Although you have now reached the ninth month, it is still a while until your due date. Pregnancy usually lasts for a total of 10 months, so you are now about halfway through the third trimester. Read on to find out what your baby is up to now and other important information now you are 33 weeks pregnant.
If you are expecting a boy, the testicles should now have dropped into the scrotum.
Your baby is now roughly the size of a pineapple.
The baby will move less because of the limited space available, so don't be surprised if you only feel your baby move occasionally. However, if you don't feel the baby move during a 24-hour period, contact your midwife or doctor, just to check everything is OK. Babies now sleep very deeply for much of the time – this can be a good thing, since your little one is building up some strength for when it makes its appearance in a few weeks!
It is now about time for your little one to position itself head-down ready for the birth. Braxton Hicks contractions will help the baby to "drop" into position before the birth.
You may sometimes feel Braxton Hicks contractions as a pulling sensation in your back and pelvis. These contractions help drop your baby lower into the pelvis. As a result, your bump may change in shape. This change of position has a big benefit for you – you will be able to breathe a little more easily. However, pressure on the bladder can increase (although you've probably got used to that by now,or have you?!).
You should seek medical advice if you experience pain in your upper abdomen, bleeding, watery vaginal discharge or if you suddenly put on a lot of weight or start retaining a lot of fluid. These can be indications of pre-eclampsia of pregnancy. The risk of this is very low, but it never does any harm to have a check-up, just to be sure.
In the last few weeks, the list of pregnancy-related discomforts does not necessarily get any shorter – so pamper yourself as often as you can. Perhaps you have a partner or friend who can give you some hands-on pampering with a foot or back massage? Lucky you! For anyone else, you can at least call on professional hands to do the job. As the baby bump makes it difficult to lie on your back, a foot massage feels particularly good and relieves you of tired aching feet.
On the subject of massage: you can now start to massage the perineum (the tissue between the vagina and the anus), to prepare the vagina for the birth and reduce the risk of any perineal tears.
How do I massage my perineum to prepare for the birth?
The aim of perineal massage is to make the skin more supple and get used to the stretching feeling. If you are well prepared, you can relax before the birth – and the more at ease you feel, the better the birth experience!