Your pregnancy at week 33

Welcome to your week 33 pregnancy update where we outline the changes you and your baby are experiencing.

Your Baby

At week 33 your baby is now fully formed physically and has a firm grasp reflex. He is around 44cm long and weighs 1920 grams. His adrenal glands have begun to work, producing the adrenaline that will cause him to feel fear, exertion or even surprise. The adrenal glands are very small, but efficient.

Baby’s adrenal glands have started working this week, producing that famous hormone adrenaline – a neurotransmitter which will help both mother and baby deal with the stress of labour. Baby is also receiving your antibodies to protect and develop his immune system, something which will continue as you breastfeed.

During week 33 your baby’s head will grow by up to centimetre in circumference – a huge spurt in a short time period. Baby’s brain is rapidly making more connections and growing bigger. In fact, some scientists believe baby’s brain in the 33rd week of pregnancy is the same as when he’s born around week 40. Experts have argued that birth is almost an insignificant event when it comes to brain development in babies, with the brain growing more rapidly in the womb then it does in the immediate weeks following birth.

Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby’s development and progress.

The Mum Update

Have you been told you are having a big baby ? Don’t let that undermine your confidence in your abiltiy to give birth vaginally as most women produce babies that their body is able to birth. Also, the size of your bump doesn’t necessarily translate directly to the size of your baby – there are other factors such as the way your baby is lying and how much amniotic fluid there is. Similarly, if your bump is still nice and compact don’t assume your baby is going to be underweight or that there is a problem. Baby bumps come in all sizes and there is no ‘right’ size.

Your baby can also determine the difference between sweet and sour tastes. Premature babies born as early as 33 weeks have been observed to suck harder on a teat dipped in glucose.

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