can retain fluid, thus increasing the pressure in your carpal tunnel (a bony canal in your wrist). Nerves located in this tunnel can become pinched, causing temporary numbness, tingling, aching, or shooting pain. Propping your arm with a pillow when you sleep or wearing a splint can help relieve the discomfort.
Fatigueis perfectly normal at this time, especially since your baby makes sleeping difficult. Plus, carrying around extra weight can be tiresome. Make sure you get plenty of rest. If colostrum keeps wetting your bra, then invest in a nursing bra — it will make your life so much easier once your baby is born.
Your Baby at 33 Weeks
Your baby is now about the size of a large pineapple, and probably just as sweet! He weighs about 4 1/2 pounds, and has passed the 17-inch mark. During this week, his little bones continue to harden and get stronger, except for the skull, which remains relatively soft to facilitate birth. Your baby is in the process of receiving your antibodies right now, and his immune system is not fully developed yet. If he was born this week, he would need extra care to keep him in a sterile environment.
The volume of amniotic fluid has also decreased considerably during week 33. Your baby grows at a rapid pace, taking up all the space in your womb. Now that there’s less cushion, his kicks and somersaults may feel quite sharp, and you may occasionally spot his tiny knees or elbows poking through your stomach. How thrilling, right? He has also moved into a head-down (engaged) position that will prepare him birth and allow blood to flow to his developing brain. Your baby will descend into your pelvis at any time during the following 6 weeks, and he will begin to press into your cervix. Get ready for more contractions as D-day approaches!
Ultrasound Images of 33 Week Pregnancy
Bellies at 33 Weeks
Keep track of your baby’s movements. Generally, he should move as often as he has for the last month or so. If you feel more than four contractions in one hour, call your care provider or midwife immediately as this is a sign of preterm labor. If your baby doesn’t seem to move much right now, drink a glass of fresh fruit juice — this will give him more energy and encourage him to be more active.
Don’t forget that exercising is extremely important at this stage — it helps you keep active, relieve stress, and gives you an energy boost. Also, make sure to think about essentials such as prepping the crib and/or nursery for the baby, having an emergency phone number at hand, and packing the things you’ll need in hospital, just in case your baby decided to leave Hotel Utero earlier.