Welcome to Week 21 of pregnancy. 21 weeks pregnant is 4 months and about three weeks. Now that you’re more than halfway done with month five, you’re a majority of the way through your pregnancy! This week will probably be one of the most enjoyable weeks of your pregnancy. Here is what you can expect during this week.
Your baby is the size of a banana by now!
At 21 weeks, the baby is 10.5 inches long and weighs about 11-12.5 ounces. Gosh!, your baby has taken its mission too seriously – to grow and to get bigger!
Your baby has begun its main project for the rest of your pregnancy – putting on weight. By now, the baby regularly drinks amniotic fluid for hydration and nutrition, urinates in the fluid and breathes in and out (fortunately, the fluid pool refreshes itself every three hours). Baby’s eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed. Baby’s eyelids are still sealed, but eyes are active.
Taste buds are forming on its tongue. In fact, researchers have noted that babies who were exposed to certain tastes in uterus via the amniotic fluid were more eager to eat foods with those same tastes after birth. Want your little munchkin to eat greens later? Eat yours now!
Baby’s heartbeat is now loud enough to be heard through a simple stethoscope, but the beat can be difficult to distinguish from your own. Listen for the faster rhythm – a baby’s heartbeat is 120 to 160 beats per minute, about twice as fast as your own. Your baby is already starting to sleep and wake in subtle cycles. Ultrasounds show that unborn babies may even settle into a favourite sleeping position.
Your Pregnant Belly
At week 21, you may look in the mirror and wonder, “Where did I go?!” By the time you reach this week, you may have gained around 13 to 14 pounds, and around 21 pounds if you’re 21 weeks pregnant with twins. And if this extra weight is making you feel fat, remind yourself, you’re supposed to be gaining this weight! It’s good for you and for baby.
At 21 weeks, baby’s movements are noticeable. If you place your fingers about a half inch above your belly button, you may be able to feel your uterus. So cool!
Common 21 weeks pregnant symptoms are kind of a sneak peak of the third trimester. Here’s what you might be feeling at week 21 of pregnancy –
Backaches, especially in the lower back, are quite common during pregnancy. Your growing uterus is shifting your centre of gravity and pulling your lower back forward. Meanwhile, the hormone – Relaxin is loosening every joint and ligament in your body, which will allow your pelvis to expand when it’s time for delivery. To help alleviate back pain, make these adjustments in your daily routine. Whenever you sit, use a footrest to elevate your feet slightly. If you need to stand for a long period of time, put one foot on a small stool to take some pressure off your lower back. If your backache won’t go away, give your healthcare provider a call!
Heart-burns may be common during this period. To get rid of those, avoid spicy and greasy foods and other triggers. If the source of your discomfort is a mystery, keeping a food diary could help you figure it out.
Your uterus might occasionally feel tight as it practices for labour. This is totally normal as long as the contractions go away when you switch positions. Let your doctor know about any pain or contractions that don’t stop.
Your Week 21 Checklist!
- Use a footrest to elevate your feet slightly whenever you sit.
- Treat yourself to a warm bath to help relieve back pain.
- Schedule your glucose challenge test.
- Start planning your baby shower! 🙂
Present content is not a medical advise nor should it be substituted for one. Please consult a certified medical professional for medical consultation.