33 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Signs & Baby Development

Mom-to-be, being 33 weeks pregnant is quite exciting! This week your little one is preparing herself to join the world by developing all her senses. Her bones are hardening and her skin is becoming smoother. If you are wondering how much 33 weeks pregnant is in months, then you are in your eighth month. As for you, there are a few 33 weeks pregnancy symptoms that might come your way. It includes wrist pain, itchy skin, and frequent urination. You might even notice some fluid leaking from your breasts. There’s so much going on during the 33rd week of pregnancy, let’s dive into it.

33 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

At 33 weeks pregnant, your baby is developing in the following ways:


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. She can feel sensation when she grabs a toe or sucks on a finger. She can 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 surrounding environment.


At 33 weeks, your little one is still gaining weight and will continue until the due date.

Smoother Skin:

As fat stores begin to deposit under your baby’s skin, it looks less red and wrinkled.

Hardening Bones:

Your baby’s bones are hardening, however, the skull remains soft and flexible, so that she’ll be able to pass more easily through the birth canal during vaginal birth.


Because of tremendous brain development during the 33rd week of pregnancy; your baby's head circumference has increased by nearly half an inch just this week. Don’t worry if her head looks a little misshapen at birth because the soft spots on her skull will fuse together and harden sometime in the first two years of her life. Read more about baby movement in womb in third trimester

The Size of the Fetus at 33 Weeks Pregnant

At 33 weeks, the average fetus is about the size of a pineapple! Your baby weighs about 1.8 kilograms, and she’s about 43 to 46 centimeters long. Look below for an illustration of what your little one might look like and how your baby may be positioned at 33 weeks.

33 Weeks Pregnant - Fetus Development

Your Body Changes At 33 Weeks Pregnant

Difficulty in Sleeping:

At this point in your pregnancy, you may find that sleep is eluding you. With your increased size and protruding belly, at 33 weeks pregnant, sleeping through the night may be more difficult. Try to make your bed as comfortable as possible, adding pillows for your legs and abdomen. To feel a little more rested, take daytime naps whenever possible.

Back Pain:

Your 33-week pregnant belly can easily lead to back pain. If so, do some gentle backbends to help ease the discomfort: As you stand upright, place your hands on your back and bend slightly backward (about 15 to 20 degrees). Repeat this movement a few times, as needed. Consult your doctor for more information on how to exercise for back pain relieve during pregnancy and stretch your back and for other ways to reduce or manage back pain.

33 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms

Some of the 33 weeks pregnancy symptoms you can expect might include:

Wrist and hand pain:

If your wrists and fingers feel achy, painful, or numb, you're not alone. Many pregnant women develop carpal tunnel syndrome, characterised by swelling around the nerves at the wrist, due to water retention. This affects the bones and ligaments in the wrist and can cause some discomfort, including numbness or tingling feeling in the hands. This symptom usually subsides after you give birth, and the discomfort should disappear along with the swelling. In the meantime, try shifting your sleeping position so that you're not putting any pressure on your hands or wrists. You may also want to wear wrist braces to keep your wrists extended. If possible, reduce any repetitive motion — typing, for example. If your pain persists, contact your doctor.

Fluid leaking from breasts:

This is another 33 weeks pregnancy symptom that you would notice as your due date comes near. Called colostrum, this 'pre-milk' will be your baby's first nourishment if you're planning on breastfeeding. Read more about breast changes during pregnancy

Itchy skin:

As your skin stretches to accommodate your growing belly and breasts, you might experience itchy skin. Soothe your skin with some lotion, and avoid hot baths or showers as these can dry your skin even more. Instead, opt for warm water. Try to resist the urge to scratch your skin, as this can make it even worse.

Frequent urination:

Your growing baby could be moving deeper into your pelvis, putting some unwelcome pressure on your bladder. This means you’re probably peeing more often by day and by night. This pressure on your bladder can also lead to leakage when you laugh, cough, or sneeze. There’s not much you can do to relieve this symptom, but if you are experiencing bladder leakage, try wearing a panty liner to keep you dry in case of minor accidents. Don't cut back on drinking water, because staying hydrated is especially important. It can be helpful, though, to make sure that you use the bathroom before you leave the house or head into a meeting at work, for example. Read more about frequent urination during pregnancy

Braxton Hicks contractions:

You’re getting closer to your due date, so those “practice” contractions may be kicking into high gear and getting stronger. If you feel what you think may be true labour contractions, it’s a good idea to time them; typical labour contractions will last up to 90 seconds and will come and go at regular intervals. Braxton Hicks contractions are more likely to occur in the evening and after physical activity like exercise or sex, and they subside when you move or change positions. If you have any doubts about the symptoms you are experiencing at 33 weeks pregnant, contact your doctor immediately.

Leg swelling:

Your growing uterus can place pressure on the major veins that move blood from your lower body to your heart, which can sometimes lead to swollen legs. If you experience swelling in your legs or feet, avoid standing for long periods. Whenever possible, elevate your feet to help improve circulation. Comfortable shoes and support hoses can also help with this.

Abdominal cramping:

Cramping can be one of the 33 weeks pregnant symptoms of preterm labour. Sometimes, but not always, this cramping is accompanied by diarrhoea. If you notice either of these symptoms, let your doctor know right away. Read about remedies for third trimester stomach pain

33 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

Research about birthing positions:

With your due date approaching, you may want to investigate some labour and birthing positions that may help make delivering your baby a bit more comfortable. Do some research to find out more about the options that may be available to you, like birthing chairs, stools, balls, or even pools or tubs for labouring in water. Talk to your doctor to find out what your hospital can offer you. Naturally, you won’t know what feels best until you’re actually in labour but take some time now to explore your choices.

Pack your hospital bag:

Make sure you’ve prepared everything you, your birth partner, and your baby will need while in the hospital. Read more about maternity hospital bag checklist

Install car safety seat:

If you get around by car, you’ll need an approved car safety seat for when your baby arrives. It needs to be rear-facing and properly installed in the backseat of your vehicle.

33 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • When will you get the Tdap vaccination?

  • Do you need to register at the hospital where you’re going to give birth? When and how do you do this?

  • If you think you’re in labour, who should you call? What if it’s after hours? At what point should you go to the hospital?

  • What are the risks and benefits of an episiotomy, and in what circumstances would it be recommended?

  • Are there any tests or scans you need now or in the coming weeks?

33 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • Plot and practice driving the quickest route to the hospital, timing yourself.

  • Get your baby’s nursery in order and decorated.

  • Find out more about breastfeeding and what resources are available to you, like classes or support groups.

  • Pay special attention to your diet, eating plenty of protein and healthy fats.

  • Wear a wrist brace or shift your sleeping position if you’re having wrist pain. Get week-by-week expert tips on pregnancy to keep track of your baby’s development and to ensure the well-being of both you & your baby during the entire nine months journey!

  • If you have a little spare time this week, sanitise your baby gear and wash your baby’s clothes, bedding, and swaddle blankets.

  • Organise your baby’s clothes by size. This makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for no matter what size your baby is at birth and beyond.

How We Wrote This Article:
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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