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Pregnancy Week 33

What to expect when you’re 33 weeks pregnant

Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team
pregnancy marker pineapple

Baby development at 33 weeks pregnant

This week, your baby is really showing off all of their new skills: sucking, swallowing and performing gymnastic tricks. Meanwhile, you may be starting to feel a bit more breathless as your growing uterus is pushing against your diaphragm and lungs.

Your 33 week baby now measures 16.5 inches long (419 millimeters). Your baby is now the size of a pineapple.

The bones in your baby’s body are now fully developed but still soft and malleable so they can pass through the birth canal. At 33 weeks pregnant, your baby has developed their own immune system and receives antibodies from you. Although your baby still has some maturing to do, their organs, vital systems and reflexes are almost finished developing.

Week 33 pregnant belly

You may start to feel a tightening in your belly around 33 weeks. This is normal and is caused by your body preparing itself for labor. You may have gained between 22 to 28 pounds at this point, but women who started with a low or high BMI may have different weight gain experiences. Your doctor will be able to give you the right weight gain number for you.

Common pregnancy symptoms at 33 weeks

By 33 weeks pregnant, baby’s kicks are starting to feel sharper as your uterus starts to contain more baby than amniotic fluid. At this point in your pregnancy, you are most likely feeling ready for your little one to join your family. You may be suffering from common third trimester complaints, like trouble sleeping or aches and pains.

Try to find some relief by managing your discomforts. There are plenty of gentle stretches, exercises and activities that can help alleviate some of the third trimester aches and pains.

  • Rib pain: As your baby grows, they may begin to put pressure on your rib cage and chest. Don’t be surprised if you get the occasional jab or kick to the ribs.
  • Shortness of breath: Pregnancy causes changes to your entire body. By the third trimester, your uterus takes up so much room in your abdomen that reduced lung capacity can make it harder to breathe.
  • Overall discomfort: Hang in there! Many women have difficulty finding relief in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Exercise, a good pregnancy pillow and not staying in a single position for too long can all help.
  • Pregnancy brain: Pregnancy hormones may be to blame if you find yourself a little more forgetful than usual as of late. Don’t worry: This mental fog should pass after you give birth.
  • Braxton Hicks: These false labor pains are common throughout pregnancy. While Braxton Hicks is definitely an uncomfortable sensation, it shouldn’t be overly painful and should come and go quickly.

Pregnancy checklist at 33 weeks pregnant

This week, you’ll want to plan for your 34 week prenatal check up. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you may have additional testing over the next couple of weeks before your baby arrives.

Reminders for
Week 33
  • Research hospital resources. Many hospitals have postpartum resources that can set you up for success. Whether you want to speak with a lactation consultant or join a group of moms for support, check to see what your hospital offers. These resources can be invaluable and help ease adjusting to your new life with your baby.
  • Plan for postpartum care. Once your little one arrives, it may feel like there is no time for yourself. If you can, arrange for friends and family to come help or consider a night nurse. It’s no joke when they say it takes a village.
  • Get comfy. Once your baby is born, you may not feel like jumping back into your everyday clothes — and most women can’t. Make sure to have some comfortable clothing to wear during the weeks following your baby’s birth.

Explore pregnancy by week
Week 32 | Week 34


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Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Jessica Render is dedicated to providing well-researched, valuable content designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions they can feel confident making. She holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University.