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33 to 36 weeks pregnant

After 33 weeks of pregnancy, your baby's brain and nervous system are fully developed.

Their bones are continuing to harden, apart from the skull bones which remain soft.

Skull bones 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 the head can be born safely, while still protecting the brain.

They are gaining weight rapidly and you're probably gaining about 0.5kg a week. Half of this extra weight is going to them.

After 33 weeks

After 33 weeks, their taste buds are well developed.

The food you eat during your pregnancy can affect their taste preferences. This is another reason for you to try to eat a wide variety of healthy foods during your pregnancy.

At this stage, they are curled up in the womb, with their legs bent up towards their chest. Space is tight but they still have room to move about and change position.

You should still feel movements and may even be able to see them on the surface of your bump.

If your unborn baby is a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend from his abdomen into his scrotum.

Your baby's movements during pregnancy

After 36 weeks

After 36 weeks, their lungs are fully formed and ready to take their first breath after the birth. Their lungs are also now very good at producing a substance called 'surfactant'. This keeps air sacs in the lungs open and able to take in oxygen.

Babies born at 36 weeks are often able to breathe and suckle at the same time when feeding. The digestive system is fully prepared to deal with breast milk. By now your baby is about 48cm long.

Page last reviewed: 23 September 2022
Next review due: 23 September 2025