During the 33rd week of gestation, amniotic fluid levels reach an all-time high. Fluid levels will remain the same until baby is born. Brain development is rapid and thus the size of the head is growing to hold new brain tissue. Brain development accounts for growth of about 3/8 of an inch each week.
Fetal skin starts out red, but changes to pink in the latter weeks of pregnancy. The color change is attributed to fat distributions under the skin. More fat means pinker skin.
Weight gain increases in the 33rd week. Singlet pregnancies account for weight gain of about one pound per week. Multiple pregnancies are a bit more at around one and one half pounds. Edema is normal during pregnancy, but pitting that lasts more than a few seconds can be a sign of preeclampsia. Blood pressure screenings are very important during the last few weeks of pregnancy as an increase in blood pressure is a common sign of preeclampsia. Women must also watch out for changes in vision, sharp increases in weight and protein in the urine.
This week is the perfect time to talk about circumcision. Even if parents have chosen to leave fetal sex a mystery, deciding early on whether to circumsize baby is important. Most circumcisions will take place in the hospital so the attending pediatrician will need to know the families preference before baby is discharged. There is no memorable pain associated with circumcision and some researchers have found links to decreased chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases when men are circumsized.
Rest is important again this week. If a pregnant woman is still working outside the home, it is important to sit down for at least 15 minutes for every hour of work. If the job is a desk job, get up and move around a bit every hour to keep swelling to a minimum and decrease the chance for blood clots in the legs. Eating smaller meals throughout the day is important, so pregnant women need to make sure they keep small snacks like trail mix or cereal bars on hand.
Bi-weekly visits are maintained for singlet pregnancies for a few more weeks. Multiple pregnancies are probably visiting the doctor every week at this point.