7 weeks before your due date is a surprising time to welcome your new baby to the world.
You might not have their crib set up yet, and maybe you had to throw together your hospital bag in a bit of a rush. But don’t worry, you’ll get up to speed soon.
So, what should you know about caring for a baby born at 33 weeks?
No doubt, they’ll require some extra attention compared to a baby born at full term, but your medical team will know exactly what to do.
Here’s our guide to what to expect when you have a baby born at 33 weeks.
In this article 📝
- What does a baby born at 33 weeks look like?
- What happens if a baby is born at 33 weeks?
- Do babies born at 33 weeks need NICU?
- What is the chance of survival for a baby born at 33 weeks?
- Can babies born at 33 weeks breathe on their own?
- Can you give birth naturally at 33 weeks?
What does a baby born at 33 weeks look like?
If you’re searching for baby born at 33 weeks pictures, you’ll notice that they look basically like a full-term baby.
A baby born at 33 weeks is classed as “moderate preterm,” so they are not quite as small or fragile-looking as “very preterm” or “extremely preterm” babies.
They’ll weigh somewhere in the region of 4.5 to five pounds, so while they’ll be small, their muscle development means they’ll be slightly more sturdy than even those born a week before.
What happens if a baby is born at 33 weeks?
A baby born at 33 weeks is still almost two months from their due date, so they’ll need a little help starting out with things like breathing and feeding.
The length of your hospital stay will depend on your little one’s exact condition and can change from day-to-day.
At 33 weeks, your baby’s eyes will follow objects, and they may show an obvious response to you and your voice when you are near them.
Their limbs are stronger and their movements less jerky than babies born earlier than 33 weeks.
Even if you can’t hold them right away, spending time with them will be a great experience for you both.
Do babies born at 33 weeks need NICU?
Yes, it’s most likely that your baby born at 33 weeks will need a period of specialist care, and this is often in a NICU setting.
Their immune system is immature, so staying in a safe environment like an incubator (which will also help them keep warm) is a great start.
What is the chance of survival for a baby born at 33 weeks?
The baby born at 33 weeks survival rate is around 99.5%, according to one study. But of course, there are still risks to delivering so early.
There’s about a 70% chance a baby born at 33 weeks will have some kind of initial heart or breathing difficulties, which is why NICU is often the safest place for them to be.
Their long-term prognosis is great, and the vast majority of babies born at 33 weeks have no lasting issues relating to their premature arrival.
Can babies born at 33 weeks breathe on their own?
Sometimes, but the majority of babies born at this age will need some breathing assistance, to begin with.
This may be for a day or two or a week or two. Each baby is unique.
It’s also common for babies born at 33 weeks to experience some feeding difficulties, and they may be slow to gain weight.
Mastering the feeding reflex and getting strong enough to coordinate feeding and breathing can take some time.
You may be encouraged to try breastfeeding once or twice a day if you want to.
Can you give birth naturally at 33 weeks?
Giving birth at 33 weeks can happen for a range of reasons – and yes, you may spontaneously go into vaginal labor.
On the other hand, you might have an underlying condition or other medical reason for your labor may be induced early or to have a C-section.
The important thing, however it happens, is that your baby is here, safe and in the best place to receive the care they need.
Your baby’s here, mama! Congratulations!
You might also be interested in:
Baby Born at 34 Weeks: What to Know
Baby Born at 35 Weeks: What to Know
Baby Born at 36 Weeks: What to Know
Baby Born at 37 Weeks: What to Know
Premature Babies: All You Need to Know
What to Look for in a Preemie Pacifier