21 Weeks Pregnant
21 Weeks Pregnant
You’ve come a long way in the first weeks of pregnancy and, now, you are over halfway through your pregnancy cycle.
You may already know the sex of your baby and will be deliberating on possible names for your future boy or girl. You might have also started preparing your house for the arrival of your baby – making a nursery can be a fun and rewarding experience for parents.
Whether this is your first pregnancy or not, you may still have a lot of questions about the future months. Can I still get pregnancy symptoms at week 21? Is my baby still growing? How big should my belly be at 21 weeks pregnant? Read on to find out the answers to these questions.
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21 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
Although the harsh early signs of pregnancy from the first trimester are a thing of the past, you may still notice some symptoms in week 21. It’s also likely that you’ll begin to get a taste of what to expect from the third trimester, which begins in week 28. Here are the most common pregnancy symptoms at week 21.
- Increased bodily fluids
This symptom may continue to hassle throughout entire duration of your pregnancy. Building a new life requires increased blood flow and more hormone excretion. A side-effect of this is more sweat, mucus, and vaginal discharge.
- Dry skin
Your skin will stretch as the 21 weeks old fetus grows. This can lead to dry and irritated skin, that has the potential to become a rash. If the problem worsens, ask your medical-practitioner for a pregnancy-safe moisturiser, free from toxins as to not hinder the development of your incoming baby.
As your baby prepares to enter the outside world, so does your body. A very common sign of pregnancy at 21 weeks is to experience tightness and slight contractions in your uterus as your body practices for the eventual delivery of your child.
- Baby movements
The fetus at 21 weeks old is a strong entity with developed limbs and ever-strengthening muscles and bones. It is, therefore, quite common to experience movements from your baby in the womb as it stretches and moves its way around inside you.
- Hair and nail growth
If you feel like your hair and nails have been growing at a faster rate during the first 21 weeks of pregnancy, they probably have. The increased blood circulation in your body means that nutrients are being carried to different parts of your body at increased levels, often leading to faster hair and nail growth.
- Stretch marks
A lot of pregnant women will develop stretch marks around their abdomen, hips, buttocks, and breasts. This is a normal side-effect of pregnancy and is a simply a result of your body preparing and adapting to your growing baby. Stretch marks often fade after pregnancy, but if you’re concerned about them, you can use a pregnancy-safe oil or lotion to help moisturise the skin.
Your Body at Week 21
At 21 weeks pregnant, you will have gained around 14 pounds if you are meeting the average weight gains of a pregnant women. This will be even more if you are 21 weeks pregnant with twin babies. This extra weight serves an important purpose for your system throughout the pregnancy, and is accounted for by increases in amniotic fluid, breast tissue, uterus and placenta growth, and maternal stores of fat, among other things.
The expansion of your 21-week fetus will likely be leading to an increase in your belly size. If you haven’t done by now, it is important to get some loose-fitting and comfortable clothes. This could be a game-changer for making the rest of your pregnancy as relaxed as possible.
Elsewhere in your body, the placenta will have taken over from the corpus luteum and will be the primary source of progesterone, estrogen, and other pregnancy hormones that aid the development of your baby.
Baby Size at Week 21
When you are entering week 21 of pregnancy, your baby will be around 17 to 19 centimetres in length and will weight over 300 grams. For context, he or she will be the same size as a banana.
It is likely that your baby’s limbs will be more proportional to the rest of their body at this stage and will now be able to be measured from the crown of the head to the heel of the foot. The bone marrow will be blood cells to support the liver and the spleen, and there’s a strong likelihood that your baby’s taste buds will have developed to the point of being able to taste the amniotic fluid.
Photo by Moritz Kindler on Unsplash
Week 21 Pregnant Ultrasound
If you have your second trimester pregnancy scan in week 21, you will be able to see how far your baby has come. Since the first ultrasound, your baby has made remarkable progress, more than doubling in size and length. Your baby’s heartbeat will be strong, too, and you may even be able to hear it moving.
Your baby will be moving around inside your belly and you might be able to feel this from the outside of your stomach. Now that your baby’s senses are more developed, they will be sensitive to loud noises and will let you know when they’ve woken up from a loud bang.
You can expect relief when you’re 21 weeks pregnant. You are now over the halfway mark of the average pregnancy and will be energised by the finish line in sight.
A lot of women still feel symptoms of pregnancy at week 21, but they will likely be less severe than what was experienced during the first trimester.
Your stomach will look quite big and round at 21 weeks pregnant. In addition to your uterus expanding, gas and bloating may cause more distention in your stomach area, too.
Tips for Week 21 of Pregnancy
- Plan a baby shower
If the excitement of reaching the halfway mark is making your restless, you could use the energy to plan for a baby shower. This can be a really cathartic and enjoyable experience for mothers-to-be.
- Light exercise
Exercising during pregnancy is difficult. Yet, if you’re suffering from heartburn or indigestion, some light exercise, such as a gentle stroll, may be good to aid your digestive system and stimulate your bowels.
Getting rest is just as important at week 21 of pregnancy as the others. Your body is gearing up for an intense third trimester and maintaining energy levels is vital for the optimal preparation.