33 Weeks Pregnant

In the 33rd week of pregnancy, uterine walls begin to thin out and the amniotic fluid decreases. With that being said, his fetal movements feel sharper from this week onwards.


The mother in week 33

For 1st time moms (about 50% out of 100), the baby’s head may move into the pelvis and pressed squarely against cervix. Aside from that, an expectant mom will be having a hard time to feel comfortable due to the heated symptoms such as the following:

Week 33 symptoms

3rdtrimester insomnia

Did you know that about 3 out of 4 pregnant women experiences 3rdtrimester insomnia? Insomnia or sleep deprivation stems from a variety of sources such as:

  • Hormonal fluxes
  • Midnight bathroom runs
  • Leg spasms
  • Pregnancy – induced heartburns
  • Anxiety
  • Restless leg syndrome

Omega – 3 fatty acids (DHA)

Pregnancy week by week

Did you know that almost all of the baby’s accumulation of omega – 3 takes places in the 3rdtrimester?  Studies show that expectant mothers who has an omega – 3 fatty acids (DHA) in their plates aid in the fetus’ early development such as:

  • Brain development
  • Vision development

In addition to that, omega – 3 fatty acids also prevents the following pregnancy complications:

  • Pre – mature labor
  • Post – partum depression

In fact, FDA recommends that an expectant mother must eat at least 8 – 12 ounces of DHA (equivalent to 2 average meals). Here are the following foods which contain omega – 3 fatty acids:

  • Wild and/or farmed salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Tilapia
  • Red snapper
  • Pollack
  • Catfish
  • Algae – derived supplements
  • DHA eggs

Strong fetal movements

Fetal movements (baby’s jabs, kicks, twists, wriggle, punch, and hiccups) become stronger by this week as the womb thins out and the fluid maxes out.

Round ligament pain (RLS)

Round ligament pain (also known as growing pains or sore stomach) are stabbing and/or dull ache sensations which radiates on one or both sides of the lower abdomen. The pain triggers whenever she laughs, coughs, sneezes, and changes positions.

This occurs when the supporting ligaments of the uterus stretches and thins out to accommodate pregnancy. As a result, the ligaments that are being pulled cause the said symptom.

Another source of RLS is the increased blood flow (to nurture the baby’s needs) and the formation of the uterine lining.

Innie belly button becomes an outie

Her innie belly button (navel) becomes an outie due to the rapid expansion of the uterus. This then pushes the abdomen as well as the belly button forward.

Unintentional slapstick

Unintentional slapstick (commonly known as clumsiness) happens when the center of gravity shifts forward, making her feel off balance. This unintentional slapstick is caused by the following factors:

  • Relaxin hormones which loosens up the joints and ligaments
  • Pregnancy – induced fatigue
  • Pregnancy – induced brain fog

Braxton Hicks contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and painless tightening sensation in the uterine muscles which begins to flex in preparation for the baby’s arrival. These contractions are most often felt by 2ndtime moms.

Visible varicose veins

Varicose veins are the network of blood vessels which are located predominately in the legs (and anywhere in the lower half of the body). Varicose veins become visible due to the following factors:

  • Extra blood volume to support two bodies
  • Compressed blood vessels
  • Veins in the legs which works against gravity to push the blood right back up to the heart
  • Pressure of the expanding uterus on the pelvic blood vessels
  • High levels of progesterone which has vessel – relaxing effects

Rapid nail growth

The nails tend to grow faster and become brittle due to the pregnancy hormones (particularly estrogen).

Rapid hair growth

The hair tends to grow faster, thicker, and more lustrous than ever during pregnancy. Not only has that, in some cases, their hair texture also changed as well (where curly hair might become straight and vice – versa).

Contrary to that, the downside of this symptom is that hair may grow on unwanted places. However, there is no need to worry about that since the excess hair will fall out within 6 months after giving birth.

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath happens when the pregnancy hormones stimulates the brain to increase the frequency and depth of her breaths. This then allows a mother to take in more oxygen towards the baby. Aside that, here are some following factors:

  • Swollen capillaries in the respiratory lining
  • Relaxed muscles in the lungs
  • Relaxed bronchial tubes
  • Expanding uterus together with the growing baby presses the lungs, this then limits its function to fully expand when taking a deep breath

Pregnancy – induced brain fog

Pregnancy – induced brain fog (commonly known as forgetfulness) is caused by the hormonal fluxes attacking her memory. As a matter of fact, studies show that pregnant women who carry girls tend to be affected with this symptom than those who carry boys.

Add to that, research also show that a mother’s brain – cell volume actually decreases in number to nourish the baby’s intellectual development.

Fetal development in week 33

By week 33, the baby – to – be has finally exceeded the 5 pound mark. He could grow for about a full inch this week. He has probably positions himself upside down and may descend to the pelvis, head pointing towards the birth canal getting ready to be born.

  1. The baby – in – waiting stretches for about 17.2 – 18.7 inches from head – to –toe length and tips the scales roughly at 4.2 – 5.8 pounds.
  2. The amniotic fluid – level has maxed out at week 33. In line with this, the unborn baby drinks a pint of amniotic fluid a day. This prepares his gastrointestinal system for its function outside the womb.
  3. The unborn baby’s head circumference grows half an inch, due to some major brain development.
  4. The baby – to – be is beginning to coordinate his breathing motions with his sucking and swallowing skills.
  5. He can already differentiate night and day as the uterine walls thins out. This then allows the light to penetrate inside the womb. Because of that, he keeps his eyes close during his “sleep” time and open during his “awake” time despite the amniotic fluid.
  6. Fetal immune system begins to develop as the mother’s anti – bodies are being passed down to the unborn baby. If he were born by this week, his immune system would be undeveloped which needs extra medical care and a sterile environment.
  7. His skeletal system continues to harden and mature. Contrary to that, the plates of that make up his skull are still flexible and have not been completely fused yet. This makes it easier for him to pass through the relatively narrow birth canal during the delivery day. By the same token, the bones in his skull can overlap slightly as he moves down the vagina.
  8. His skin gradually become less red, saggy, and wrinkled as the white fat (mother’s fat which keeps the unborn baby warm in – utero) builds up underneath.

Pregnancy tips for week 33

Week 33 serves as the 5thweek of the 3rdtrimester, 7 remaining weeks to go before the due date arrives. It only takes few more weeks to maintain a healthy well – being so that the baby will come out fine and safety.

What to do during the 33rdweek of pregnancy

Few more weeks to go on making it a habit of doing the following things below:

Have a biophysical profile (BPP)

If there are any health concerns on the unborn baby, an expectant mom must have a biophysical profile (BPP). A biophysical profile evaluates the unborn baby’s well – being via an ultrasound examination and non – stress test.

The ultrasound part lasts for 30 minutes and consists of 4 parts:

  • Fetal breathing movements – to detect the lungs’ breathing motions
  • Body movements – checks the baby’s body, head, arms and legs movement
  • Fetal tone – to check if the baby is already capable of extending or flexing his arms, legs, and fingers
  • Amniotic fluid – determines the current volume of the fluid inside the sac

Take a warm bath

Taking a warm bath while pregnant relieves all sorts of body strains. Apart from that, taking a warm bath, hours before bedtime helps her to sleep better.

Drink a warm cup of milk

Always drink a warm cup of milk (never a cold one) before going to bed. This relaxes the body and prevents 3rdtrimester insomnia.

Count the fetal kicks

Count the fetal kicks (fetal movements in particular) twice a day (morning and evening), every day with a 2 – hour period. An expectant mother must be able to chart at least 10 fetal kicks within that period.

If no fetal kicks have been felt by the end of the hour, wait for another 2 hours lie down, and resume counting.

If the baby still did not make any kicks (or moves in particular) by the 2ndtry, contact the health care provider and address the concern.

Sleep or lie on the left side

Always make it a habit to sleep or lie on the left side. This type of sleeping position prevents pressure on the blood vessels and keeps the circulation going.

Eat choline – rich foods

Choline is a form of mineral which serves as a memory – forming brain chemical. Eating choline – rich foods boost both the mother and the baby’s brain function.

What to avoid in week 33


Engaging in vices while pregnant is dangerous for both the mother and the unborn baby. That is why an expectant mother must consider avoiding the following vices:

  • Drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Smoking cigarettes or e – cigarettes, and tobaccos
  • Engaging in recreational drugs
  • Taking sleeping pills

Substances with caffeine content

Caffeine is a form of drug (diuretic) which triggers a more frequent urination and disrupts the sleeping cycle of both parties. Apart from coffee, here are the following substances with caffeine content that an expectant mom must avoid:

  • Chocolate
  • Soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Some teas
  • Some weight loss pills
  • Some pain relievers
  • Non – cola sodas

Seafood with toxins

Not all seafood are healthy to consume for pregnant women, here are the following seafood which she must steer clear from her plate:

  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • Fresh tuna

Gingko biloba

Gingko biloba is an herbal memory booster which is not proven safe to take during pregnancy until now.