At 21 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a carrot, weighing approximately 12.7 ounces and about 10.5 inches long. The baby is now big enough to give you a feel of the foetal movements. There’s of course no hiding the baby bump now! At this stage, your belly button gradually starts appearing but is still flat. You are expected to gain about 15 extra pounds by now.
21 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
As the 21 week foetus grows in size, the skin around your stomach stretches to accommodate it. Stretch marks are unavoidable in the later stages of pregnancy, but they gradually disappear after delivery if proper care is taken. If you are carrying twins, there is more chance of thinning of the skin and break marks.
Heartburn and Acid Reflux during pregnancy
Hormonal changes in your body do not go down well with your digestive system during pregnancy. As days go by, you become more intolerant towards many food products. Avoid spicy and fried foods.
At 21 weeks pregnant, your uterus contracts at times. This is a normal way for your uterus to practise for labour. These are regular muscle contractions that are not much painful. However, in case of serious pain, consult your gynaecologist immediately.
By the end of this trimester, which is just round the corner, your mammary glands will be fully prepared for feeding. During this phase, you may experience leaky breasts that lead to liquid of a thin consistency coming out of your nipples at times.
At 21 weeks pregnant, while your skin stretches to accommodate the foetus, there are tiny tears beneath the surface. These irritate the skin and make it itchy. Use soft pregnancy-safe moisturisers regularly to avoid too many freckles.
At this stage, the uterus grows in size and puts extra pressure on your oesophagus. Moreover, the hormones slow down the digestive procedure and lead to constipation, bloating, and gas. Make sure that you eat fibre-rich foods to keep your bowel movement intact, as much possible.
Pregnant Belly at 21 week
Your belly at 21 weeks pregnant is jutting out through your clothes. The uterus is now about ½ an inch above your belly button.
The shape of your belly is now more round and obvious of the fact that you are carrying. Gaining weight, especially around your belly, is considered healthy for your condition. An average full-term baby weighs about 7.5 pounds.
Read More: 21 Must Have Pregnancy Products
21 Weeks Pregnancy Ultrasound
At the 21 weeks ultrasound test, you can hear the baby’s heartbeat through the doctor’s stethoscope! Looking inside the chest, the doctor can study the 21 week foetus’ heart and lung tissues in details now. By this time, the little one already has a sleeping and waking pattern of its own!
The ultrasound this week also shows you that your baby’s digestive system is developing rapidly, along with the production of “meconium”, a sticky black substance it will excrete on the first diaper. You can get printouts of this ultrasound as your baby’s image appears better on the screen due to its growth in size.
The gynaecologist might also perform a blood test on you to check for chromosomal imbalances and sugar levels. This is done to ensure that both the mother and the child are safe.
Dos and Don’ts During Week 21 of Pregnancy
Exercise: No matter how much fatigued you feel, never give up on exercising. Exercising helps your body retain its energy and trains your muscles to deal with cramps and labour contractions.
Use a footrest while sitting: Your feet should comfortably rest on the ground when you sit. This alleviates back pain. Dangling your swollen feet causes the muscles to pull themselves downwards and result in back aches.
Indulge in lukewarm baths: At 21 weeks pregnant, warm temperatures work wonders on stiff muscles. Take brief showers in warm water to relieve yourself from nagging back aches. However, make sure that the water is not too hot.
Read More: Home Remedies For Back Pain During Pregnancy
Eat wholesome meals: Eating well is the arterial factor leading a healthy baby. Make sure that you eat at least five whole meals a day, each meal consisting of proteins, fibres, calcium, and vitamins. Make a diet chart and hang it in your kitchen so that you know when to eat which foods.
Read More: 11 Best Superfoods to Eat while Pregnant
Sign up for weekly pregnancy classes: Weekly classes for new mothers help gain insights of parenthood. This makes the whole journey a lot easier for you. You can mingle with other expecting women and exchange ideas on diet, exercises, and fun activities!
Stand for too long: Standing for too long may put more pressure on the amniotic sac and the uterus. Since the womb is heavy at this stage, it needs support from below, to keep the 21 week foetus in proper position. Standing for long during pregnancy also causes back aches as your stomach pulls the muscles towards the front.
Miss your ultrasound tests: Ultrasound sessions are vital for your knowledge of the progress of your child’s overall development. Never miss out on routine appointments with your gynaecologist! Keep a calendar in which the appointment days are marked in red, lest you should forget.
Have sex daily: It is okay to have sex, but consult your gynaecologist if you feel otherwise. However, you must keep in mind that your uterus is now delicate and should be kept from rough touch. Having sex everyday is bad for the 21 week foetus as the amniotic fluid moves while along with the movement of your body. The baby is at a risk of being injured during such cases. Kama sutra sex positions are a definite no-no for this entire period until delivery.
Eat due to boredom: Eat healthy foods at regular intervals, but don’t overeat. Many a time, at 21 weeks pregnant, expecting mothers have mood swings and don’t have much to do. During these situations, they end up eating whatever catches their fancy. This leads to unnecessary weight gain of both the mother and the child.
Read More: 11 Foods That Would Ensure Normal Delivery
Listen to good music, read good books, exercise, attend weekly pregnancy classes, and drink lots of water to keep unnecessary cravings away.
Now that you are half way through at 21 weeks, there’s a lot more excitement waiting to greet you in the upcoming weeks! Pregnancy is a period of joy as well as anxiety. Focus on the positives and talk to your partner as much as you can, to avoid negative thoughts. For more counselling and advice, feel free to contact your gynaecologist or even the newly selected paediatrician for your child.