You are 33 weeks pregnant or in your 34th week of pregnancy (counting from the first day of your Last Menstrual Period).
Keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. For variations and details, please talk to your doctor.
What’s happening to the baby?
- This is when your baby will start putting on maximum weight as she starts adding fat to her body. The fat helps her maintain her body temperature consistently.
- The baby is getting strong and her muscle tone is improving. The baby is getting big and snug in your uterus and you might even be able to see on the surface, when your baby moves.
- Although the lanugo (fine hair covering the body and protecting the baby’s skin from amniotic fluid) has almost disappeared, the vernix (the white substance that covers the body and protects the skin) gets thicker to make up for the vanishing lanugo.
- Around this time the baby might get into the head-down position in your pelvis. For first-time moms, this happens around this time. But if you have had a baby earlier, the baby could get into the head-down position later (in the last week or even a few hours before birth).
- Although the baby's lungs are developed, they are still maturing so that they can perform the function of breathing more consistently.
- Your antibodies or immunity are being passed on to the baby via the placenta. Once you breastfeed, you will add more antibodies to the baby.
- Your baby is about 43 centimetres long (Crown to heel length) and weighs about 2 kilograms.
What’s happening to mom?
- At your regular doctor visits, you will be screened for preclampsia or pregnancy induced high blood pressure. Some swelling is normal, but if you see unusually high swelling, call your doctor, it could be signs of preclampsia.
- Your body will need additional calcium to support the development of bones. If there is a calcium deficiency, the baby will get the first pick of calcium and your bones might get adversely affected.
- Your swelling (that is normal) will be at it’s peak at this time. Some tips:
- Reduce salt intake in food.
- Drink adequate (8 to 10 glasses) water every day. Swelling can be more in warm weather and later in the day. So be mindful of this and keep yourself cool and take extra care later in the day.
- Try and keep your feet up as much as possible.
- Do not sit or stand for a long time. Even if you have a desk job, get up and walk around once every hour.
- Avoid crossing your legs for a long time.
- Do simple stretching exercises. Rotate your ankles, wiggle your toes, stretch your legs and flex your calf muscles. You can do these even at work.
- You will have trouble sleeping (trips to the bathroom, heartburn, general “big belly” discomfort etc.) and this is when you need your sleep the most to be relaxed to give birth to the baby and welcome your baby. So ensure that you get additional sleep at night and pack in a nap or two in the day. Even if you work, try and nap in the car for a little time. It is good for you and good for the baby.
- On top of all this, you will feel fatigued. Your body is working hard to support your growing baby. Get plenty of rest, eat well, meditate if you can, exercise and have a relaxed attitude. You will need all your energy for childbirth and the life after that.
Checklist for mom
- Assess your domestic needs. If you need additional help, start looking for a maid to help you with the baby.
- Get organised
- Start stocking up on domestic provisions while you still have the energy
- Make space for the baby. Do some spring-cleaning. Clean those shelves and make space.
- Keep important phone numbers (doctor, hospital, baby’s paediatrician, caretaker of older child etc.) handy (in your mobile etc.)
- Make sure you are getting adequate calcium. Discuss taking nutritional supplements with your doctor. Milk, milk products and eggs are great sources of calcium.
- If you cannot fit into your old clothes, it is not too late to buy new comfortable maternity clothes. You need to stay comfortable and relaxed and you might need these clothes for a few months after the baby (as you get back to your old size) and you could keep them for a subsequent baby (if that’s the plan). Read Parentree's article on maternity style.
- Learn about natural pain relief during childbirth
- Learn about medicines for pain relief during childbirth
- Discuss episiotomies with your gynaecologist
- Buy basics for the baby so that you are not scrambling in case you deliver early! Basics like diapers, nappies, basic clothes, receiving blankets…See Parentree's article on shopping for a new baby.
- If you have not already, start looking for a paediatrician for your baby. Get a shortlist by talking to your to your friends, even your gynaecologist and Parentree parents in your area. Then start interviewing paediatricians. Check out our article on selecting a paediatrician.
- Make sure that you have registered at your hospital and know the logistics of getting there (the driving directions, where to park etc.)
- Schedule or go for your childbirth classes if you have not already. You need to have completed taking these classes by your 37th week. Make sure you take your spouse or labour support person (your mother, friend or other person who is close to you). Childbirth classes can provide useful information on
- Labour process, childbirth and pain relief options
- Teach you breathing exercises and other tips to make labour and childbirth easier
- Breastfeeding basics
- Even basic newborn care
- Read Parentree articles on breastfeeding - Breastfeeding tips, Common questions about breastfeeding.
- Especially learn about signs of labour in “How to know that you are in labour?”
- Prepare for an easy childbirth - Exercise, Do Kegel exercises, be relaxed, eat well....
- Read about what your baby may look like at birth.
Ideas for dad
- Help mom in organising the house for the baby, stocking up, and keeping important phone numbers (doctors, hospital, caretaker of older child, etc.) handy.
- Help mom in registering at the hospital and ensure that you know the logistics—driving directions, where to park etc.
- Familiarise yourself with post-partum depression.
- Connect with your baby. Talk, sing and even write to your baby (to be read in the future) and in general be relaxed and positive. Your stress and depression can affect your baby. Talk to your doctor or your spouse if you are feeling depressed or gloomy. Even in Indian mythology, Abhimanyu (Arjuna’s son) learnt about Chakravyuha (war tactic) from Krishna in his mother Draupadi’s womb. While this is a little extreme,it emphasises that babies are receptive to the mother’s emotions and the happenings outside the womb.
- Many women find themselves doing some furiously cleaning, organising the house and in general preparing for the baby a couple of days or even hours before labour starts. This is often called “nesting”. In fact many think that nesting might be a sign of impending labour. Even if there is no scientific evidence to prove that nesting occurs right before labour starts, there could be another practical explanation of nesting - that there is lot to do to organise and prepare for the baby and it needs to be done and many times, it is left for the last days.
Useful Parentree articles for this stage of pregnancy