At week 33, your body is stretching to accommodate your baby, and your skin will be stretched tighter than ever before. As a result, you may be experiencing some intense itching. The sensation of stretched skin can vary from mildly annoying to unbearable, with problems from mild dryness to the development of stretch marks. There are many specialty products on the market that claim to prevent or limit stretch marks, but we suggest you save your money for other things and focus on natural oils or simple lotions to soothe the savage skin, as most stretch mark preventatives and remedies have not been proven to offer any benefits over basic cream and oil.
Now that your body is getting bigger, your tissues might also be filling with fluid, leading to leg cramps and swollen feet and ankles. Most leg cramps can be worked out manually by releasing and flexing your feet and legs in the opposite direction than the cramp. While some level of leg pain and cramping is normal during late-stage pregnancy, if leg pain does not subside or seems to be constant, you should let your doctor know what you are experiencing so they can rule out more serious complications.
To add insult to injury with the ailments you might be experiencing, you can count potential yeast infections on the list of potential problems you might encounter in this stage of pregnancy. While an increase in vaginal discharge may be typical in pregnancy, it is important that the discharge remains clear and has no odor. If the discharge develops anything stronger than a mild odor or is any other color besides clear and mucus-like, you need to tell your doctor because you could have a vaginal infection. An untreated infection could lead to potential early labor, so don't let embarrassment or denial prevent you from spilling the beans to your doctor or nurse. It is better to relay the information and get the help you need than to assume no help is required. Changing your underwear frequently and avoiding tight-fitting clothing can help decrease your chance of getting an infection, but sometimes the result is the same no matter what you try. The important thing is to inform your caregiver and get some relief right away.
Sleep might be alluding to you because of the bigger baby, the growing belly, the swollen feet, and the nagging leg cramps. To increase your comfort level and find support for all your parts, you might consider purchasing a pregnancy pillow. These specially designed pillows can help lift your bump, cradle your boobs, and even cushion your knees, so we think this little pregnancy marvel is a must-have, not a luxury item. Finding the right pillow for you might be somewhat of a challenge, but it is a worthwhile venture when you consider that you need all the rest you can get at this point to prep for labor and a newborn.
- American Pregnancy Association - Week 33