Now you’re 33 weeks pregnant, your baby grows a lot; your little one may hiccup you feel more rhythmic movements in your belly. You should expect to be more relaxed and able to sleep well at night in pregnancy week 33. So, what’s happening to your baby now and what should you expect?
Your baby measures approximately 19.5 inches in length and weighs about 4.5 pounds. This is merely an estimated figure because fetal growth varies from pregnancy to pregnancy and is considered normal.
When you’re 33 weeks pregnant, your baby lungs development gets to its peak, getting ready to breathe the air. Even if your baby is born this week, he or she has a good chance of survival with a bit of neonatal assistance. In addition, the central nervous system of your baby continues to mature, its personal immune system builds-up with increasing antibodies passing from you to the baby, and the digestive enzymes prepare to start functioning in the following week.
When you're 33 weeks pregnant, your baby continues to add on the pounds, gaining about half pound while the amniotic fluid volume peaks. Your baby’s skin complexion gradually changes; looking less red and wrinkled as fat continues to add-up under its skin.
Your baby’s bones begin to harden apart from the skull. The plates of bones in its skull remain unfused, soft and pliable through to delivery, particularly for easy and flexible passage through the birth canal during childbirth.
If this is your first pregnancy, your baby may start turning down the cervix with its head, into position for delivery this week. However, this turning can happen in a week to labor or at the start of labor, especially if this isn’t your first pregnancy.
Besides occasional cramps, you’re relieved of any major physical symptoms and are able to sleep for longer hours comfortably. If you continue to experience cramps, you must do exercises such as walking. Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for too long. Keep your legs elevated when you lie down and include a lot of calcium in your diet or supplements. If you experience a sudden spasm due to cramps, flex your toes upward. On the affected muscle, apply pressure with your hands.
Though not to the extent of what it was a few weeks back, you may still suffer from numbness or aches in your wrists, fingers and hands in pregnancy week 33. This is due to the increased pressure on the wrist canal also known as carpal tunnel. Like any other tissue, this tissue too can retain fluid which in turn causes pain.
As you’re 33 weeks pregnant now, you must include a lot of calcium and potassium in your diet. This will also help reduce muscle cramps during the last trimester. Some of the foods you must include in your diet are sesame seeds, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, cottage cheese, salmon, yogurt, soybeans, sardines and almonds.
There are exercises that may help your baby to rotate and get back to the right position. Kegel exercise for relaxing pelvic floor muscles has been reported to have helped as a preventive measure to reduce the chances of episiotomy during labor and delivery.
If your baby is currently in a breech position, you can try this exercise. Use supportive, firm pillows to prop your buttocks off the floor, lying on your back. Remain in this position for at least 20 minutes thrice a day. Remember to do this exercise in empty stomach wearing loose clothes.
At 33 weeks of pregnancy, you can indulge in a few exciting activities as you eagerly await the arrival of your precious baby. Take out all those cute, tiny baby outfits and accessories like shoes, caps and booties and mittens. Take out your baby’s bedding too and wash them thoroughly. Anything that may come into contact with your baby’s skin has to be washed to remove any irritants. Use very gentle detergent with hypoallergenic label on it.
On your visit to the practitioner, when you’re 33 weeks pregnant, he or she may feel or examine your belly. You will receive comments on your baby’s presentation. Around this time, babies are supposed to settle down in the cephalic or head down position through the process called lightening. In a few cases, babies may present a breech. This means, their feet and buttocks will be delivered first.