33 Weeks Pregnant
We’d tell you to take a deep breath and relax, but it’s probably tough to do either of those at 33 weeks pregnant. In fact, it’s probably hard to get comfortable at all, since you might be feeling overheated on top of your other symptoms too. But you’re probably getting super excited to meet baby, and we can’t blame you. Week 33 of pregnancy is a good time to start packing your hospital bag. You might also want to read up on postpartum care and stock your medicine cabinet with some essential new mom care supplies. (The hospital will have plenty as well, so no need to worry if you overlook something.) Sure, you might not see baby for another month or so, but if you have an early surprise arrival, at least you won’t have to think about which shirt to pack or whether or not you have hemorrhoid cream at home. (About that… sorry.)
How Big Is Baby at 33 Weeks?
At 33 weeks pregnant, baby is as big as a head of celery. They weigh about 4.2 pounds and measures about 17.2 inches—and may grow up to a full inch this week. Amazing!
33 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
Thirty-three weeks pregnant is eight months pregnant, although most doctors refer to your progress in pregnancy by week, not month.
If we had to sum up 33 weeks pregnant symptoms in one word? Discomfort! Here’s what you’re probably feeling this week.
- Overheating. You’re one hot mama-to-be because your metabolic rate is through the roof.
- Headaches. Hormone fluctuations at 33 weeks can cause headaches. So can stress or dehydration, so try to take it easy and drink plenty of water. A few extra trips to the ladies’ room is worth the sacrifice.
- Shortness of breath. By now, you may be used to not being able to fully catch your breath (especially if you’re 33 weeks pregnant with twins). Imagine what a relief it will be when baby “drops” and frees up some space around your lungs. For different moms-to-be, this happens at different times, but chances are, it could be very soon.
- Forgetfulness and clumsiness. This is the unproven phenomenon also known as “baby brain.” Your flightiness may be less due to your physiological changes and more due to the stress and anxiety of expecting a baby in less than two months.
By 33 weeks pregnant, you may have gained around 22 to 28 pounds total—32 to 42 pounds if you’re 33 weeks pregnant with twins. For some moms-to-be, having some extra curves makes them feel sexy. Know that as long as your doctor has said sex is okay during your pregnancy, you can continue to enjoy it right up until delivery day.
If you feel your belly tightening occasionally, you’re probably having Braxton Hicks contractions. Here’s how you know: Braxton Hicks aren’t painful and often happen after sex or exercise. They’re different from regular contractions because they stop when you switch positions.
Real contractions keep going—there’d be at least five in an hour—and mean actual labor. Yep! And it’s early still, so at this point having real contractions would be considered preterm labor. Certain complications and conditions make you more likely to go into labor early, such as having excess amniotic fluid, being dehydrated or being 33 weeks pregnant with twins.
At 33 weeks pregnant, cramping like you’d have with a period could be a sign of preterm labor. So can vaginal bleeding, unusual discharge or leaking. At 33 weeks pregnant, pressure in your pelvis could be a sign too. Be on the lookout for these symptoms. If anything worries you, empty your bladder, lie on your left side, drink water and call your OB immediately.
If you were to have a 33 weeks pregnant ultrasound, you’d see that baby is keeping their eyes open while awake. Baby is also starting to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing—an important skill for life “on the outside.” Your 33-week fetus’ bones are hardening. And baby is going through (more) major brain development—that's one smart baby!
A 33 weeks pregnant ultrasound might be done as part of a biophysical profile (BPP). This test is done in the third trimester for high-risk patients (so if you’re 33 weeks pregnant with twins, you might be getting these every so often) and after 40 weeks for women who go past their due dates. The ultrasound will gauge your 33- week fetus’ movement, breathing, muscle tone and amount of amniotic fluid. The other part of the BPP—the non-stress test—will measure how baby’s heart rate changes when they move or you have contractions.
Think of it as an extra peek to confirm all is well with your 33-week baby. Maybe the peace of mind will help you with that whole relaxing thing.
Reminders for the week:
Medical content was reviewed February 2020 by Sherry A. Ross, MD, an ob-gyn and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, and author of she-ology and she-ology, the she-quel: let’s continue the conversation.