Pregnancy week by week:
What to expect Week 33-36

Pregnancy Week by Week: What to Expect Week 29-32

You're into the home stretch of your pregnancy! You may feel both relieved and terrified at the same time, but you're not alone – and there are plenty of ways to help you get through it.

The symptoms may be overwhelming, but you are almost there so hold on and try to visualize holding your litlle one in your arms.

Week 33

What to expect for baby

At 33 weeks, your baby weighs around 4.5 pounds. Their bones are now developed but soft and malleable, especially their skull. Some spots on the skull can remain soft up to one year after the baby is born. These are called fontanelles, and they should not worry you as they are completely normal.

What to expect for mom to be

It’s getting harder to catch a breath because your chest is so constricted. You are also probably really uncomfortable at week 33. It is also normal to feel overheated and winded, making it really hard to relax. Of course, this is on top of all the other symptoms.

With all the expansion going on, your chest cavity will be very cramped this week. Your baby may also push into your ribs, causing occasional aches or painful swelling on the cartilage that joins your ribs to your breastbone (sternum).

62% of all pregnant women also complain of shortness of breath dyspnea due to pregnancy hormones changing their respiratory system.

Here is a simple exercise that will help you overcome the shortness of breath: Put your arms up over your head as you sit up straight. This gives your lungs some space to take in air. You can also practice childbirth breathing techniques as they also come in handy at this time.

By week 33, your breasts are about as large as they are going to be in your pregnancy journey. They’ll be heavy and extra-sensitive. Wearing a supportive bra will not only give you some much-needed extra support but will also help ease the discomfort that comes with oversensitivity.

Tip of the week

The good news is your baby will be here very soon and you are probably very excited to meet them. Make sure your hospital bag is fully packed and start reading up on postpartum care. Stock up on mom care and baby care essentials as well.

If you think that your nesting instinct has started to kick in, take advantage of it when you are energetic. It would also be best to start learning about postpartum life and prepare yourself and your newborn for life after delivery.

Week 34

What to expect for baby

If you’re having a boy, their testicles will be making their way into the scrotum from the abdomen this week. Some boys are born with the testicles still undescended. However, they do come down on their own within the first year after birth.

Your little one’s fingernails will have also now reached the tips of their fingers.

In week 34, your baby is actively paying attention to everything you say now. Sing them a lullaby once in a while. It will likely become their favorite tune in those first few months after being born.

What to expect for mom to be

Your uterus, and subsequently, your belly and chest cavity, are now very cramped and no longer spacious.

One of the new things that you may notice this week is a change in your eyesight. Your eyes may also not be functioning properly as a result of all the pregnancy hormones coursing through your veins.

Your vision may be blurry, and a decrease in tear production may cause your eyes to feel irritated from the dryness. The fluid behind the lenses can also sometimes change shape, making some pregnant women temporarily nearsighted or farsighted. These changes will eventually clear up after birth.

That said, if you have serious vision problems, please reach out to your doctor as it may be a sign of pre-eclampsia.

Tip of the week

Since your eyes may be acting up, regularly put on sunglasses and add lubricating eye drops to keep them hydrated. Many brands are safe to use during pregnancy. However, err on the side of caution and consult your healthcare provider before using any of them.

Week 35

What to expect for baby

At week 35, you are just a few days away from meeting your little one. Good job for making it this far! Now to hold on just a little bit longer…

Your baby is gaining weight steadily. Their arms and legs, which were once skinny, are now quite chubby and soft. They are also more alert than ever.

The baby's brainpower is also developing quite rapidly now. The skull, however, remains soft to allow your body to squeeze out the baby more easily via the birth canal. Hardening will occur later on after delivery.

What to expect for mom to be

One of the first trimester classics, frequent urination, is bound to make a comeback. This time, though, instead of being as a result of hormonal changes, it occurs as a result of your little one pressing against your bladder, resulting in the need to pee all the time.

You might start to lose bladder control as you cough, sneeze, or laugh. Do not cut back on fluids as a solution as they are critical to the baby’s development. Instead, you can empty your bladder completely by leaning forward when you pee.

Kegel exercises can also help you strengthen your pelvic muscles and prevent pregnancy-induced inconsistencies.

Tip of the week

The two main pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone can also make your nasal mucus membranes swell up, making you feel a bit stuffy. This is called pregnancy rhinitis. To combat this, use some nasal strips to open up your nostrils. You can also put a bit of petroleum jelly in each nostril if your nose feels too dry.

Try not to get too stressed this week. If you feel like there are a number of things you still haven’t done, don’t worry about any of that. It’s probably not important anyway. As long as you have a safe place for your baby to sleep and some diapers, everything else will take care of itself somehow.

Week 32

What to expect for baby

Week 36 marks the beginning of the 9th month of pregnancy. Your baby could arrive literally any day now.

They are now probably in the head-down position in preparation for birth. By week 36, 93% of all babies are head-down.

By now, they have also developed a more complex sleep cycle and they will show some distinct periods of quiet sleep. If you can figure out this pattern, replicating it after they are born will make the first few months postpartum very easy for you.

What to expect for mom to be

Lightening, which refers to the baby's shifting position as they drop into the pelvis, may cause your belly to look a little different. When this happens, you may feel that you have more room to take in deeper breaths of air. However, this will be at the expense of the pressure in your pelvis, and you will notice it.

From now on, you will probably gain a pound every week, having already gained roughly 27 pounds from the onset of your pregnancy. Your doctor may now encourage screening for Group B strep, also known as beta strep. They will take a sample of bacteria from your vagina and rectum, which will be cultured in a lab and checked for Group B strep.

Tip of the week

Pressure in the pelvis can be painful, causing aches and feeling heavy. Even though you cannot prevent the aches, there are some things you can do to ease your discomfort, such as wearing a pelvic support belt or lying down and putting your feet up.

Take care of any final prep work and make sure things are ready for the baby’s arrival. Then try to relax. Work on your breathing techniques and go over your plan for getting to the hospital.

Final Thoughts

It’s been a long journey to get here, and you should be absolutely proud of yourself! If you have made it this far, the last few steps won’t be a problem for you.

As these next few weeks begin, it will be essential for you to keep your body hydrated with at least eight bottles of water daily. You'll also want to increase your caloric intake as you prepare for labor. Try snacking on nutrient-rich foods such as carrots, walnuts, apples, almonds, and salmon throughout the day.

Finally, do not forget to invest in proper breast support in the form of a good nursing bra. Seriously, getting the right nursing bra for you will completely transform your life!

Angelia Smith - Mar. 02 2022


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