The size of your baby at 33 weeks is about that of a pineapple. They are about 43cm from the top of their head to their heel (crown-heel length) and weigh approximately 1.9kg.
33 weeks pregnant is how many months? 8 months! Only one more to go till the big day, give or take a few weeks.
Your baby at 33 weeks
Your baby is still growing steadily at this point, gaining around 200g a day which means your belly is expanding rapidly too. With this much baby taking up your uterus, the amniotic fluid will have started to lessen to make space for your foetus. That is also the reason that kicks and pokes may be feeling extra sharp.
Here are the key developments that babies at 33 weeks go through:
At this stage, your baby’s bones are starting to become harder and stronger. Their skulls, however, will remain soft and flexible enough to fit through the birth canal and allow for their brain to grow in the early years. Don’t worry if your baby’s head looks a little misshapen at birth, the soft spots will fuse together sometime in their first 2 years.
Your little one now has their own immune system – this is a big milestone. Your body has started to pass on antibodies to your fetus so that they can safely enter the germ-filled outside world.
They are also very thirsty at this stage, drinking almost 0.5L of amniotic fluid a day. This helps prepare your baby’s gastrointestinal system for out-the-womb living.
Differentiate light and dark
At 33 weeks your little one will be acting more like a baby. Their eyes start opening when they’re awake and closing when they sleep.
Your uterus walls will have thinned at this stage allowing more light to penetrate through, creating more day and night differentiation for your 33-week foetus. In fact, their eyes will have developed enough by now that their pupils respond to light.
Your body at 33 weeks pregnant
Between hormone fluctuations and your watermelon-sized belly, it’s no secret that your body is going through big changes. You may notice new symptoms making their appearance or old ones returning.
Here are some common things to expect around 33 weeks pregnant:
- Insomnia. You may find that at this stage, getting any shut-eye is a rare luxury. This misfortune befalls about 3 in 4 pregnant women. Between midnight bathroom runs, and your mind running at a thousand miles an hour with birth anxieties, it’s no wonder sleep feels like a lost cause. However, at 33 weeks, your body is feeling the taxing effects of your ever-growing little one, and rest is crucial – for both of your sakes. Try taking a warm bath to wind down before bedtime and avoid all screens before going to sleep.
- Back pain. An unfortunate effect of a growing belly is the strain it starts putting on your back. Be sure to bend at your knees, not your back, when picking things up, and avoid carrying heavy things. To ease the discomfort, try doing some gentle backbends. As you stand upright, place your hands on your back and bend slightly backward, about 20 degrees. It’s also not too late to start some pregnancy exercises like pilates, to strengthen your back muscles.
- Varicose veins. An unfortunate but common ailment of pregnant women is Varicose veins and can develop at any time during pregnancy, likely as you get bigger. These large swollen blood vessels, usually found in the legs, are mostly not threatening or something to worry about. They’ll shrink down after birth, along with the rest of you.
How to take care of yourself at 33 weeks
As the big day draws nearer every day, it’s important that you take care of yourself so that both you and your baby can thrive. Whether your body is feeling the strain or your anxieties about your upcoming birth are at an all-time high, there are ways to minimise the effects.
Here are some tips and advice for you at 33 weeks pregnant:
- Relieve swelling. Your feet and ankles will likely be acting up and causing you some discomfort at this point. It’s advisable to kick your feet up every chance you get – you deserve it. This should take the pressure off your blood vessels and lessen the swelling. Also try taking regular little brisk walks, even if it’s around the coffee table – getting moving will help. Buying comfortable shoes is advisable too.
- Get prepared. A large part of your wellness is your mental health. If you find that you’re extremely anxious about your impending due date, it may begin to affect things like your rest and cortisol levels which are not good for you or your baby. In the uncertainty of what lies ahead, it may be helpful to be as prepared and organised as possible. Getting your house ready, Packing your hospital bag, and discussing things like your birth plan with your partner, could ease some of those worries.
- Avoid foods that upset your digestion. Eating things like pasta or dairy if you’re even slightly lactose or gluten intolerant will lead to bloating, fatigue, indigestion, and heartburn. These are uncomfortable and should rather be avoided. Stick to nutritious whole foods. This will not only benefit the health of you and your little one but go a long way in helping how you feel in your body. Try not letting unhealthy pregnancy cravings run away with you. Moderation is always key as well as finding healthier alternatives to some of your favourites.