Your guide to being 33 weeks pregnant
Thirty three weeks and counting… how are you getting on?
Your baby’s skin has changed from a reddish colour to pink and will be smoother now as he continues to lay down fat. He may grow over an inch in length this week and there’s probably more baby than amniotic fluid in your womb now. As a result, you’ll feel every prod or kick he makes more than ever!
His immune system is able to give him protection from mild infections. He’s still receiving antibodies from you, which are important, and will continue to do so after birth if you breastfeed.
He may be in a head down position ready for birth now. Your midwife will check to see whether this is the case and, if so, how ‘engaged’ his head is – this is measured in fractionals (one fifths through to five), but bear in mind that some babies keep changing position until the last minute!
What’s happening to you
Vivid and strange dreams – giving birth to a litter of kittens, having Russell Brand as your midwife, anyone? – are common throughout your pregnancy as hormone levels surge, anxieties abound and you adjust to the reality of impending parenthood. But they’re even more likely now as you struggle to get comfortable and wake often to go to the loo. Both these factors mean that deep sleep is almost impossible and instead you spend most of the night in REM (dream) sleep.
One more thing to keep you awake at night – cramps in your legs. This might occur because of the increased weight you are carrying around. Try flexing your muscles in the opposite direction and, during the day, avoid standing in the same position for long periods. Ensuring you get enough calcium, magnesium and potassium in your diet may also help. (Bananas are a great source of the latter, while almonds contain both calcium and magnesium.)
When to check it out
If a pain in your muscle is constant rather than occasional or if you notice any swelling or tenderness in one leg call your GP. These may be signs of a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis). They are rare but your risk is higher during pregnancy.
‘To do’ this week
Feeling exhausted? Take special care not to overdo it during the day and be kind to yourself at every opportunity. At night, treat yourself to a warm milky drink and try putting pillows under your bump and between your legs to help you get comfy.
Wow! Did you know…
The connections in your baby’s brain are developing in huge numbers this week, and he may now be able to coordinate sucking and swallowing with breathing.