Your physical changes this week
Watch for heat rashes under your breasts, which will be aggravated by sweat. Cooling showers and good general hygiene will help. You’ll probably find yourself sighing as you sit down, relieved to get the weight off your legs. Avoid marathon shopping expeditions and learn to pace yourself. It’s going to become more difficult to sustain activity that requires moderate physical exertion. Plan your day to include a rest and some down time.
Your weight is going up in line with your baby's growth. Some women gain as much as a pound a week in these weeks. Fluid retention can also add weight, but this is largely unavoidable in the third trimester. Watch for a sudden, rapid rise in your weight or bad headaches. These can be signs of complications developing, so check with your provider if you experience these changes.
Your prenatal checks are every two weeks from now on until around 36 weeks when they’ll be weekly. Get used to having your urine checked, your blood pressure taken, and your belly palpated. Although it can all seem a bit monotonous, it’s important that you’re monitored carefully. In the 3rd trimester, problems such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and premature labor are more common.
Your emotional changes this week
Pregnancy is full of emotional ups and downs, and it's common for there to be some strains in your relationship with your partner during this time. Remember to keep the communication with your partner open. Tell them about your feelings and your expectations. If you need more support, speak up. Don't expect them to read your mind.
Your baby's changes this week
The baby fills all the space in your uterus now, touching the sides and really using the room to his advantage. Your nerve endings are picking up every movement, so you are very much aware of there being someone along for the ride.
Your baby is still having periods of rest and activity which may follow a similar pattern each day. Some women say that climbing into bed is a sign for baby to start calisthenics, but it could be that there are fewer distractions so they're more aware of baby's movements at this time.
Your baby's skin is less translucent and looks more like the perfect skin of a little baby. More fat cells are settling under his skin and plumping out those skin folds.
Your baby's bones are getting harder and calcifying. This means that your diet is particularly important at this stage of your pregnancy. Ensure you're having 3-4 servings of calcium-rich foods each day; milk, cheese, yogurt, almonds, and green leafy vegetables are good sources. If you can’t tolerate cow's milk go for alternative milk products that are fortified with calcium.
Hints for the week
Now may be the time to invest in some pregnancy underpants. They are made with an expanding belly in mind and sit just the right way so you're not conscious of them all the time.
Avoid large, infrequent meals, and instead go for light, easy to digest foods. Fruit, vegetables, toasted sandwiches, salads, yogurt, cereals, crackers, and cheese are all good staples for healthy snacking.
Remember to drink plenty of water. Maintaining your hydration will help you to stay mentally alert and keep your kidneys functioning well.
Speak with your provider about the benefits of doing some perineal stretching. If you’re having a vaginal delivery, your perineum will need to stretch a lot to allow the baby's head to emerge. An episiotomy (surgical cut) is sometimes necessary to enlarge the vaginal opening, though perineal stretching can help avoid the need for one.
Week 33 next!
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.