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21 weeks means your baby is now about the size of a large carrot! Measuring at about ten and a half inches long and weighing about eleven to just under thirteen ounces, your baby has grown to the be just a bit bigger than a banana.
Still able to enjoy the roomy comfortability offered by your womb, your baby may begin to feel a bit cramped as it starts adjusting to its newer and bigger physical size.
Nevertheless, ample room remains for baby to engage in its favorite activities like spinning, kicking, wriggling and performing somersaults. Until the point at which your uterine walls start to constrict, your baby will have an abundance of space to explore its wide range of awesome new skills.
Every day, your baby is swallowing and inhaling amniotic fluid, which is providing him or her the nutrition, hydration, and practice it needs to perfect its swallowing and digesting skills for when they are out of the womb.
The amniotic fluid that your baby is taking in can actually change in taste on a day-to-day basis, depending on what you’ve eaten. If you have eaten spicy foods, the amniotic fluid will taste spicy. If you’ve eaten bananas, the amniotic fluid will instead taste sweet. Believe it or not, at this point your baby is able to distinguish between tastes as a result of the development of their taste buds.
Read on below to learn more about week twenty-two of pregnancy and all of its many amazing aspects!
Your Physical and Emotional Health
21 Weeks Pregnant
Pregnant mothers in week twenty-one of their term may begin to struggle a bit with their newfound physical size. As they attempt to adjust to life with a big, rotund belly from a generous increase in weight, clumsiness can ensue as a result of the changing in center of gravity for each woman.
Additionally, looser joints can worsen muscle coordination and add to the clumsiness resulting from adapting to a new body size. A very common pregnancy symptom, clumsiness can result in pregnant moms bumping into things left and right, and should only be of concern if you are falling down or experiencing clumsiness in conjunction with blurred vision.
Women who experience clumsiness along with blurred vision should limit their time driving, being around heavy equipment, and try to be around other people as much as possible. A fall can be disastrous for a pregnant woman and is not an unlikely occurrence when clumsiness is accompanied by vision problems.
Ultimately, if intense swelling of the hands and feet accompanies the clumsiness and blurry vision, it is best to schedule an appointment with your health care professional as soon as possible, as this may possibly be an indicator of pre-eclampsia.
Symptoms commonly experienced in week twenty-one persist from previous weeks and can include:
- Hot flashes: Drink plenty of water, keep cool, and wear loose, comfortable clothing
- Leg Cramps: Painful leg cramps can be vastly improved by walking around a bit, stretching, low-impact exercise, and yoga
- Dizziness and lightheadedness: Stand up from sitting positions slowly and ensure you are eating small and regular meals throughout the day with plenty of fluid intake
- Blurry vision: Closely related to issues from water retention, women in their twentieth week of pregnancy may experience blurry vision. If this accompanied by clumsiness and swollen feet and hands, schedule an appointment with your doctor as this can be an indicator of pre-eclampsia
- Weight gain: Many women will continue to gain weight during this week
- Vaginal discharge: For many pregnant women, this will be an ongoing issue for many weeks to come.
Your Baby’s Health and Status
21 Weeks Pregnant
Growing concurrently with your baby, your placenta has vastly increased in size since the beginning of your pregnancy. Previous to this point in your term, your placenta has been heavier than your baby. Now your baby weighs more than your placenta and will continue to outgrow it and dwarf it in size completely.
Much like the sound of galloping horses, your baby’s heartbeat can easilybe heard via a stethoscope. Many mothers will be stunned at the fast rhythm, as a baby’s heartbeat can be anywhere from 120 to 160 beats per a minute.
Physically, your baby still looks a bit ethereal. Underneath its transparent skin, capillaries are slowly forming that will eventually “blush” the skin to a pinker or reddish hue. As he or she continues to grow, they begin to show thicker eyebrows, clearly defined lips and are rapidly moving their eyes to and fro from beneath closed eyelids with dainty eyelashes.
Brace yourself for the coming weeks as your baby will start to become even more active than ever before. What may have felt like gentle kicks and fluttery movements from within you, may now begin to feel like much more capable and stronger nudges, kicks, and other various movements.
Resulting from your baby becoming coordinated at its moves, movements that you feel from him or her may begin to take you by surprise but are completely normal due to your baby’s improved control over their limb movements.
Tips, Tricks, and Knowledge
21 Weeks Pregnant
- Pilates can also help you remain strong in labor, in addition to the remainder of your pregnancy term. A great way to reduce anxiety, pregnant women will benefit immensely from incorporating light Pilates into their fitness regime.
- Lower back aches are very common during pregnancy and are a result of the uterus growing and the hormone called relaxin that loosens your joints, thus working together to shift your center of gravity and pull your lower back area forward. To help alleviate lower back pain use footrests to elevate your feet, avoid standing for long periods of time, take a warm bath, try sleeping on your side, and consider investing in specially-design pregnancy pillows that do wonders to mitigate aches and pains for pregnant women
Week 21 To-Do List and Reminders
21 Weeks Pregnant
- Remember to eat a variety of foods that offer you and your baby a wide-range of vitamins and important minerals such as iron. Consider red meat, eggs, fatty fish, beans lentils, and peas, whole grain bread, oatmeal, fruit, vegetables, and leafy greens.
- Make sure to take the time to bond with your baby everyday by singing, talking, and cooing to it. Stroke your tummy reassuringly and gently as sit and talk with your baby.
- Ensure that you are taking care of your baby registry, particularly if you will be having a baby shower happening relatively soon
- Consider where you would like to give birth – for example, many women prefer giving birth at home in warm water, through a process facilitated by a midwife led team
- If you think that you may want to have immediate access to the pain relief offered by an epidural, it will be most prudent to give birth in a hospital setting
Relaxin: Mostly produced by the corpus luteum found within the ovaries, breasts, and placenta, it causes many hemodynamic shifts within the body in the form of an increase in blood flow, heart rate, and the loosening and relaxing of pelvic ligaments.
Cool Things to Know
- Researchers have discovered that babies exposed to certain food tastes while in the womb eagerly crave the very same tasks after birth!
- Your baby is beginning to develop its own sleep cycle and may have even settled into a favored sleep position.
Ready to find out what’s next in your pregnancy journey?