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33 weeks pregnant – Fetal development, Symptoms, Ultrasound, Pictures

Updated on September 1, 2014

At 33 weeks pregnant, the baby is continuously putting on weight at nearly half a pound per week. It may also grow by another one inch in this week. With that big a baby in your womb, the amniotic fluid tends to max out. This can lead to lowered cushioning effect by the fluid, thereby causing the kicks and pokes of the baby to feel sharper. Along with continual development of the baby’s immune system, the mother also keeps on passing her antibodies to him/her. A robust immune system is helpful for the baby in fighting off attacks by different kinds of pathogens after delivery.

The combination of a humungous belly, leg cramps, frequent trips to the bathroom, and heartburn will result in sleepless nights for the mother. Nearly 75 percent of pregnant women will suffer from insomnia after 33 weeks pregnant and all through the third trimester. Most pregnant women also overwork their mind thinking about all the things that need to be done before and after childbirth, thereby contributing to sleeplessness.It is however important to note that the body does need rest. Hence, try to get as comfortable as possible before you go to bed, and while you are on it. Use lots of pillows to support your head and wedge them in all the places that you think necessary for additional support. You may also look at the brighter aspect of pregnancy insomnia and consider it as a training period for all the sleepless nights that you are going to have after childbirth, while taking care of the baby.

Symptoms at 33 weeks pregnant

Some of the signs and symptoms occurring at 33 weeks pregnant are listed below:

  • Occasional headaches: Fatigue associated with the 3rd trimester can sometimes trigger episodes of headaches. It is therefore important to ensure that you get lots of rest. However, do not try to overcompensate for the lack of sleep time by napping over several hours during the weekend, as oversleeping can also result in headaches.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions:These are practice contractions which are generally experienced by women who have previously experienced childbirth. It is very easy to determine whether they are real or something else. All you need to do is change your position, from lying down to sitting, or from sitting to walking around. Doing so, even when the contractions are really intense, will make them disappear on their own.
  • Stronger activity by the unborn baby: At 33 weeks pregnant, it is important to test for fetal movements at least two times per day, in the morning and in the evening. Verify the time and then begin counting every roll, wiggle, flutter, or kick, till the time you arrive at a count of ten. If after an hour, you have not felt a minimum of 10 movements, then drink a glass of juice or have some snack, lie down, and start counting again. The fetus may have required some kind of energy-boost to start its activities.
  • Varicose veins: They can be painful as well as ugly. However, pregnancy-related varicose veins are harmless and not a cause for worry. If they have arisen only after pregnancy, then they will also get better on their own after delivery.
  • Nail alterations: Pregnancy-associated hormones can cause the nails to grow faster. It can also make them somewhat brittle. In case you are suffering from brittle nails, then add plenty of biotin to your diet. Biotin occurs in avocados, bananas, whole grains, and nuts. You may also consult your doctor and take gelatin capsules. They can be safely taken during pregnancy.
  • Achiness in the lower abdomen: If you experience aches in the lower belly area after getting up suddenly or changing positions, then you may be suffering from a condition called ‘round ligament pain’ or growing pains. You need not worry about it as long as it occurs sporadically and/or is not accompanied by bleeding, chills, or fever. You can alleviate the pain by getting off your feet and sitting down or resting.
  • Protruding belly button: The navel may be bulging out. There is not much that can be done about it. However, you can be rest assured that it will pop back into its original position a few months after childbirth.
  • Increasing clumsiness: A change in the center of gravity occurs due to the enlarged belly. This can cause clumsiness. All you can do is slow down and do all the things at a gradual pace. Rushing only tends to increase the clumsiness.
  • Breathlessness: The ever-expanding belly tends to push everything away, including the lungs, to make space for itself. The lungs are thus unable to expand completely which can result in shortness of breath. It may be noted that you will be more breathless as compared to the baby, because it is getting its oxygen from the placenta. You may remedy the situation by standing up straight so as to allow more space for the lungs to expand.
  • Forgetfulness:It is a strange fact that women carrying girls are more forgetful than those pregnant with boys.

Fetal development

Please note that every baby develops differently. But on an average, the baby weight around 1. 8 to 2 kgs, and measures 45 cm from head to toe. The skull of the baby is still flexible, with the bones still on the softer side. The bones in the rest of the body, begins to turn hard. The skin becomes less wrinkly due to fat development under the skin.


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