The glorious third trimester! A lot has been going through in your mind and by now you are thinking about how your life is going to change. This is one of the most exciting weeks as your little one is developing all five senses and preparing for the outside world.
You are feeling very much pregnant by now and all the unbearable body aches and pains are about to hit this week. You are just a few more weeks away from your due date and now is the time you should mentally start preparing for signs of early labor.
33rd Week of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Foods & Care
All of this may sound intimidating, but taking certain precautions from beforehand can make it easier for you to cope with it.
What can you expect during the 33rd week?
- You might notice some swelling in your feet, wrists, and hands.
- Your baby’s five senses are almost developed and are getting ready for the outer world.
- The fetal movement now is the most.
- You might feel out of breath.
Expected Changes in your Body
Since the very beginning of your pregnancy, your pregnancy hormones have played the role of an anti-hero bringing some bittersweet changes in your body. With all the sudden midnight rush to the washroom and finding the best position to sleep, you might very well suffer from insomnia.
You are in your 7th month and you have become completely accustomed to your huge belly bump and oversized breasts. Most of the changes that your body has undergone for the last 6 months and is undergoing now, will soon normalize post-delivery.
You may notice some swelling in the joints and ankles. This is normal now, due to an increase in the production of blood in your body.
Your baby has been growing inside your womb and by now is almost ready for the outside world. Ultrasound this week will surprise you to see how much your baby has grown.
- Your little one has grown to a length of 16 inches and is weighing around 4 to 4.5 pounds.
- The bones present inside the skull are still soft. It will make it easier for him/her to push himself/herself down the birth canal.
- The swallowing reflexes have developed by now and every day your little drinks quite a good quantity of the amniotic fluid which is helping the gastrointestinal system to develop.
- Your little champ’s eyes are finally open and with the uterine walls becoming thinner, more light is easily penetrating the womb, and he/she can finally differentiate between night and day.
- Immunity starts developing now. The antibodies are being transferred from your body to your baby. This will help him/her physically strong once he/she sees the light of the world.
- A layer of fat begins to form under your little one’s skin. This makes the skin less red and creased.
- All five senses are developing this week and he/she is almost ready for the outer world.
Your babies are enjoying sound sleep now in between their occasional kicks and twists. The good news is that their lungs are fully developed and are ready to take their first breaths on the D-day!
You might feel sudden or slight pain and numbness in your wrists and fingers. This is common during pregnancy and is also called the carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome also causes swelling around the wrist due to fluid accumulation.
Nothing to worry about; the pain and the swelling will soon disappear after delivery. For now, try maintaining a sleeping position that doesn’t stress your wrists and hands.
As you are nearing your due date, you’ll notice a fluid is leaking from your breasts. This liquid also is known as Colostrum will provide nourishment to your baby when you will be breastfeeding.
Your baby is continuing to grow and has started to put pressure on your sciatic nerve. This can result in sciatica which is sharp dull back pain. To tackle your back pain you can try:
- Bathing in lukewarm water
- Using a heating pad when you are having excruciating pain
- Changing your position while sleeping.
Shortness of Breath:
Your belly is growing and pushing aside anything and everything that is coming its way. After all your little prince/princess demands all the space to move around now. The increasing belly also puts pressure on the lungs, restricting their expansion. This can make you feel out of breath, though your little one is getting adequate oxygen. Maintain a good posture, like standing straight, so that your lungs can get some space to breathe.
Your breasts and belly are growing and they are making the skin to stretch. As your skin stretches, it dries up and you can have itchy or prickly skin. Keep your skin well moisturized with lotion and bathe in lukewarm water.
Braxton Hicks contractions:
These are so-called practice contractions that you have been facing for the last few weeks. They can be extremely painful but if you try changing positions then they will gradually ease.
Strong movements of the baby:
You can feel your baby move twice a day in the morning and evening. Look out for any wiggle, roll, kick, or flutter. If you haven’t felt any of these during the day, have some food or some juice and then wait. Your little one needs energy too, after all!
You may have noticed varicose veins during the last couple of weeks. They can be painful at times but there is nothing to worry about. They will soon disappear after you have delivered.
Swelling of ankles and feet:
Your ankles and feet may swell up more now. This is solely because your growing uterus is putting pressure on the veins that are running to your legs and feet. Keep your legs on an elevated platform, much above your heart level for at least twice a day. If you notice that your legs are swelling unusually, then it can be a sign of preeclampsia and consult your doctor at the earliest.
Increased growth of nails:
Your pregnancy hormones can increase the growth of your nails and can also make them soft and brittle. If you notice that your nails are getting brittle and breaking, then increase the consumption of biotin in your diet. Have bananas, nuts, and whole grains.
You might face difficulty in balancing yourself due to the change in your center of gravity. This can make you spill things or make your movements restricted. Take each step slowly and carefully. Rushing through work will make the situation clumsier and that will, in turn, make you frustrated.
You have been experiencing heartburn for the last few weeks. Your growing uterus is pushing against the stomach, and blame your pregnancy hormones for relaxing the valve between the esophagus and stomach. this might just make the stomach acid leak into the esophagus.
Signs of early labor:
You are in your last trimester and it is high time that you know the signs of early labor. They are:
facing frequent contractions at regular intervals:
- Lower back pain and leg cramping that lingers on
- Water breaking
- Brownish or bloody vaginal discharge
Tips for a healthy pregnancy this week
Deal with swelling:
To deal with swelling, you can try walking or swimming to get temporary relief. Do not overdo it.
Adequate water intake:
Keep yourself hydrated to deal with your Braxton Hicks contractions
Prepare for Breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding is a choice but it is recommended by doctors. So, if you are planning to breastfeed your baby, then it is time for you to join a breastfeeding class or to watch instructional videos.
Increase your Calcium intake:
If you do not like the taste of raw milk, you can mix it with smoothies or soups. On the other hand, you can completely let go of milk and have other dairy products like yogurt and cheese. You can even try having juices of orange, grapefruit, apple, or cranberry.
By skipping milk, you are missing out on not only calcium but on Vitamin D too. Sun is a good source of Vitamin D, so you can just sit down near your balcony and enjoy the warmness of the sun.
Constrain yourself from picking up weights:
Lifting heavy weights can cause injury and restrict blood flow to the uterus. Do not do heavy weight lifting exercises. Switch to light weights to ensure safety for the baby.
Make sure you do not have an upset stomach:
Make sure you are not eating anything that is making it tough for you to digest. Digestive issues are common symptoms during pregnancy and it can cause cramps, gas, and bloating. For instance, lactose is easier to digest when mixed with other foods like a slice of cheese in between two loaves of bread or having milk with whole-grain cereal.
Get relief from your swelling:
Swollen feet are a common symptom during pregnancy. Rest both feet by ensuring that they are elevated. Do not be in the same position for a long time. Get up for a small walk around the room to reduce the swollenness.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions which helps you to guide in 33rd week of Pregnancy
Is it normal to continue gaining weight now?
You will gain about half a kilogram every week until just before delivery. Maintain your prescribed diet religiously. It is frustrating to have gained so much weight over just 7 months but, do not compromise on the weight gain as your little one needs all the nutrition to grow.
Which nutrients are important now?
Have a balanced diet to meet the demands of your little one with respect to his/her fat and protein requirements in the upcoming weeks. Have protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, beans, eggs, and nuts.
Is it safe to bend over now?
You can bend over but make sure you are doing it the right way. Bend your knees instead of your waist. The pressure is directed to your legs and that is safer than putting pressure on the back. Lifting heavy weights is restricted now but there might be situations where you have to pick up something.
During, such situations arise with your legs and hold whatever you are picking close to your body. Bending over won’t hurt the baby but make sure you don’t need over frequently as that can cause heartburn and an increase in blood flow to the head can cause dizziness.
How can I ensure a good sleep during my third trimester?
Having a so-called ‘beauty sleep’ can be pretty much out of consideration now. Try placing a pillow between your legs while lying down or while sleeping. It is preferable to sleep on the left side to facilitate easy blood circulation to the baby.
What type of classes should I enroll myself to prepare for childbirth?
If you are the first-timer, then attend some childbirth prep classes and seminars. Many hospitals and birthing centers provide lessons to prepare parents beforehand on what they might expect on the day of delivery. Enroll yourself in a breastfeeding class to learn how to breastfeed. These classes also deal with how to counter pain and contractions and also how to develop a proper birth plan.
How to deal with my leg pain?
This is your last trimester and leg pain is on a hike right now. Leg cramping and sudden pain can be excruciating. To counter leg pain, elevate your legs and try sleeping with a pillow pooped in between your legs. Keep yourself well hydrated and wear compression socks. Most importantly, wear comfortable footwear.
You are halfway through your 7th month and you are just 1 ½ month away from the D-day! Keeping aside all the discomfort and sleepless nights, this indeed is the most special journey of your life as a life-bearer.
By now, you are completely accustomed to the changes and symptoms. Lack of sleep and the little one’s kicks and rolls can make your mood a bit cranky. Practice breathing exercises and meditate at least once daily. Look out for signs of early labor. If you see the signs, then rush to the hospital at once.
- 42 Week by Week: Pregnancy Symptoms, Care and Tips
- 20th Week of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Foods & Care Tips
- 21st Weeks of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Foods & Care Tips
- 18th Week of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Food & Care
- 30th Week of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Foods & Care Tips
Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.