Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 33
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Welcome to week 33.
 The Baby
Your baby is now almost 19 inches long and weighs more than 4 ½ lbs. She could still double her weight before birth, and at the very least should gain a third of her weight again. She is continuing to gain fat, and her lungs are almost fully matured, which means she would probably cope very well if she were to be born now and would stand a good chance of surviving. Her head size has increased by approximately 3/8 of an inch due to rapid brain growth this week. At this point, the amniotic fluid is at its largest volume, and it will stay the same until you deliver, which means there is more baby than fluid right now (hence all the poking and kicking you’re feeling).
If you could see inside your uterus, you would see you little one acting more and more like a newborn with her eyes open when awake and closed when asleep. She is also able to protect herself from mild infections by now as her immune system is developed. Of course, the antibodies she is getting from you help with this too, and will continue to do so if you breastfeed.
 The Mommy
Your uterus is now almost 5 inches above your navel. As your body produces relaxin to get your pelvis nice and supple for delivery, it might mean you start to develop a bit of a waddle. You might feel silly, but people will generally be more interested in looking at your belly, and you’ll be grateful of the effects of relaxin when baby’s head is trying to push through! You might be starting to find that as your belly is getting bigger and bigger, the skin is starting to get very itchy as it stretches to cover it all! Try not to scratch and instead rub in some nice lotion like cocoa butter, or get a loved one to do it for you!
Much of your time at the moment is probably devoted to fears and concerns about labour. What is it really like? Do people exaggerate, or perhaps play it down for fear of putting you off? The truth is that it is a completely different experience for everyone, and even for the same person experiencing a subsequent birth. Approximately 10% of women claim that labour is truly painful, and 10% claim they experienced no pain at all, with everyone else being somewhere in between. There are many different factors that affect how painful childbirth is: your pain threshold may be different to others; you may choose different sorts of pain relief, or none at all; you may have a harder time due to being induced; or because the baby is in an awkward position – the possibilities are endless. One thing that most mums will agree on however is that it was worth every minute.
You will probably want to look into the various methods of pain relief available to you at the hospital you are planning to deliver at. Bear in mind that not all places offer the same choices, so speak to your doctor about your options. While you do not have to make a decision yet, and can change your mind right up until the last minute depending on how well you are coping, it is a good idea to be as informed as possible so that you know what you might want, or do not want, and what to expect once you have had them. The most commonly used methods include:
 The Daddy
It might still seem like a long way off, but if you are expecting a boy you might like to start thinking about whether or not you would like him to be circumcised. Many fathers-to-be feel very strongly about this, though by no means should you disregard the opinion of your partner as just having the same equipment doesn’t know you mean everything about it! It is very difficult to find good, unbiased information about circumcision on the internet as it has become a rather hot topic in recent years, and even many doctors can be biased one way or the other. Religious reasons aside, it is unusual to find circumcision routinely practised in many places outside of the U.S., the Middle East and North Africa but the final decision comes down to your own beliefs and preferences. Just make sure they are informed, and that you make your decision clear when you are pre-registering at the hospital or when your partner is admitted: this is not a decision you want to leave until the last minute.
 For more information
Track your pregnancy week by week using the pregnancy calendar at our sister site, 3Dpregnancy.com. Take a look at how your baby develops from every perspective using their rotatable 3D images. Read all there is to know about every week of your amazing pregnancy, including info on your baby, you as the mother, the father and siblings! Click here: 3Dpregnancy.com to go!