Your pregnancy: 33 weeks

Your baby’s lungs won’t be fully mature until right before she’s born. But if she were born tomorrow, she would still have an excellent chance of survival.

Felt leek used to show how big baby is at 33 weeks
Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt: thefeltstore.com

What’s going on in there: Fetal development at 33 weeks

Your little one is now the size of a leek—about 1.9 kilograms (4.2 pounds) and 44 centimetres (17.2 inches) long. There’s an important milestone to acknowledge at 33 weeks pregnant: Your baby’s organs are now pretty much fully developed. (Her lungs are a little on the puny side and need a bit more time in the oven, but in a few weeks, they’ll catch up with the rest of her body.) This means that if you were to go into labour today, your kiddo would have a 98 percent survival rate. She has developed her own immune system, too, which will come in handy when she joins our germy world. As she continues to gain weight and fill out, she is losing that wrinkly, underdeveloped look and her bones are starting to harden. The exception is the bones in her skull, which will remain unfused to fit through the birth canal more easily. (Thank you, biology!)

33 weeks pregnant symptoms

Belly in a china shop
There will come a point (if not now, soon) when you’ll feel encumbered by your burgeoning bump. If you have an older child (or a pet!), you’ve long since run out of lap space. It will become harder to manoeuvre around furniture, fit behind the wheel of your car and even stand at the counter or kitchen sink. Because you probably can’t spend the next seven weeks doing nothing other than lying on your couch watching Netflix (though that would be heavenly), you’ll have to learn to work around the bump, and that may mean asking for assistance. Have your partner help you clear paths in every room, and invest in a counter-height stool so that you can sit when you’re chopping or sautéing. As for your car, adjust your seat so that you have ample room to steer, but if you run out of space, you may have to consider handing over the keys until after baby is born. For more on driving in the third trimester, check out this link.

Feeling numb
Don’t be surprised if you start to experience tingling, aching or numbness in your fingers, hands and wrists at this stage of your pregnancy. As your body retains fluid, the tissues in this area of your body can swell and put pressure on your wrists. It can be a one-sided irritation or affect both hands. Take breaks during the day to stretch out your hands and wrists, and (attempt to) sleep with your hands in a neutral position and resting on pillows. You’re likely to experience other late-pregnancy aches and pains, too, so make sure that you’re listening to your body and taking care of yourself.

What the heck do I do with all this extra hair?
When it comes to hair, the upside to pregnancy is that you’re probably enjoying a shiny, strong mop that is growing faster than ever before. (See? Hormones aren’t all bad.) The downside? You may find that hair is sprouting in unfortunate places you’re not used to, like your face, back, nipples and belly. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.) If you’re not usually this hairy, you may not know how to handle this fun new development, and not all hair removal techniques are safe during pregnancy. Your best bets are threading and tweezing because neither requires chemicals or products but both give you longer-lasting results than shaving. Sugaring and waxing are probably OK as long as your skin hasn’t been too sensitive during your pregnancy (if you’re concerned, check with your doctor and always have the aesthetician spot-test an area). Bleaching, depilatories, laser hair removal and electrolysis are no-nos at this point because there haven’t been enough studies to confirm their safety for your baby.

grandma and mom holding the new baby7 tips on how to ask for help with your new baby

What’s on your mind this week

Placenta pills
By now, you may have heard of placenta encapsulation, where new moms have their recently delivered placentas dehydrated and turned into pills that they can ingest for extra postpartum nutrition. (Are you grossed out? Some celebrities do it, too!) There isn’t a lot of scientific evidence that it actually boosts energy levels, aids in recovery or prevents postpartum depression. Unless you’re a DIY type of person, you’ll have to pay a placenta encapsulation service (about $150 to $250) to dehydrate the organ and turn it into pill form. If you’re considering placenta encapsulation, talk to your doctor or midwife for her professional opinion. (Methods are not regulated, and it’s possible for a baby to get sick from Group B Streptococcus in the pills.)

Just for kicks

Just because you’re in your last trimester of gestating a baby doesn’t mean that you can’t bust a move—it will keep you limber and laughing. Check out this mom, who danced her way through pregnancy!

Baby names

Still at a stalemate with your stubborn, opinionated-when-it-comes-to-baby-names partner? Try this baby name app—it’s basically a Tinder for baby names, and it’s a game changer. 

Pregnancy to-do list: Week 33

Stroller shopping
For many new parents, the stroller is a big-ticket item. If you live in a city and a stroller is your main mode of baby transportation, you’re weighing comfort, manoeuvrability and price against size. (You don’t want an SUV stroller that takes up the whole sidewalk or leaves you struggling to fit through the door of the coffee shop.) If you live in a community with a lot more driving, you’re going to want to think about how easy it is to fold up the stroller and fit it in your trunk, how much it weighs and whether it’s compatible with your car seat. Here are reviews for all the most popular strollers on the market. Plus, we’ve rounded up our favourite ways to deck out your stroller—hello, sippy cup for mom! 

Activity tray

Read more:
9 things your baby doesn’t really need in the first year
What nobody ever told me about breastfeeding
Next up: 34 weeks pregnant

 

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