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33 Weeks Pregnant: What's Going On

Pregnancy week 33

All of your baby's senses are working now, preparing for life in the big world. You may be bothered by sore wrists, but the pain will likely disappear after birth. Learn more about pregnancy week 33.

Your Baby at 33 Weeks Pregnant 

Quick study. Your baby's brain is still developing rapidly as her five senses get ready for the world outside the womb. At this point, she can see the liquid world around her, feel sensation when she grabs a toe or sucks on a finger, taste the amniotic fluid, and hear your heartbeat. There's no air in the amniotic sac to carry scent, but if there were, she'd be able to smell her environment.

Head first. Because of tremendous brain growth, your baby's head circumference has increased by nearly half an inch just this week.

Mind the menu. It's more important than ever to pay attention to your diet. Your baby's protein and fat requirements are at their greatest over the next few weeks, so be sure to eat balanced meals. Your little one now measures 16.5 inches and weighs more than 4 pounds, and she'll double her weight over the next seven weeks.

Your Pregnancy at 33 Weeks

Scaling up. You'll continue putting on about a pound a week until just before delivery. Don't try to slow your weight gain: Your baby needs the extra pounds right now. There'll be plenty of time to lose weight after he's born.

Wrestling with wrist pain. If your wrists and fingers feel achy, painful, or numb, you're not alone. Many pregnant women develop carpal tunnel syndrome, characterized by swelling around the nerves at the wrist. The pain and swelling will probably disappear after you deliver. In the meantime, try shifting your sleeping position so that you're not putting any pressure on your hands or wrists. Wear a wrist brace to keep your wrist extended. If possible, reduce any repetitive motion — typing or piano playing, for example. If your pain is not relieved by these measures and continues to be severe, contact your healthcare provider.


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Elaine Zwelling, R.N., Ph.D.