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Week 33

Week 33

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This is a time of rapid growth for your baby. In the remaining seven weeks of your pregnancy, the baby will gain over half of his or her birth weight. The fetus is now at a weight of almost 4.5 pounds, and is near 17.5 inches long. The womb is getting smaller, and the baby is curled up with the chin resting on the chest. The baby will soon have to cross the arms and legs, and movement will be much more restricted. The brain will grow a great deal in the third trimester, and the head will have increased by 3/8 of an inch by the end of this week.

You've gained between 22 and 28 pounds so far, and you'll keep gaining a pound every week. Your uterus is now around 5 inches above your belly button. Swelling increases and it's not uncommon to notice it more in your feet, ankles and hands. As the baby presses against all of your organs, you might notice your appetite decreases significantly.

If you notice symptoms like dizziness, persistent headaches, vomiting or facial swelling, call your doctor right away. These are all warning signs of pre-eclampsia, which occurs when protein accumulates in the urine and causes high blood pressure. This condition can be very dangerous for you and your baby, so don't hesitate to contact your caregiver if you experience any of these symptoms. At this point, you'll be seeing your doctor once every week.

The amniotic fluid has increased by the 33rd week, and will remain at a higher level until delivery. If the baby weight is causing you aches and pains, try to relax with a heating pad or hot water bottle as much as possible. Use medicated pads or witch hazel for hemorrhoid pain, and if you have heartburn talk to your physician about which antacids and natural remedies are safe during pregnancy.

A short walk every day will allow you to get some exercise without putting strain on your body. It will be difficult to manage your fitness routine as your baby's due date nears, so focus more on breathing techniques for delivery and gentle stretching. Kegel exercises will strengthen your pelvic floor muscle, and can help make labor easier. They will also mean less urinary incontinence, and improve sex after deliver although that's probably the last thing you're thinking about right now!


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