Pregnancy Week by Week – Week 33

Your baby may be about 4 pounds this week!

Mothers will often have difficulty sleeping in these last few weeks of pregnancy. Your baby can weigh about 4 pounds and measure 19 inches long.

With seven weeks left of your pregnancy, you are likely slowing down a bit and finishing up those last few projects before baby’s arrival. Here are some things happening with you and some suggestions for this last stage of pregnancy.

What is happening with Your Baby?

Your baby weighs around 4 pounds this week and may be about 19 inches long. Your baby’s brain will continue to develop and grow during these last few weeks of pregnancy. Don’t forget to include extra protein in your diet from week 33 until week 40 of your pregnancy since protein is the building block for cell growth and development.

Your amniotic fluid levels are now at their peak. Remember that your baby swallows this fluid and is already practicing her breathing movements while in your uterus! From this point on in your pregnancy, your amniotic fluid levels begin to decrease.

What is happening with You?

Are you noticing that you have difficulty sleeping? Perhaps you are uncomfortable from back pain or have insomnia. This is very common in late pregnancy and maybe this is one way that expectant mothers prepare for sleeping in small snatches of time after the baby is born.

As pregnancy progresses into the final weeks, mothers often start to see more swelling, especially in their ankles! While some swelling is normal (and will worsen in the heat or at the end of your day), it is important to contact your provider if you see sudden swelling that appears mostly in your hands and face since it can be an indicator of pregnancy-induced hypertension.

You will also notice more Braxton-Hicks contractions as you get closer to your due date. Be sure you can distinguish these longer, milder contractions with no real pattern that center in your abdomen from those of preterm labor contractions that feel more like menstrual cramps, are more predictable and intensify over time.

To Do List:

1. Continue your healthy eating habits and include some extra protein in your diet as well as your prenatal vitamins.

2. Have you thought about whether or not you will return to work? This is a good time to be interviewing day care providers.

3. Have you selected a pediatrician? Use the time in the next few weeks to interview and find one.

4. Continue to communicate your birthing options with your provider. Feel free to use our birth plan guide or questions to ask form.

5. Register for breastfeeding classes if you plan to nurse your baby.

6. If this is your 2nd or later baby, this is the best time to begin a refresher class in breathing and relaxation techniques as well as birthing options.

Week 34 is a great time for mothers to start perineal massage. Find out more about this labor preparation.