The month you’re 21 weeks pregnant is one in which most pregnant women must have been stabilized emotionally and physically, well-adjusted to cope with the challenging demands of pregnancy. Both you and your baby continue to experience changes for the next estimated 19 or so weeks until childbirth.
Your baby is now about the size of a large banana measuring over 7 inches crown-to-rump long and weighs at least 11 ounces. Though there is a slight slowdown in the baby’s growth during this period, it continues to develop and mature organs, skin and central nervous system.
Intestines have gradually started relaxing and contracting as its digestive system starts maturing and functioning. This process is aided by swallowing of amniotic fluid.
Your baby starts swallowing small amounts of amniotic fluid to service its digestive system, get hydrated and nourished, while passing tiny amounts of urine back into the fluid. In later weeks, your baby passes unabsorbed food substance, called meconium, back into the amniotic fluid.
When you’re 21 weeks pregnant, your baby’s nerve pathways are also fast maturing. Nails start growing in the fingers and toes in week twenty-one as well. If you’re pregnant with twins, they become aware of each other at this stage and even try to kick or grab each other inside the uterus.
In pregnancy week 21, your uterus continues to grow measuring about 8 inches from the pubic symphysis. Your bump however is quite manageable still and you do have greater freedom of movement.
Enjoy the bump and shop heartily for those trendy maternity wears. By now you should be able to feel your little one kicking around inside, in a much more coordinated manner.
If you found out your baby’s gender in the previous ultrasound, you can enjoy decorating the little one’s nursery. Take time to choose from the myriads of amazing nursery products available in the market.
Continue with your regular walking or other pregnancy exercise such as yoga or Pilates. Swimming is one of the best exercises for pregnant woman. Most of your pains will be relieved when you’re in the pool as you feel weightless. It’s a good idea toning and strengthening your muscles by staying fit as this will prepare you for the labor and delivery ahead.
As your bump gets bigger, you’ll find purplish or pink indented streaks appearing on your stomach. When you’re 21 weeks pregnant, stretch marks develop due to stretching of the skin, hormonal changes and genetic characteristic.
Another common symptom you may experience is back pain. This again may be due to poor posture, hormonal changes and weight of the growing uterus. To obtain relief from backache, you can opt for prenatal massage. It also helps to apply cold or hot compresses on the aching back.
In pregnancy week 21, you may find it increasingly difficult to sleep. Second trimester is full of discomforts such as restlessness, leg syndrome, backaches, leg cramps and hot flashes. This keep you awake most of the nights apart from the fact that your belly is quite big and you’re unable to find a comfortable position to sleep.
In order to support your body, you can use a pregnancy pillow. It will help you sleep better. Alternatively, you can also place a regular pillow behind your back or between your legs for comfort. Adjust your sleeping position as your belly continues to grow. Sleeping on your side will be most comfortable for you when you’re 21 weeks pregnant and experience sleeping discomfort.