Your baby continues to be very active at this stage, and you’ll probably be aware of lots of movements. There is no set number of movements you should feel each day — every pregnancy is different. You should be aware of your baby’s own pattern of movements, and if this pattern changes contact your midwife or hospital to tell them.
The sucking reflex is developing by now and your baby can suck its thumb or fingers. The baby is growing plumper and the skin begins to look less wrinkled and much smoother.
The white, greasy vernix and the soft, furry lanugo (fine hair) which have covered your baby’s skin for some time begin to disappear. Your baby’s eyes can focus now. The lungs are developing rapidly, but your baby wouldn’t be fully able to breathe on its own until about 36 weeks.
By about 32 weeks the baby is usually lying with their head pointing downwards ready for birth. This is known as ‘cephalic presentation’. If your baby isn’t lying head down at this stage, it’s not a cause for concern — there is still time for them to turn.
The amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus is increasing, and your baby is still swallowing fluid and passing it out as urine.
By 33 weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s brain and nervous system are fully developed. Your baby’s bones are also continuing to harden, apart from the skull bones. These will stay soft and separated until after the birth to make the journey through the birth canal easier — the bones can move gently and slide over each other so that the head can be born safely while still protecting the brain.
Your baby is curled up in the uterus now, with legs bent up towards the chest. There is little room to move about, but they will still change position, so you’ll still feel movements and be able to see them on the surface of your bump.
If your baby is a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend from his abdomen into his scrotum.