Your baby’s development - week 33
At 33 weeks your baby’s brain and nervous system have fully developed in preparation for their birth. Amazingly, they are feeling sensations like sucking their thumb, hearing noises like your heartbeat and your voice more clearly, and even tasting your amniotic fluid.Their bones are continuing to harden, apart from their skull, which stays a little softer to help their journey through the birth canal. As they continue to grow, their legs curl up into their chest and you may feel them shifting around into different positions, trying to make room for themselves!
The immune system is getting stronger and stronger. When they’re born in a month or so, about two-thirds of their immune system is developed, helping them cope with life outside the womb.
Your baby’s skin is getting thicker and much less wrinkled, too. They now weigh about 4lb 2oz and are around 44cm long, (although there can be a wide variation in the size and weight of pre-term babies).
You & your bodyAs you’re nearing your due date, you might start noticing that your feet and ankles are swollen and puffy towards the end of the day. This is because, at this stage of pregnancy, your body retains water. Ironically, you can counteract the swelling by staying well hydrated.
If you feel sudden swelling in your hands or face however, it’s important that you contact your doctor, as this can be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
While you may feel uncomfortably large and bloated at this point in your pregnancy, you still need a lot of energy for your growing baby. But now that your stomach is smaller (your baby has taken up much of the space it used to have), you may find you can’t eat much. Try nibbling on healthy snacks – they’ll help bridge the gap between meals and give you a steady supply of energy throughout the day.
Try the following energy-wise snacks to help keep you going:• Dip fruit pieces into yogurt, or mix pieces of a variety of fruits, add some cereal, and toss together with the yogurt
• Dip pitta bread in salsa or hummus
• Stash small bags of dried fruits in your handbag to nibble on while you’re out and about