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33 Weeks Pregnant

Dr. Waleed Abdelghani

Reviewed by
Dr. Waleed Abdelghani

During your thirty-third week of pregnancy and well into your third trimester, you may be experiencing different symptoms. Your doctor may want to start seeing you more regularly from this point on, especially if you’ve had a high-risk pregnancy or complications.

Symptoms and Body Changes at 33 Weeks

By the thirty-third week your belly should be close to the size of a  basketball. Your waistline is still growing as you gain up to one pound per week. Experts say your weight gain should be between 25 – 28 pounds, although every woman’s pregnancy varies. It can be a little more or less if your pre-pregnancy weight was higher or lower than average. You may be gaining about a pound a week, but at least half of that goes to your baby and placenta. Your doctor will have an accurate weight-gain chart available for you.

Insomnia is very common at this point, as you and your baby struggle to find common ground in the resting department. Don’t worry; this is great practice for what’s to come after your baby is born and home. If you’ve been charting kicks for the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed a difference. Before you may have been feeling about 10 kicks per hour, and now it’s more like 10 kicks every two hours. At thirty-threeweeks pregnant, you are learning new ways to walk, sit, stand, and lie. Back pain, leg pain, and foot pain are likely ever-present. Try to relax and stay off your feet, or soak them in warm water to ease the discomfort.

Baby’s Development

Your baby should weigh between 4 ½ and 5 pounds by this thirty-third week, and be almost 17 inches in length. As the fatty layers continue to build under the skin, all the bones (except for the skull) continue to harden. The reason the skull doesn’t harden is that it needs to remain flexible and soft in order to travel through the birthing canal. In addition, the sutures between the bones of the skull are not completely closed, which allows for some “play” during birth.

Your baby should be in a head-down position by this time, but if not, there is no need to worry, as there is still plenty of time left. Some people say yoga exercises can help your baby to move into the correct position, but consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any new activities in the third trimester. As the lungs continue to mature, your baby is continuing to practice his or her breathing patterns for life outside the womb. You may notice that your baby is sleeping more often (though still not enough to let you relax), and those kicks, turns, and punches are a bit more painful. This is due to your baby’s growth — he or she isn’t moving any more than in earlier weeks, there’s just a little less room now.

33-weeks-pregnant

Pregnancy Week 33 Tips

When you take time to relax, try to avoid lying on your back, since this reduces blood circulation to your uterus. Also, you may have noticed that lying on your back may cause you to become light-headed. This is because the heavy uterus compresses your blood vessels (in particular one called the Inferior Vena Cava) so that less blood returns to your heart, and from there to your brain and other organs. This causes your blood pressure to drop a little, hence the light-headedness. Lying on your left side is best. This promotes better blood flow to your uterus. But don’t worry if during your sleep you turn to the other side! Place a pregnancy pillow between your knees to ease discomfort while you lie on your side. If you don’t have a pregnancy pillow, use an ordinary pillow.

Eating and exercising are very important at this stage. Some women experience tingling and numbness in their limbs. This could be due to the fact that you’re not as mobile anymore. Talk with your healthcare provider and find out which exercises are okay for you at this point. Next is pregnancy at 34 weeks.

Photo credit: Nana George 33 weeks pregnant, ultrasound

Photo credit: Nana George 33 weeks pregnant, ultrasound

[Page updated August 2014]