33 Weeks Pregnant (Fetal Age 31 Weeks)

Your baby responds to your pokes

33 weeks pregnant belly
33 weeks pregnant, your baby is starting to be able to regulate his or her body temperature. The subcutaneous fat is building up. If you were to give birth now, your baby has excellent chances to survive and thrive.

For mom, the subcutaneous fat may be building up too! Maybe not what you wish for, but normal. Continue eating healthy and enjoy the last weeks of pregnancy.

You can learn about normal weight gain during pregnancy here and what to do if you believe you may be increasing in weight too quickly...

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Your Baby

Fetal development during pregnancy week 33 is focused on growth. By the end of this week your baby will measure approximately 4.5 pounds and may even be over 17 inches in length. This may not seem very large, but it can be enough to make you get up every few hours to go to the bathroom during the night.

If you could peer into your uterus you would see your newest family member functioning more or less as as a newborn should. They are sucking their thumb, have bouts of waking and sleeping, can distinguish between night and day and are able to hear everything going on around them. Read about the abilities of a newborn baby here.

Many babies when prompted will respond with kicks and punches, so feel free to poke at your baby if you notice a foot or arm extending out of your side. One of our children, our daughter, kept poking her foot up under my ribs and it hurt! I pushed her little foot down, put only a few minutes later she put it back again. A determined little girl!

If your baby will be born with hair, very often it is noticeable now during this week, and those millions of neurons that make up your baby's brain connections are busy learning to help with everything they must take in when they are born.

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Mom's Body

When 33 weeks pregnant your uterus has grown over 500 times while preparing your baby for life outside the womb.

Your red blood cell production is now equal to the plasma production, and some women notice a reduction in the swelling of their hands and feet.

If you have an 'innie' belly button it may pop out this week, if it hasn't already. But don't worry about how it looks now, it will return to its natural shape after you have delivered your baby.

Vivid dreams are quite common during these last few weeks. Some will say it's due to your extreme tiredness and hormone production while others may blame it on your own personal anxieties as the delivery date draws near. Do not try to read into your dreams too much during this time, as they may just be due to that extra snack you had before bed.

Many women use these last few weeks to prepare for the labor and delivery of their new baby. Pain relief options can be very confusing, especially for those first-time parents who have not had any experience with the different methods of coping with the laboring process.

No matter if you are looking into giving birth naturally or not, be sure to explore all of the options available so that you are well prepared when the time comes to make the decision for your coping strategies.

You may also want to decide who will be in attendance with you during the labor and delivery, as many hospitals allow for more birth coaches besides just the other parent. For some women it can be helpful to have a sister, mother or doula in the delivery room as well to help provide assistance, while others may only want to share this special moment with their partner.

To start learning about the birth process, visit our section about giving birth here. You'll also find plenty of birth stories here.

33 Weeks Pregnant Video

If seeing means believing for you; watch this video explaining the week 33 of your pregnancy in pictures and words.

Diary of a Daughter

What's it really like being 33 weeks pregnant...? Here's a true diary from a 33 weeks pregnant mom-to-be. (Me..!)

Diary Of A Daughter

33 weeks pregnant, my iron has finally risen; Hb 114 - almost normal! My blood pressure is up slightly, but still in the normal range. I'm getting bigger and bigger and soon I can't even fit into my maternity trousers!

I did a late ultrasound last yesterday. Our baby is 6% above normal in weight - great.

Not so great though, they found a quite large cyst on one of her ovaries. (Yes, it is a GIRL!!!) The cyst is completely harmless, they say, but I'm scheduled for a new visit in two weeks to make sure our baby is not in pain. In such case they'll take her out they say.

Will our problems never end?

I try to stay calm although I'm very worried. Went out to buy some girly clothes for her; that was wonderful!


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References:
MayoClinic (2011), Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD (2008) The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. (2004) A Child Is Born.
Soderberg, L. (2010) Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.

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