Week 33



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As well as feeling more excited as the birth approaches, you might also have more swelling, aches and pains, heartburn and reflux. You might be feeling more tired and urinating more often.

Rest whenever you can, and accept help whenever people offer it.

Here are some signs that labour might start soon:

  • a ‘show’ – this is when the mucus plug that has been sealing your cervix comes away
  • your waters breaking – this could be a slow leak or a big gush. Phone the hospital or let your obstetrician or midwife know
  • more pressure as baby’s head shifts lower in your uterus and into the pelvis
  • more Braxton Hicks contractions
  • cramping in your lower pelvis, a bit like period pain.

You’ll know you’re in labour when you feel contractions that last for a minute each, coming at regular intervals (about five minutes apart).

Your baby

This is what baby is doing:

  • Baby is about 29 cm from head to bottom, and weighs about 1.9 kg.
  • Baby is practising sucking and swallowing. These reflexes won’t be fully coordinated until about the end of week 34.
  • Baby’s liver is storing iron. These iron stores will help your baby until 4-6 months after birth.
  • Baby’s lungs are maturing, producing lots of surfactant to help baby breathe after birth.

Baby’s movements will change as baby gets bigger. If you’re worried about an increase or decrease in baby’s movements at any stage, speak with your doctor or midwife.

Babies born now have a very good chance of survival, but are still premature. They’ll need to be looked after in an intensive care or special care nursery.

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