33 Weeks Pregnant: Fetal Development, Movement, and Other Excitement

33 weeks pregnant fetal development

At 33 weeks pregnant, fetal development is getting very exciting because your baby has grown so much up to this point.  Your thirty-third week of pregnancy falls right near the end of your second trimester of your pregnancy. This is the point when many expectant mothers may be waddling, suffering from water retention in the ankles and feet, and might be little weary of being pregnant.

Sleeping for pregnant women is harder at this stage as the larger uterus can get in the way and they feel just exhausted at 33 weeks pregnant.

This article outlines three key fetal developments of your baby in your 33rd week of pregnancy;

  • Fetal growth and the size of your fetus
  • Fetal movement
  • Fetal brain development

Fetal Development at 33 Weeks Pregnant: Fetal Growth and Size

At this point in your pregnancy:

  • Your baby weighs just a bit over 4 pounds and has developed all of his or her organs.
  • Only brain development continues outside of the womb.
  • The baby’s skeleton has become hardened, but the plate-like bones of the skull have not fused together yet. This is to allow the fetus to pass easily through the birth canal. These un-fused areas, or fontenelles, will all fully close up by a child’s second birthday. Not only do they aid in the birth process, they also provide the flexibility required for the growing brain to expand.
  • New neural pathways are continuously established till approximately two years of age.
  • The baby may practice breathing with the amniotic fluid, and it has been drinking and excreting the fluid to help strengthen its digestive system.

Fetal Development at 33 Weeks Pregnant: Fetal Movement

The baby’s eyes have been open since week 30 of your pregnancy, but it is in week 33 that he or she is able to detect light.

  • Dilation and constriction of a baby’s pupils are active and possible now.
  • The fetus has greatly increased in size, and there is less amniotic fluid swishing around the baby.  This is why any kicks or jabs feel harder than earlier, because of less cushioning from the amniotic fluid.
  • Your baby will be far more active at this stage of the pregnancy, and you may feel that you have a little gymnast in the womb. Don’t worry; an active baby is a healthy baby.

Fetal Development at 33 Weeks Pregnant: Fetal Brain Development

The baby’s brain is still rapidly developing, and it will continue to do so after birth. Through week 33, your baby’s head has increased half an inch in circumference.

  • All the senses are functioning, and the fetus can see, hear, feel, and taste.
  • The baby has been swallowing amniotic fluid for multiple weeks now and can even reach to suck a toe or finger.
  • The sense of smell has also developed, but it cannot be used in the womb as there is no air to carry scents to the baby’s nose.

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