The finish line is creeping closer and closer. At 33 weeks pregnant you’re just seven weeks away from completing your full term – exciting!

Your baby’s development

This week your baby is the size of a… pineapple.
Lungs should be almost completely developed and ready for the outside world. Many babies born at this stage can breathe without assistance, however some will still need help as every baby is different.

Skull bones are soft and not yet fused together. This is to help the baby move through the birth canal – they will fuse together and harden after the birth.

The amniotic fluid is now at its maximum capacity of around one litre and will remain at this level until the birth.
Your physical pregnancy changes

As your baby takes up every bit of space possible you’ll notice that, as well as needing to visit the bathroom frequently, you will experience some incontinence. This is one of many common pregnancy problems towards the end of the third trimester and a pad worn in your underwear is the best way to ease your woes.
Digestion will become increasingly uncomfortable over the coming weeks with more heartburn and indigestion likely as your baby grows and presses on your organs, lungs and digestive system. Tips for combating this include:
· Eating small portions regularly
· Sticking to soft and easy to chew foods
· Drinking lots of water
· Taking antacids which your doctor or pharmacist has approved
· Sleeping with extra pillows to raise your upper body
You may experience Braxton Hicks this week. This is where your uterine muscles practise contracting, ready for the big day. The difference between these and the real thing is that these Braxton Hicks are more of a tightening sensation rather than painful. They occur sporadically, not at regular intervals. If they are painful and become regular then contact your doctor or midwife immediately.
Your health and fitness during pregnancy

Mood swings and insomnia are likely to be taking their toll this week. It’s easier said than done but try and get as much sleep as possible by sticking to a regular routine and not having caffeine or sweet treats in the afternoons and evenings.

Your baby will still be growing and laying down fat, so stick with eating healthily.

Your week 33 pregnancy checklist

Keep an eye on your baby’s movements and any extreme changes.
If you haven’t already done so,
Keep at your pelvic floor exercises, because they’ll help make the muscles surrounding your bladder much stronger and therefore reduce incontinence.
Speak to your doctor if you’re feeling like you can’t cope.