You are now 33 weeks pregnant, which is the beginning of week 34. Your baby now weighs about 2.1kg (2,100 grams or approximately 4 lbs 10 ozs) and measures about 45 cm in length (or 17.75 inches). They are now fully formed physically and have a firm grasp reflex. During the last 6 weeks, your baby's main task is to gain weight and grow a little larger, as well as build up their immune system, which is obtained from their mother as antibodies passed through the placenta.
Most babies assume a 'head down' position around this time and stay this way until they are born. You may notice your baby's movements changing in character (to be more 'stretches' and 'squirms') as they grow larger and there is comparatively less room for them to move. Your caregiver may offer you the use of kick chart, if you have concerns about your baby's activity.
Your baby can now determine the difference between sweet and sour tastes. Premature babies as early as 33 weeks have been observed to suck harder on a teat dipped in glucose! However, unborn babies can also detect subtle changes in the 'flavour' of the amniotic fluid surrounding them. It is believed the fluid acts as a type of "flavour bridge" to their mother's breast milk, which also carries different food flavours from the mother's diet.
Your baby can swallow up to a litre of amniotic fluid each day, passing this out as a type of 'urine' through their kidneys and bladder, back into the fluid around them.
Babies born between 33 weeks and 35 weeks normally do quite well and have more than a 95% survival rate. However, they are still regarded as being 'mildly preterm' and will usually require some time in the intensive care nursery. This could be for observation, monitoring, possibly requiring small amounts of oxygen for a few hours (or days), obtaining warmth in a 'humidicrib' or 'incubator' and perhaps nourishment from a drip in their vein and/or milk feeds down a tube into their stomach, if they tire quickly when feeding.