Pregnancy week 33
(Sparx Media)

How's the foetus during week 33?

As big as a sweet melon

  • Your baby is about 43.7cm in length from crown to heel and weighs about 1,9kg.

  • Your baby's skin colour has become paler due to increased fat accumulation.
  • Her head has grown in proportion to rapid brain growth.
  • Fat continues to be deposited under the skin. This will help your baby to regulate his or her body temperature after birth.

What's with my body: Puffy, swollen and suffering with heartburn, possibly

  • You may be suffering from heartburn again because of the uterus pressing up against your insides.
    Your feet and ankles may be swollen due to water retention (oedema).
    If you suddenly feel swollen or puffy in your hands or face, experience severe headaches, abdominal pain and nausea or vomiting, call your doctor immediately. You may be suffering from pre-eclampsia. 

Go back to the complete list of Pregnancy week-by-week updates.

You probably feel like time is crawling! You may look like you're ready to go into labour, but sorry, you've got at least another 6 weeks to go before baby is ready to arrive, healthy and strong.

How your baby's growing:

The brain continues to grow; fat is rapidly added to prepare for life in the chilly world outside. A boy's testicles are descending from the abdomen into his scrotum (though sometimes this is delayed). The pupils of your little one's eyes can now detect light, constrict and dilate, allowing her to see vague shapes. Her lungs are now almost completely mature and she's moved into position for delivery.

The next time you go in for a check-up, your gynae should be able to tell whether she's facing head down or bottom first.

How you may be feeling:

With not very long to go before your delivery date, now is a good time to figure out what kind of pain relief you want as part of your birth plan. This is a very personal decision - some women prefer to deal with their pain through breathing techniques, others through pain-relief injections, still others through an epidural, which is an anaesthetic administered through a soft, thin catheter placed in your lower back.

Gather as much information as you can on the different techniques, talk with girlfriends and family members about their birth experiences and ask your gynae for information on available options. The more you know, the more comfortable you'll be with choosing a pain-management plan that's right for you.

Tip of the week: Weight gain

No doubt you're starting to feel rather house-like, so you might want to know exactly where all that extra weight is actually going (based on a typical 13kg pregnancy):

  • Uterus 1 kg
  • Placenta 1 kg
  • Amniotic fluid 1 kg
  • Breasts 1 kg
  • Blood 1,3kg
  • Retained water 1,5 kg
  • Fat 3 kg
  • Baby 3,4 kg

Do remember that every woman and every pregnancy is different - but a rough guideline says shorter women should expect to put on between 10 - 12 kg and taller women 12 - 15 kg.

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