Pregnancy Week 33

July 14, 2009

Mother and Baby Are Gaining Weight As The Weeks Go By

Your baby is growing and gaining weight. He is getting longer and heavier by the day and his skin is gradually changing from red to pink as layers of fat accumulate under the skin. His brain has been rapidly growing and his head has grown to accommodate his growing brain. The amniotic fluid, in which he has been living, will be at its highest level this week, and then it will gradually begin to diminish.

At 33 weeks pregnant, your uterus is more than five inches above your navel and you are rapidly gaining weight. Your weight goes up as baby's weight goes up. In fact, he will gain between five and nine ounces every week from now until he is born. You are likely itching to have the pregnancy finished so you can hold your little bundle, but you still have a few more weeks to go. Hang in there!

Feeling A Little Puffy? Pregnanc Swelling

You may be experiencing edema at this stage in your pregnancy. If you are in your third trimester during the summer months, or if you live in a hot climate, swelling may be a regular occurrence for you. Resting on your left side will help to minimize swelling. Keeping your feet up as much as possible helps reduce swelling as well. If the tissue on your hands and wrists swells, you may have pain, numbness, and tingling in your fingers and wrists. This condition resembles Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as the nerves running through the carpal tunnel are constricted due to swelling. If your work requires typing, your doctor may recommend a wrist brace to help provide relief.

Planning The Birth...

This would be a good time to consider pre-registering at your local hospital. By doing so, you have already completed the paperwork necessary to be admitted and you can stay focused on your primary job at that time-delivering your baby. You also may want to work on a birth plan and decide on some of the things you would like to have happen during labor and delivery. There are many delivery choices available to most women, such as natural delivery without drugs, use of an epidural or other form of pain relief during labor and delivery, and other types of relaxation techniques to make delivery as smooth as possible.

...When Labor Doesn't Go As Planned

Sometimes a delivery does not go as planned and a caesarean section may be necessary. While you are thinking about your upcoming labor and delivery, it would be wise to include some research into the risks and benefits of a caesarean section. Most often, a caesarean is required if there is immediate danger to either you or your baby or if there are complications with the pregnancy. There are several conditions that may necessitate a caesarean section, such as pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, a partial or full placental abruption, placenta previa, a contagious infection that can be transferred to the baby through the vagina, or the baby's position, which can make a vaginal delivery dangerous or very difficult.

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