Pregnancy week 33 – Counting down the seconds

February 22, 2013 12:00 AM by

YOUR CHANGING LIFE

Focus on "you time"
Welcome to week 33 of your pregnancy. From late-night bathroom runs to the feeling that you just can't get one night's worth of restful sleep, you're probably feeling the pressure of your growing baby like never before.

As you edge nearer to your delivery date, you may find that your physical movements are more limited. At this time, your uterus is about 5 inches from your belly button, giving you a full-fledged baby bump that's equal parts endearing and tough to handle.

While you can do your best to squeeze into those sexy maternity clothes, chances are you'll have a difficult time rocking outfits to their fullest as the weeks progress. In fact, you may struggle to get comfortable throughout the day and find yourself opting for comfy attire over stylish ensembles every day of the week.

If you find yourself waddling when you normally would break into a trot or jog, it's no reason to despair! Sleepless nights, difficulty moving and constant aches and pains are a normal part of week 33. You may also experience bloating and fluid retention in your fingertips, which can make doing normal office-related tasks like writing a tough chore.

Your mind may be racing with important things you have to complete on your to-do list, but deep down, your body probably craves the comfort of your sheets and blankets. By week 33, it's no secret to friends and coworkers that you're expecting – don't be afraid to ask for extra time to rest or complete tasks for work. Giving yourself just a few extra hours to sleep in each day can make a world of difference and help you make the most of your pregnancy.

YOUR BABY THIS WEEK

From four oranges to pineapple
Your little one is on the fast-track to delivery by week 33, and now tips the scales at just over 4 pounds. With the nice growth spurt that he or she already experienced – your little one is now more than 17 inches long from head to heel – your baby will just getting bigger and bigger. This means that your due date is right around the corner and ensures that your little one will be healthy by the time you're ready to welcome him or her into the world.

A few weeks back, if you'd seen your baby, you might have recoiled. From their wrinkled skin to their still-forming bone density, babies who are still developing often take on a sort of alien-like look – not exactly the stuff great family portraits are made of!

But by week 33, you can rest easy knowing that your baby's skin is thickening and his or her bones are hardening. With each passing day, the bun that's been cooking in your oven becomes even more adorable.

You may notice that your baby's kicks and jabs are feeling more prominent now. That's because the amniotic fluid in your uterus is no longer enough of a cushion to shield you from each movement.

In addition, your baby's skull is soft – this is because the bones in his or her skull aren't fully developed, and won't fuse together entirely until he or she is in early adulthood. This will make the delivery easier on your little one, but once your baby is born, you'll want to be sure to be as gentle as possible!

HOW TO

Eat right and avoid stirring the pot
Has heartburn or constipation been nagging you for the last few weeks? If so, you may want to consider changing your diet to foods more palatable to your body overall.

For example, if you're affected by constipation, you should opt for fruits and vegetables with plenty of fiber. Apricots, prunes, beans, plums and peas can help you become regular. You'll also want to make special efforts to stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking several glasses of water.

Eating right can provide you and your partner with the opportunity to spend some quality time together outside of preparing for baby and allow you to discover new dishes!

Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also be a great way to support overarching health and may help your baby in terms of early development. Certain kinds of fish are great sources of omega-3s, and if you eat them during the last few weeks of your pregnancy, you can give your baby a much-needed nutritional boost of energy.

Be sure to check with your healthcare provider about any changes in your diet, especially if you plan to eat fish, since you'll want to carefully vet the choices you make. Foods high in mercury can be bad for the baby's overall health, yet tilapia, salmon and pollack may be excellent. 

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