33 weeks pregnant symptoms not to ignore

33 weeks pregnant symptoms not to ignore

33 weeks pregnant symptoms not to ignore

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33 weeks pregnant symptoms

As mentioned above, you may be noticing some changes to your heart. Some other symptoms you may experience during week 33 and in your final stage of pregnancy include:


  • back pain
  • swelling of the ankles and feet
  • difficulty sleeping
  • heartburn
  • shortness of breath
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions
33 weeks pregnant symptoms not to ignore
33 weeks pregnant symptoms not to ignore

Back pain


As your baby grows, pressure builds on your sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in your body. This can cause back pain called sciatica. To relieve back pain, you may try:


  • taking warm baths
  • using a heating pad
  • switching the side you sleep on to alleviate sciatic pain


A study in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy indicates that physical therapy, such as education and exercise therapy, can reduce back and pelvic pain before and after pregnancy.


If you are in severe pain, call your doctor.


Swelling of the ankles and feet


You may notice that your ankles and feet are swelling more than they did in previous months. That’s because your growing uterus puts pressure on veins running to your legs and feet. If you’re experiencing swelling of the ankles and feet, prop them up above heart level for 15 to 20 minutes, at least two to three times daily. If you’re experiencing extreme swelling, this could be a sign of preeclampsia, and you need to contact your doctor immediately.

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Now that you are firmly in the final trimester of pregnancy, you need to know signs of early labor. Though your baby is not considered full term for several more weeks, early labor is possible. Signs of early labor include:


  • contractions at regular intervals that are getting closer together
  • lower back and leg cramping that does not go away
  • your water breaking (it can be a large or small amount)
  • bloody or brownish vaginal discharge (known as “bloody show”)


Even though you may think you are in labor, it could just be Braxton-Hicks contractions. These are infrequent contractions that do not get closer together and more intense. They should go away after a period of time and should not be as strong as the contractions will be when you finally go into labor.

33 weeks pregnant symptoms not to ignore
33 weeks pregnant symptoms not to ignore

If your contractions are getting longer, stronger, or closer together, get to the delivery hospital. It is still too early for a baby to be born and they will likely try to stop the labor. Early labor can be triggered with dehydration. Often an IV bag of fluid is enough to stop labor.

What should I be doing at 33 weeks pregnant?

Now is as good a time as any to start checking things off your ‘to do’ list:

  • Get the nursery ready and stocked with everything you will need
  • Organize for car seats to be installed
  • Pack your hospital bag and put it in a place where you can easily find it
  • Organize care for older children while you’re in the hospital
  • Stock the freezer with meals for after you get home with your new baby
  • Sort out the birthing announcement
  • Organize home delivery of groceries for the first few weeks after the baby is born.
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If you’ve hired a doula, it’s a good time to go over your birth options in detail and to finalize your birth plan.

When you have a doula, you significantly lower your chances of having interventions during labor. This means you’re less likely to request pain relief or have a c-section.

Although some doulas take on births at the last minute, if you’re interested in hiring one, it’s best to do it sooner rather than later.

This is because the more time your doula has with you, the more time she has to help you with advice and resources.



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