Now that you have entered into the last trimester of pregnancy, you will have gained about 25 to 30 pounds. Some women will gain about a pound a week until the end of the pregnancy. But half of that pound will go to the baby in the final weeks, as the rest is distributed to the growing placenta, blood, and breast tissue (and maybe a bit for the hips too). Over the last 6 to 7 weeks, your baby will gain about half of their birth weight, as he or she prepares for life outside of the womb.
As your amniotic fluid levels begin to slow down, your baby’s movements may begin to feel more sharp this week as the fluid padding you had before, is reduced.
At this week of pregnancy, your baby should weigh about 5 pounds and measure in at 15 to 17 inches in length. Calcification has allowed baby’s to harden, and key minerals and nutrients are helping your baby grow and develop quickly. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins to help baby get everything he or she needs in the coming weeks.
Your baby is also taking in your maternal antibodies—which will protect him or her from germs after delivery. Your baby will develop their own immune system in the coming months.
The baby’s lungs are almost mature now. If the baby is born now, they could survive in an incubator. If you are expecting more than one baby, they may be born this week—though a longer stay in your belly is certainly better. Your baby should be in a head-down position (where they may have been for many weeks) but if not, don’t panic. There’s still time for a flip in the future.
Changes With Your Body
By now the uterus is more than 5 inches from the belly button—and it may feel like it can’t get any bigger. The average weight gain at this week in pregnancy is between 22 and 28 pounds (though some people gain much more, or less).
Sleep may be elusive this month and pregnancy insomnia may be in your future. With all of the nighttime bathroom breaks, your racing mind and crazy dreams, getting comfortable and sleeping for any significant length of time can be a challenge. One bright spot in your sleepless future—it will prepare you for your sleepless nights after baby comes.
What To Expect
In week thirty-three you can expect a bit more trouble sleeping, walking and even sitting. As your uterus expands upward and presses on your diaphragm, even breathing can be a challenge. As the weeks progress though, your baby will drop lower into your pelvis and take some of that pressure away—allowing you to take a better breath.
If the bathroom doesn’t feel like your second home yet, just hang on. Urinary frequency should have been back for several weeks by now, but if not, baby’s weight will soon keep your bladder from expanding fully—meaning more trips to the ladies room.
Forgetfulness, lightheadedness with movement may also start this week. If so, you can pin it all on hormones and try to take it with a grain of salt. These weeks will pass quickly and you will be back to your normal self after delivery.
Overall you can expect more of the same—just on a bigger scale as baby grows and your body does its best to cope.
By now, you should know your body better than anyone. If something doesn’t seem right, call your doctor. Any symptoms of pre-term labor should be reported to your physician or labor and delivery unit. This is also a typical time to enroll in breast feeding, or child birth classes if you and your partner are interested. There’s so much to learn and get ready for—so pace yourself and take it all in one day at a time.