Pregnancy Week 33
It’s getting harder to remember time when you were not pregnant. Frequent niggles and pain, big belly, insomnia and complete transformation in your physical and emotional well being, constantly remind you having a baby right in there. This is the time to take deep breathes and relax but the symptoms keeps you overheated all the time.
Thanks to that little bundle of joy which is keeping you strong and happy in this time also. However, if some of you may not enjoy this moment, you need not to be guilty or worried. It’s a very common experience for women which they hesitate to talk about. Many of you may consider pregnancy as a process to have baby. They are not at all emotionally connected to this stage. Well, your attitude at the time of pregnancy can never judge the love, compassion, care and bond you will have with your baby.
Growth and Development of Baby
This week your baby must have grown up to 17 inches and weighs a little over to 4 pounds. You can compare him/her with a pineapple.
By this week, your baby must have changed his position to head down with their little legs folded up to your chest. This is the most favorable position for them to move down into your pelvis to prepare for birth. However, if your baby has not taken his position yet, you need not worry as there is still plenty of time left to him to do so.
The baby’s bones are continuously hardening except those from the skull. The skull bones are not fused together and slightly overlap which makes it easier for baby to move through birth canal. Due to building up of underneath fat, the skin looks less red and wrinkled and smoother now.
The lungs are still in their process of development and maturation through inhalation and exhalation of amniotic fluid. If by any chance, baby is born now, he may not need any external support to breathe as the baby is producing his surfactant which helps his airways to stay open and allow air to get in. Women who undergo premature labor are given cortisone injection to further mature the baby’s lungs.
One milestone which baby has achieved this week is the development of immune system. This is due to the transfer of antibodies from you to your child. This fetal immune system will become handy once it comes out and will be able to fend off all the germs types.
As the baby is growing day by day, he/she is getting lesser space to move in. This is the reason why his/her punches, kicks and turns are more painful now, however, they are less frequent as baby is adopting regular sleeping patterns and sleep for a good time in the day. Another reason for his hard kicks is the lesser amniotic fluid than the baby weight inside. The amniotic fluid has reached its max of 1 liter which is a good sign of baby’s kidneys working.
Apart from baby having regular sleeping and awakening routine, he/she can differentiate between day and night. During night, your baby closes eyes while keep them open in the day. The penetration of more light from uterine wall makes it further easier for your baby to differentiate between day and night.
Changes in the Mother’s Body
By this week, your uterus reaches 5 inches above your belly button. You may feel as now there is no space left to expand but it will expand more. Walking, sitting and even moving around is a tough task now. The difficulty in breathing makes you tired in no time. However, just relax as soon your uterus will drop down in pelvis giving you more space for other organs especially lungs and stomach.
Incontinence: Around this stage of pregnancy, the problem of incontinence becomes a major concern. Laughing, sneezing or coughing can cause a small amount of urine leak from your bladder. To avoid any embarrassing situations, you must wear a light pad inside underpants. Pelvic floor exercises are another solution for this problem as it will strengthen muscles supporting your bladder.
Irritating eyes: You must be feeling quite irritated with your contact lenses as the fluid retention brings transitional stage in your eyes. You can prefer wearing glasses. The shape of the eyes changes which can make glasses and lenses to be imperfect. After birth, your eyes will get back to their normal shape and size.
Insomnia: No wonder, your sleep would have become elusive with having so many problems and issues to disturb it. This third trimester insomnia occurs to almost 75% of women. On the other hand, this week you need maximum rest. So, try to find out ways to make yourself comfortable and sleepy. Try warm bath, warm milk or a soft massage from your partner. Listening to some soothing music can also induce drowsiness.
Weight gain: Most of the women gain around 25-30 pounds in their last trimester. During last weeks, most women gain around one pound each week. Of this one pound, half is attributed to the baby’s growth while other half is distributed to the growing placenta, blood and breast tissue. Your baby gains half of his birth weight during last weeks.
Braxton Hicks contractions: The painful uterine contraction which prepares you for the real thing may become more frequent now. They also help in creating an oxygen surge to the placenta. Unless and until, these contractions are painful, regular and accompanied by bleeding, there is nothing to concern about.
Heartburn: This is the time when you should avoid temptations for spicy and hot foods and go safe. As the growing belly leaves only a small space for your stomach, it becomes difficult to digest food. The problem worsens with the spicy and hot foods. Therefore, keep your meals simple and frequent rather than taking in a heavy load at one time. To soothe your heartburn, you can try milk, cheese, yoghurt, etc.
Numbness: Pain and numbness in your fingers, wrists and hands can be irritating during this period. As your body retains fluid, your hand tissues do the same. This exerts a pressure in the carpel tunnel which is a bony canal in your wrist. As a result of this, the nerves which are present in tunnel may feel pinches causing numbness, shooting or burning pain or dull ache.
To ease it, you can try wearing splint or prop your arm with a pillow. Remember to stretch your hands frequently if you repetitively swing your hands to work.
Some Important Tips to Consider
- The growing belly creates difficulty in sexual intimacy; however, you need to find some creative position to be comfortable. There is no harm in continuing your sex relationship until and unless you have any complications or chances of preterm labor. You need to be cautious for this thing as sex, at times, triggers slight bleeding and mild contractions. Do call your doctor if these symptoms become intense.
- If studies are to be believed, women who had omega-3 Fatty acids or DHA in their diet during their last trimester tend to have more intelligent babies with an edge in terms of early development. One could not guarantee this fact but yes, including DHA, which is mostly present in the fish, in your diet help in brain and vision development. Apart from that, it also prevents preterm labor and postpartum depression. However, watch the fish you eat. Steer clear of shark, tuna and sword fish. You can consume fishes low in mercury like shrimp, red snapper, salmon, etc.
- It has been few weeks, you are fighting everyday life with your big belly, now, you may feel fed up with your body or being pregnant for long. As you know, you had to wait for another seven weeks, try doing pleasurable things. Talk to your friends or your partner or someone who, you feel, would listen to you without any judgment.
- In first pregnancy, you and your partner have enough time to spend together and focus on your coming baby. However, with other children, the opportunity to rest and ponder becomes limited. Though bit difficult, but try to extract a quiet time for yourself and just breathe, relax and sit still for a while. This will help you and your baby to connect with each other.
Monitoring Baby Movements
The baby’s kicks, twists, punches are so common this month that you do not feel any need to monitor them. It’s true that baby reflects quite strong and frequent movements but carefully analyzing its pattern and activity is important to decide the well being of the baby.
Though, every baby has its own routine and own pattern of activity, you must know that major changes in that routine can be sign of some complication.
For that matter, many practitioners suggest you to monitor the movements at least once or twice day. For this, you must choose one time during the day when nobody will disturb you. This time should be the time, when your baby tends to be active. Sit quietly or lie in the bed on your sides. Keep off anything which can distract you. Then, you have to calculate the time; you took to count ten distinct movements. These movements may include kicks, twitches or whole body movements. Ideally, the maximum limit is ten movements in two hours. However, you will not have to wait for that long as you will count too early than that. However, if you fail to count 10 movements in two hours, call your doctor immediately as it signals some complication.
Pregnancy just wants you to be little careful and alert about the body changes. If you listen to your body signals, you can avoid any type of complications and harm to your baby. So, keeping this in mind, wait for your little baby who will soon be in your hands.