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33 Weeks Pregnant

Feb 14, 2022 | 3 Minute Read

It's getting harder to forget you’re pregnant now. Frequent kicks and prods mean you are constantly being reminded that there is a baby in there. The physical nature of pregnancy at this time may be making it all a little too much to enjoy. Your attitude towards being pregnant is not an indication of how you will feel about your baby once she’s born. Try not to worry if you aren’t enjoying every minute of being pregnant. This is a common experience for many women, but one which isn’t talked about too often.

Your physical changes this week

You may find yourself having some incontinence around this stage of your pregnancy. This is more common in women who've been pregnant before. When you laugh, sneeze, cough, or lift something heavy, a small amount of urine may leak out of your bladder. This is a common problem towards the end of pregnancy. Some women need to wear a light pad inside their underpants. Doing pelvic floor exercises will help strengthen the muscles which support your bladder.

If you normally wear contact lenses, you may be finding them irritating now. Fluid retention and changes to the shape of your eye will mean they don’t fit as comfortably as they used to. Many women revert to wearing glasses until after their baby is born and their eyes return to normal. Avoid getting a new prescription for glasses or contacts at this stage of your pregnancy. Your eyes are going through a transitional stage and an assessment of your vision now will not give an accurate reflection of your sight.

Heartburn, your old friend, can make its presence felt again right now. The baby is pushing your stomach and intestines up and out of their normal positions. This means you don’t have the luxury of being able to digest your meals comfortably. Spicy, hot, large meals are the worst culprits so avoid temptation and go for what you know is safe. Check with your provider about antacids that can be used in pregnancy.

More Braxton Hick's contractions at 33 weeks of pregnancy. These painless uterine contractions are nature's way of providing a practice session for the real thing. They will also help to create a surge of oxygenated blood to the placenta. Unless they are accompanied by pain, become regular, or you are losing fluid from your vagina, don’t be concerned. A simple change of position or warm shower can often resolve them.

Your emotional changes this week

Mood swings may cause you to feel emotionally unstable this week. You could be feeling fed up with your body shape and a little over being pregnant. Look for things which give you pleasure and tell your partner how you feel. Other women can be a source of great emotional support and understanding. Reach out to someone who cares about you and who will listen without judgment.

If you're experiencing insomnia this won’t help your mood swings. Try to stick with a regular bedtime and pre-bed ritual so your body knows it’s winding down for the day. Avoid drinking caffeine or eating chocolate in the afternoons and evenings and don’t exercise past 4pm. If you’re still working, aim for a simple home life where you don’t place too many demands upon yourself.

Your baby's changes this week

Your baby's lungs are maturing even more in week 33. If your baby were born now, she is likely to need some breathing support, but perhaps not. Her own little body is producing surfactant to help her airways stay open. If you were admitted to the hospital with threatened premature labor this week, you would most likely be given an injection of cortisone to would help baby's lungs to mature.

The amniotic fluid surrounding your baby is peaking in volume around now. There is about 2 cups of fluid, creating a warm, sterile bath for your baby. The amount of amniotic fluid is a sign of how well your baby's kidneys are working. They should be producing around 1 cup a day at this stage of pregnancy.

Hint for the week

If you are dropping down to one income after baby is born, it may put a strain on your household budget. Aim to put some money aside each week. You'll be glad you did in moments when money is tight.

Develop an awareness of your baby's cycles of activity and rest. If there are changes, you are the best person to know what is normal in terms of your baby's movements. Space has become tight in your uterus so there is probably less of the tumbling and turning going that was so frequent earlier in your pregnancy. Kicks from strong feet, feeling an elbow high in your ribs, or a sharp boot into your bladder will all become part of the every day. Take some time to enjoy your baby's movements. As hard as it may be to understand now, many women say they miss the sensation of having their baby moving around inside them after baby is born.

Week 34 follows.

For more information see Pregnancy Week by Week.

The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.