33 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development and Your Preparation Checklist

Fact Checked Medically reviewed by Tanja Premru-Sršen


Welcome to 33 weeks pregnant! At this stage of your third trimester, your baby is developing their sucking and swallowing skills practicing their breathing patterns and muscle movements. It will be just a while before the baby arrives!

Meanwhile, the bodies of the moms-to-be are working very hard to finish the final stages of pregnancy and prepare for childbirth, which will come by the end of the third trimester.

Keep reading to learn more about what awaits during pregnancy week number thirty-three.

Physical Symptoms During Week Thirty-Three of Pregnancy

Around week thirty-three of your pregnancy, some of the main pregnancy symptoms you can expect are going to include:

Rib pain

Your ribs will expand during pregnancy to make room for the growing uterus, which puts pressure on your chest. That, paired with your baby kicking you into the rib bones, can lead to an occasional ache in your rib area.

The more severe version of this occurrence is costochondritis, a painful swelling of the cartilage in the chest. You are very likely to feel some rib pain and pressure during Braxton Hicks contractions.

Wrist pain

If you feel some pain or numbness in your fingers, wrists, and hands, do not worry, as that is a common symptom of the thirty-third week of pregnancy.

Your wrists retain fluid during pregnancy, increasing pressure in the carpal tunnel and causing you pain and discomfort, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome in more severe cases.

Forgetfulness and clumsiness

Many pregnant women refer to their forgetfulness and clumsiness during pregnancy as “pregnancy brain.”

Many believe that pregnancy brain happens due to the stress and anxiety of expecting a baby that will arrive shortly, mixed with the effects of pregnancy hormones.


At this stage of your pregnancy, your metabolic rate is through the roof, which probably causes you to feel like you are always just a tad bit too hot for comfort.

Increased libido

At this stage of your pregnancy, there is a chance that you will feel a bit hot and heavy, and your partner is very likely to enjoy the sexual mood. The intercourse itself might need some logistics adjustments due to your large pregnant belly.

Unless your healthcare provider suggests otherwise, sex during pregnancy is safe right up until the water breaking or the beginning of labor.

What Happens to The Baby During Week Thirty-Three of Pregnancy?

At 33 weeks pregnant, the baby is almost 17 inches long and weighs a bit over 4,5 pounds, which is about the size of a big pineapple!

At this stage of the baby’s development, the baby’s bones are fully developed but still a bit soft and malleable. They need to remain soft in order to pass through the narrow birth canal, especially in the baby’s skull that protects the baby’s brain. Isn’t it amazing how mother nature keeps everything in mind?

Your baby is also beginning to coordinate and practice sucking and swallowing, two skills it will need once it leaves the comfort of your womb. It is working on strengthening its own immune system as well.

Pregnancy Checklist During Week Thirty-Three

There are certain tasks you need to fulfill to keep up with the journey and make sure you are staying on top of your and your baby’s needs.

The list of things you need to complete during your thirty-third week of pregnancy will include:

Think about childcare for older children and pets during labor

If you already have children and pets, someone has to take care of them while you are in labor.

However, if the labor starts in the middle of the night or in the middle of the school day, making those arrangements on the spot might be difficult, so make sure to make them now and make your babysitter and pet sitter one phone call away.

Pack your hospital bag

Once the labor process starts, you will not have any time to pack since you will have more urgent things on your mind.

That is why you should use this time to pack everything you, your partner, and your baby will need during your hospital visit.

Use a cold compress

If you are looking for a way to relieve headaches without medication, applying a cold compress to the back of your neck will be the way to move forward.

Another big plus of cold compresses is that they are, well, cold, which can help with the overheating symptom.

Take notes to help you stay on top of tasks

At thirty-three weeks pregnant, you are probably dealing with a significant case of pregnancy brain, and staying on top of your daily tasks might be an issue.

To prevent stuff from slipping through the cracks, utilize a to-do list or a digital calendar app on your phone.

What To Avoid or Begin to Avoid?

To protect you and the baby during your pregnancy, it is essential to avoid potentially dangerous and harmful things and activities.

During your thirty-third pregnancy week, make sure to stay away from:

  • Smoking, doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and being exposed to toxic substances.
  • Sleeping on your tummy.
  • Performing demanding workouts and carrying heavyweight.
  • Wearing strappy and tight shoes and high heels.
  • Touching kitty litter or cat feces.
  • Drinking an excessive amount of caffeine and carbonated drinks.
  • Getting tattooed as it poses a risk of infection.
  • Eating junk food, deli meats, raw or undercooked meat, eggs, cheeses from unpasteurized milk, unpasteurized dairy foods, high mercury fish, and unwashed fruits and vegetables.
  • Having close contact with anyone with rubella, chickenpox, or the Zika virus.