Your Guide to 33 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms and Preparations

As exciting as it is to get closer and closer to delivering your sweet baby into the world, this crucial point in your pregnancy can also bring on a variety of new fears and worries related to unknowns awaiting you. With so many changes happening inside and outside your body during these last few weeks, navigating through this stage can be overwhelming—and you may feel unsure about how best to prepare yourself for labor and childbirth. That's why we've put together this handy guide that will walk you through all the primary ways you'll need to mentally & physically ready yourself for motherhood by detailing exactly what's going on concerning the milestones reached at week 33.

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The Baby

Your newborn is putting on the finishing touches as they prepare for their big debut by adding fat layers, strengthening their bones, and developing their immune system.  Let's discuss everything that has happened to the baby at 33 weeks along.

  • Hard Bones: In other words, your baby's bones are getting stronger. The newborn skull, however, is still soft.The bones of the skull are soft so that the plates can move and overlap just a little bit to make room for the head to pass through the birth canal. To be born, the baby's head must first reduce in size, and then the pelvis must move to accommodate it. Fontanelles are the soft spots between the baby's skull bones that persist even after the baby has passed through the birth canal. Be gentle with the head after birth because the skull bones are soft and will easily break.
  • Baby Fat: The newborn is also beginning to develop baby fat on their arms and legs. Of course, it makes them look cute as a button (and a lot less wrinkled, too), but its primary function is to keep their little bodies warm during the first few weeks of life.
  • Peach fuzz: hair called lanugo is beginning to shed this week, though a small amount may remain on the baby's shoulders and back until after birth.
  • Immune System: Passing antibodies to your infant helps train their developing immune system to combat pathogens once they enter the wider world.

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How Your Pregnant Body Looks at 33 Weeks

man kissing his pregnant wife

At 33 weeks pregnant, a healthy rate of weight gain is one pound per week. You've committed to this payment schedule through your due date. You've probably slowed down a bit and are feeling a bit weighed down now that you've gained between 22 and 28 pounds. You might have even begun to exhibit signs of the pregnancy waddle by now.

Amniotic fluid levels are typically highest around this time. During the first 33–34 weeks of pregnancy, amniotic fluid accumulates and reaches a peak volume. There will soon be more baby than fluid if the baby keeps growing at this rate. Less padding means the baby's kicks and jabs may be felt more clearly. Keep a close eye on your mobility and contact your doctor immediately if you notice a change.

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Pregnancy Symptoms at 33 Weeks

man holding his pregnant wife’s stomach

There is a lot going on for you and your body as you near labor, from increased discharge to the onset of Braxton Hicks contractions. At 33 weeks pregnant, you may be experiencing the following signs and symptoms:


Hot and toasty, huh? Because your baby is emitting heat, your skin temperature may rise during the third trimester.

Menstrual bleeding

Increased estrogen levels in the third trimester often result in more discharge of a whiter color. Keep an eye out for a discharge surge, but also be wary of any drastic shifts. It could be your mucus plug coming out, an early sign of labor, if the discharge is particularly gelatinous and there are blood streaks. If you notice a clear, thin fluid leaking from the amniotic sac, whether in a slow drip or a sudden outpouring, you should contact your doctor right away.

Contractions of the brachial plexus, also known as Braxton Hicks.

These contractions, which feel like a tightening of the belly but don't happen very often, are your body getting ready to give birth. Keep yourself hydrated to lessen the severity of these symptoms.

The Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Swelling of the hands is a common symptom of pregnancy due to the increased blood volume. The nerve in your wrist is particularly vulnerable to the effects of this swelling. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition characterized by discomfort, numbness, and/or tingling in the hands and fingers. And if you use your hands a lot throughout the day, you might be more susceptible to getting it. Carpal tunnel can get worse in the later stages of pregnancy. You can take some action. Wrist braces that apply compression can be helpful in some cases. Discuss your choices with your healthcare provider. Thankfully, carpal tunnel symptoms often disappear after giving birth.

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Understanding Your 33 Week Pregnancy

Congratulations on making it to 33 weeks pregnant – you are now officially in the final stretch of your pregnancy journey! You’ve experienced so much already and know what amazing things are in store for you and your little one. We hope this article has provided helpful insight on the symptoms, fetal development, and preparations needed for a successful 34th week. From preparing the nursery to stocking up on baby supplies and even caring for yourself with plenty of rest, hydration, and exercise, these will all help ensure you both stay safe and healthy during these next few weeks. If you want more tips on how to get ready for a baby or taking care of them once they’re here, make sure to check out our blog. Our blog is here to provide new parents like you with the best advice in preparation for your little bundle of joy. Now enjoy this last trimester before welcoming your sweet newborn into the world.

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