33 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is about 43.7 cms in length from head to heal (17.20 inches) and weighs about 1.918 kgs (4.23 lbs).
Your baby’s body is now fully form, including the brain and nervous system. However your baby’s brain will not fully mature until they are around 24 years old! Due to the challenge of bringing a baby with the largest mammalian brain through the female pelvis, our babies are born with a distinctly immature brain and nervous systems. If you compare a human baby with other mammalian babies, newborns have very limited capacity for functional independence. They are completely dependent upon their parents for their survival. Unparalleled brain development occurs in the first three years of life during which time the brain grows at an extraordinary rate. This is why we say that the first years of life are the most significant in the development of a human being.
34 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is about 45 cms in length from head to heal (17.72 inches) and weighs about 2.146 kgs (4.73 lbs).
These next weeks of your pregnancy are all about your baby gaining weight and growing stronger. Your baby’s fully formed skeleton is continuing to harden, with the exception of your baby’s skull bones. These bones do not fully fuse until well into your baby’s second year of life. This is very helpful during birth as it allows the soft plates of the skull to gently slide over each other and ‘mould’ to the shape of the birth canal.
Although your uterus has been contracting gently for weeks now, you might only just be starting to feel these tightening, commonly known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These tightenings enable you uterus to tone up in preparation for birth and also provide an essential sensory stimuli to your baby’s nervous system.
35 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is about 46.2 cms in length from head to heal (18.19 inches) and weighs about 2.383 kgs (5.25 lbs).
There is not a lot of room inside now for your baby! They will be curled up in your uterus with their legs bent up towards your chest. At some time from this point on your baby might move further down into the brim of your pelvis and engage. For first time mums this tends to happen before labour begins, but for mums having a second or subsequent baby this might not happen until early labour.
Ideally your baby has rotated into a head down position, but if they have not there is still a 50% chance that they might do this spontaneously. Your midwife, GP or obstetrician might talk to you about the possibility of performing an External Cephalic Version if your baby is not yet head down. You might also consider moxibustion, a traditional chinese medicine technique which has been proven to increase the likelihood of your baby turning to the head down position by up to 70%.
Once your baby is engaged you might start to feel quite heavy or uncomfortable in your pelvis. It can also change your posture when walking to a bit of a waddle.
36 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is about 47.4 cms in length from head to heal (18.66 inches) and weighs about 2.622 kgs (5.78 lbs).
Your baby is applying the finishing touches to its body which is now in normal proportion. From being very head heavy for all these months, your baby’s belly now matches its head in size and will become larger than its head from this point on. By 36 weeks your baby’s lungs are fully formed and will be able to take their first breath at birth. The suck and swallow reflex and strength of the muscles in the jaw mean that your baby will be able to feed independently now too.